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Zhiyun Crane v2 review – It broke the first day….

Zhiyun Crane v2 – 750 USD Gimbal

The Zhiyun Crane v2 is a expensive piece of equipment for your DSLR, and you would expect it to be up for the task… of not breaking the first day, wouldn’t you?

Well, I bought the Zhiyun Crane v2 on Thursday, had it delivered on Friday and took it to Järvsö Bergscykel Park on Saturday to shoot some downhill mountainbiking. Imagine my surprise coming home on Saturday night and trying it out again, and the motors aren’t working.

Yeah, the Zhiyun Crane v2 I bought either had a manufacturing flaw or something, because I don’t think it should break on the first day of using it, carefully and nervously. Before buying the Zhiyun Crane v2 I Googled it so incredibly much, I researched the workload, cameras compatible, good and bad reviews and malfunctioning ones, but after reading a comment from Zhiyun Tech on a forum, I made my choice, I bought it.

The question they answered was… Does the Zhiyun Crane v2 work with the Nikon D500!
Their answer being: Yes, the Zhiyun Crane v2 can handle cameras up to 1.8 kilograms, and the Nikon D500 weighs 1.5 kilograms with the standard lens, and that shouldn’t be a problem!

Guess what, it was a problem.

Not only is the Nikon D500 pretty big, so I had big problems balancing the Zhiyun Crane v2 gimbal in the first place. But after extensive balancing I got it to where I wanted, and it worked. However, the D500 being to big, the gimbal arms hit the camera in some angles, and I could not use the Crane’s to its full potential. The other thing was, that the camera being so big, I had to reset the gimbal arms every time I changed locations, because the gimbal could not fit in it’s designated case with the arms fully extended and balanced for my D500….

That meant that every time I changed locations, like going to another spot and needed to put the Zhiyun Crane v2 away, I had to redo the whole balancing thing when arriving at the new location. Why? Well, I didn’t want to risk breaking it by carrying it out in the open and risk it getting bumped into stuff. But then again, it broke on me anyway xD

I made a video review of the Zhiyun Crane v2 stabiliser which you can see below, I also included some test footage and my thoughts on it out in the field. So, please watch the video and let me know if you have experienced the same issues.

 

The problems I had with the gimbal was that the motors stopped working, the indicator light on the gimbal lit up as usual, but the motors were not working and I could not connect it to my computer och phone anymore, it was rendered completely useless and limp.

I guess the Nikon D500 does NOT work with the Zhiyun Crane v2 stabiliser gimbal.

Please subscribe to me on Youtube by clicking this link!

Read about why I started vlogging!

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The Beards Limited edition USB Beard Comb giveaway

The Beards USB Beard Comb?

Yes, The Beards have released a USB Beard Comb stick, containing their final live show. It was released on World Beard Day, September 2nd, as a commemorate piece for us die hard fans. The USB Beard Comb is a Limited Edition The Beards memorabilia, and every true fan should own one.

Here’s the link to my video and giveaway on Youtube!

And since I’m such a nice person, I decided to get two extra, which I’m now giving away on my Youtube channel. A perfect opportunity if you want to own a piece of Beard History.

The Beards are (or was) an Australian band whose songs are all about beards. They are such a fantastic band, and awesome people. I’ve had the privilege of meeting them on several occasions and I will cherish that forever. I also have their autographs on the back of a jacket, hidden away in my closet.

The Beards did unfortunately do their last show on September 2nd of 2017 (Who knows, they might be back). And to celebrate that last show, they released this USB Beard Comb, with the entire final show loaded on the USB stick. A great show and a sad moment in beard music history.

I do hope that The Beards will be back in a near future and do a few more shows. They are truly the best band I have ever seen live, and I’ve seen A LOT of bands. I’ve been to Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Steel Panther etc (hundreds of huge bands on festivals), but no band have been as good as The Beards are live.

So, what are you waiting for, head on over to my Youtube channel and check out this video on how to enter the giveaway:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL4-acdW_x8

 

Check out my other posts here!

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Vlogging is hard, but I need to learn how!

Vlogging might help me!

Yes, vlogging might be the answer to get over my social anxiety once and for all. Vlogging really puts me in the spotlight, vlogging is so far out of my comfort zone and a bit scary at times. I never thought that I’d start vlogging a couple of years ago, and even tho I’m having a hard time speaking on camera, I still do it to learn, to grow and to overcome my social anxiety.

Here’s the link you my Youtube channel – Please like and subscribe!

Vlogging was so distant to me for a long time, but ever since I started watching people doing vlogs a couple of years ago I envied them, I respected them, even tho I maybe didn’t agree with what they were talking about, but I respected them because they dared to do it. Talking on camera, by yourself, as a monolog is hard, it’s really hard. Vlogging looks easy enough, but standing there in front of the camera, thinking about what to say is made for re-takes.

I don’t know how many times I’ve re-done a take, said the same word over and over just because my pronunciation was off a couple of times, or the light was wrong, or my eyes wandered. Due to my social anxiety, I have a hard time looking people in the eyes when talking to them, I usually drift off, look down or focus on something behind the person I’m talking to. And not before I watched myself vlogging, I noticed how obvious it is….

I tend to look away, at something else or at the computer. It is so obvious on camera, and that is something I really need to practise. Oh, and due to my social anxiety, I often wear sunglasses, which helps a lot during the vlogging, but wearing the sunglasses indoors might seem weird…. if you’re not Casey Neistat. But I do think I can relax more with sunglasses, so I should start doing my vlog speaking parts outside, just to be able to wear sunglasses.

So, I hope you will support me by Subscribing to my Youtube channel, leave comments, like my videos and tell your friend. I’m a huge beginner and I want to learn, and the best way to learn is by doing, and the best way to do, is to get cheers and pushes from friends and followers. People who push you in the right direction are worth so much when it comes to learning new stuff.

Again, here’s the link to my Youtube channel, please don’t forget to subscribe! 🙂

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H̦lick РWe went on a mini adventure to the ocean

H̦lick Рa beautiful fishing village

Hölick is “just around the corner” from us, about an hour with car, but it’s like a different country out there. Living in Järvsö we are surrounded by mountains and forrest’s, but coming out to Hölick really changes the landscape. Hölick located 30 km outside of Hudiksvall and lays right by the ocean.

Hölick holick

Hölick is an old fishing village which used to work as an maritime pilot station, which however changed locations in the early in the 1900’s. Today it serves as tourist destination and full time residence for a few people. Hölick has great white sandy beaches, docks, camping grounds and beautiful scenery. They even got a old lighthouse, but we did not go there this time.

Hölick foodMe and Nemi arrived at 1 in the afternoon and had lunch at a restaurant nearby. We ate some thai curry chicken with pasta and it was delicious, we need to make that at home some day. After that we headed out to the beach by the ocean to listen to the waves crashing in, we did not bade or swim, in fact we didn’t even have swimwear with us. The weather was a bit windy and cloudy, so we did not pack anything summer’y.

After the beach we walked back to the fishing village, which is so cozy and calm РI wish we could have stayed a bit longer. We went out on the pier and looked at the ocean, taking some photos and just enjoying the calm, the seagulls and salty smell coming in from the water. H̦lick is a great destination if you like these kind of things, calm sandy beaches, small villages and cozy surroundings. Even tho H̦lick can be a bit crowded on sunny hot days in the summer, we were pretty lucky being almost alone there.

I saw a sign going there that there was going to be some sort of sailing championships that day, but it must’ve ended before we got there, because people were starting to pack up and leave.

Anyway, below are some photos from our little day trip to Hölick (Here’s a link to Google maps if you want to se where it’s located).

Oh, and byt the way. I started a new Instagram account the other day, I’m starting over, so please follow my new one: @andreasfransson_com

 

Hölick

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Exploding head syndrome – I think I have a few of the symptoms

Exploding head syndrome – I might have it!

I think I might have Exploding head syndrome actually. Ever since I was a kid I’ve experienced weird sounds and stuff when falling asleep, not regularly, but it still scared the shit out of me on a number of occasions.

If you don’t know what Exploding head syndrome is, I will try to explain the basics of it, otherwise I’d suggest checking it out on Wikipedia for example.

Exploding head syndrome is a benign condition that causes me to hear loud, scary or irritating imaginary sounds when on the verge of falling asleep or just after sleep occurs. It might sound like I’m crazy for hearing sounds, but Exploding head syndrome is actually real and it has woken me up with a bang more then a few times, often leaving me shocked, scared and/or with elevated heart rate. The name can be a bit deceiving, because EHS does not hurt at all, it’s just uncomfortable.

exploding head syndromeExploding head syndrome is thought to be triggered by minor temporal lobe seizures, sudden shifts of middle ear components and/or stress/anxiety, impairments in calcium signalling and brainstem neuronal dysfunction. There are also reports that suggest that tinnitus might be a culprit. Although little to no research are available and there are no treatments or help to get… what I know of. There are also reports of one seeing lift flashes, lightning or light static.

I for one mostly get the Exploding head syndrome with sound only, but I do recall seeing lightning flashes while trying to sleep sometimes. Some of the sounds you might hear when you have Exploding head syndrome (EHS) are:

  • The sound of a bomb.
  • The sound of gunshot.
  • A loud clash of cymbals.
  • The sound of a door slamming.
  • An extremely loud rushing sound.
  • People screaming or shouting.
  • An electrical buzzing sound.
  • Any other loud sound which can’t be described exactly.

It’s not said that you hear all of them, or only one of them. For me it’s usually a clash of symbals, a extremely loud rushing sound or electrical buzz or static, or something I can’t describe. According to those few who have researched this (no clinical studies been done yet), they say that EHS is harmless, although might be distressing and/or uncomfortable for those who experience it.

For me it’s very random when it occurs, and I can’t seem to see a connection with me being stressed or not. But I do wake up with bang, it scares the shit out of me.

I do have tinnitus and trying to sleep with that is already a pain, but imagine falling asleep, shifting between being awake and sleeping, slowly feeling your body and mind drifting off to sleep and suddenly be jolted back to reality, wide awake because you heard one of the loudest noises ever… coming from inside your head. That really makes you on edge and really makes it hard to go back to sleep.

Have you ever experienced Exploding head syndrome? Leave a comment with your thoughts, suggestions and/or experiences.

I thought about writing this post because last week I had EHS episodes almost every night, I don’t know why, nothing special was happening in my life, nor was I stressed or distressed of any kind. It has however made me a bit reluctant to sleeping the last few days, and I can’t seem to fall asleep normally and I want to listen to music or have the TV on in the background, just to be able to focus on sounds that won’t scare the life out of me.

I hope this post could help a little bit if you experience the same thing, because it’s a horrible thing when happening.

 

Leave a comment, and be sure to follow me on Instagram!

You can also read my other posts here!

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Running up the mountain – From Fat to Fit – w 2 & 3

Running might be a bit of a stretch!

When I say running I mean walking mostly, jog occasionally and run rarely, but hey…. it’s better then sitting in the couch at home, right?!

First of all, due to being swamped with work, preparing to a workshop on social media and spending quality time at home, the updates on my runs have been abysmal to say the least. But that does not mean I haven’t been out running, jogging or walking, on the contrary actually. I have been out every day since I started this journey, either walking, jogging or running. Mostly walking tho, but combining it with my hobby, photography. Below is a video I shot during my latest run.

Running RunkeeperHere’s at least some workout days tracked in Runkeeper, the days I remembered to start it, and the days I solely focused on running, walking or jogging. That’s because on some days, like weekends and evenings, I’ve been spending time photographing downhill riders in Järvsö Bergscykel Park. There’s a lot of standing still waiting for riders, but also walking up and down the mountain through the woods, some days I’m so exhausted afterwards, more then the days I go out for a run, walk or jog. I do count the days spent walking up and down the mountain photographing as workouts, why wouldn’t I?!

The days I’ve been running, jogging or walking there have been routes I’ve made that takes me up the mountain on one side, and down the mountain on the other. It’s actually a really nice climb of 240+ meter elevation with some really steep parts. I’ve taken myself to run up those really steep parts, just to push myself even further, just to get my blood pumping.

Running Route

This is one of the routes I tend to run pretty often. It took a long time, but that’s because I filmed a bit during my run. I goes up and down the mountain.

Talking of blood pumping, I really feel how out of shape I still am, during some parts of my running up the mountain, mostly the steep part, my Apple Watch show my heartbeat at 166 bpm, if that is true and accurate, I really need to step up my workouts, I need to get those numbers down and the speed up.

I also been taking my Camelbak with me, filled with ice cold water. It has really improved my runs as I tend to drink a lot of water and get more stamina when I do. Also water is good for you, so why not!

One thing I have not gotten the hang of yet is the food, what to eat, what not to eat or when to eat. I love food, I won’t lie, but I tend to sometimes overeat and that’s not good. I love sweets, soft drinks and unhealthy food. We do not eat pizza, hamburgers or any other fast food that often, maybe one time a month, if not less, but I find it hard to find healthy good substitutes since I don’t like cold food, vegetables or diets. Please leave me some suggestions in the comments. I think my next post might be about my food schedule and what I eat in a week.

Be sure to read my Week 1 post!

Leave a comment if you are on your own fat to fit journey, or have taken it before. Let me know how you did it.

Also, give me a follow on Instagram!

 

I’m still looking for sponsors for my Fat to Fit journey, so if you are interested in helping me out, send me an email at info(a)andreasfransson.com

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2833 photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park – Trigger happy?!

Järvsö Bergscykel Park drains my camera battery!

Järvsö Bergscykel Park have been one of my go to destinations this summer for photography. I have spent a few days, evenings and weekends there photographing downhill mountainbiking like crazy. To this day I have uploaded 2833 photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park too my other website – jbpfoto.se !

Philip Lundman Järvsö Bergscykel ParkThe photos I have taking in Järvsö Bergscykel Park are of people riding bikes for the first time, experienced riders and pros – almost everyone is caught by my camera! I’m selling the photos at a very low price, the cheapest is 39 SEK (appox 5 USD), the most expensive one, which is the original size, is priced at 99 SEK (approx 12 USD). I’m very cheap compared to other park photographers in other countries and parks, who can charge upwards of 50 USD per photo, mostly because I want people to be able to buy nice photos of themselves at a reasonable price. Many times I have caught a whole family, and paying hundreds of dollars for a picture of all of them isn’t that optimal.

That’s why I have very low pricing on my photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park, but also as it’s a way for me to evolve as a photographer and get my photos out on social media. I would love to do this full time, 365 days a year. Travel and take photos, and one day I hope to be able to do just that, but in the meantime I’m going to spend a few more days at Järvsö Bergscykel Park!

If you know that you spent a day or two in Järvsö Bergscykel Park this summer, please check out JBPfoto.se – you might have been caught by me camera. And if you have any questions, suggestions or collaboration offers, please send me an email at info(a)andreasfransson.com. Also, feel free to share this post to your friends who might have been visiting Järvsö Bergscykel Park this summer.

Follow me on Instagram for more photos!

Alexander Bäckvall Järvsö Bergscykel Park

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A spontaneous trip to Ã…re – just what we needed!

We took a spontaneous trip!

A spontaneous trip was just what the doctor ordered, if we’d seen a doctor and he said we should go on a spontaneous trip…. yeah! With our summer vacation being over and being back to work while everyone else is having time off kind of sucks, even tho we already had our vacation! The downside of working in an office in the summer is that I’m the only one there and it’s pretty tedious. It kind of made me even more tired then usual, because being able to talk to colleagues makes me stay alert usually.

Anyway, we needed to get out of the apartment this weekend, and we decided to go to Ã…re, Sweden – a beautiful place 3,5 hours by car up north. A totally spontaneous trip with no plans at all, other then the destination. We got my mother to check up on Marley (our cat) a couple of times and make sure she had food and company, even tho we were only gone for 11 hours we wanted to make sure she wasn’t alone all that time.

We began our journey at 7 in the morning and arrived in Ã…re around 10.30, and wow…. I hadn’t been there for about 8 years – it looked so different. There were new apartment houses, shops, café’s and restaurants everywhere, it was so cozy and beautiful. We parked our car in the center of town and went to Espresso House to get a Banana Split Frapino, something we have missed a lot moving to the countryside. The nearest speciality coffee shop is pretty far away. That frapino made the whole spontaneous trip worth it alone…. almost, haha!

We walked around town for a bit, checking out all the amazing houses and scenery, before heading to the cabin ski lift… It takes you up the mountain, to the (almost) very top, and the view up there is almost unreal. It is so fantastic and breathtaking, photos don’t give it justice, you have to see for yourself. The only downside with going up the mountain was that we weren’t the only ones with that plan… we had to wait in line for about 40 minutes, but not before buying two tickets, for one ride, for 280 Swedish kronor… which is about 32 USD. A pretty hefty price for one ride. When it was our turn to go in the cabin lift, we had to do so with 69 other people, it got pretty cramped in the cable car and we kind of missed a lot of the view going up.

But getting to the top made it all worth it!

At the top of the mountain there were still some snow left, in July, which is pretty neat. We played around in the snow for a while, took some photos and just stared out over the surrounding mountains taking it all it. Well worth the high ticket price, 40 minute wait and cramped cable car. After about 45 minutes we decided to back down due to some dark clouds heading our way, I only had jeans and a t-shirt on and it was pretty windy. On the way down there were not as many people and we got a window seat so we could look outside and take some more photos. Be sure to check out the gallery below, and follow me on Instagram!

spontaneous trip panorama

Down back in the town we walked around a bit more, checked out the hotel and the surroundings before heading back to the car, we had now been in Ã…re for about 2.5 hours. Just as we are about to jump in the car I notice a yellow note stuck on the windshield…. a freaking parking ticket, BAH! So, our spontaneous trip now cost us 500 Swedish kronor extra (55 USD), but hey, we had a great time and it was worth it.

We headed on home and got through the front door at around 6 – Marley was happy to see us and wanted fancy food. We drove about 600 kilometers that day and we were pretty tired getting home. But we did decide that we will go one more spontaneous trips like this, it was really fun.

Have you gone on a spontaneous trip? Tell me in the comments!

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Extrovert introvert – I sometimes surprise myself among people!

Extrovert introvert – I’m a bit of both!

Extrovert introvert – How can I be both? Well, first of all I would say I’m mostly introvert and shy, I really dislike being among people for a long time. I rather stay at home and watch a movie with my girlfriend than going out and having to entertain people. I have thousands of thoughts in my head at the same time and I tend to drift away thinking about all of them at the same time. Being an extrovert introvert do have some great things tho, being an introvert means that I can (mostly) focus on whats important and really figure things out in my head. I plan ahead and always stay one step ahead of everyone else.

Although being an introvert do have some downsides as well. I rarely interact with people at work, other then saying good morning and goodbye, I almost never sit and eat with co-workers or random people. Sometimes I buy some food and drive away to a secluded spot and eat my lunch in peace and quiet. At after work gatherings I keep to myself and try to look busy and like I’m having a good time, but I really look at the time and try to figure out an excuse to go home. It’s not that I don’t want to hang out with them, it’s just that I do not like social gatherings like that, but that might have to do with my social anxiety I had growing up.

extrovert introvert Andreas FranssonBUT, this weekend my extrovert introvert really shined through. I work as an Art Director on a tractor magazine, where… well, everything is about tractors. Tractor pulling, veteran tractors, custom built tractors etc. My editor asked me a few weeks ago if I could work the booth at Ljusdal Traktor Power Show, a tractor pulling festival held in the next town over. A few weeks ago I said “of course, I can work the booth”. Come Friday afternoon setting up that said booth I felt a chilling sensation creeping over me, making me cold sweat, feeling nauseous, anxiety and hyperventilating, WHY did I sign up to do this?! And alone as well, again, why did I sign up for this?….

Anyway, I thought to myself, what the heck, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna make it through the weekend, it can’t be that many people attending, can it? Well, it turned out to be pretty heavily crowded with over 1000 people at the event, and I’m not joking when at least half of them stopped by our booth, wanting to talk to me about tractors…. I don’t know anything about tractors, haha. Other then that I had to sell stuff, stuff that had no price tag on them, but I got told the price beforehand, all I had to do now was to remember them…

After a few customers, learning the credit card machine and selling some random stuff I started to feel comfortable, very comfortable. In some mysterious way I became the greatest salesman who ever walked the earth, or at least at the event. I started talking, making jokes, selling stuff, joke some more and just kept on doing that for two whole days. I was on fire!!!!

I surprised myself, I did not know I had that in me. Or, I did know that I could act professional when needed to, but this was something else, this was like I was watching myself in an out of body experience, I could se myself charging people money for merchandise, talking about tractor DVD’s I’ve never seen, but acting like I did, selling t-shirts like there was no tomorrow and smiling… I smiled like crazy and I was such I nice person to everyone. I’m always a nice person, but often it doesn’t show because I have this gloomy approach, but on this day I was on top of the world.

I guess thats why I from this day call myself an extrovert introvert. An introvert who can put on a mask, a character and a show to become an extrovert and a real professional seller. I even convinced several people that I know stuff about tractors, it was hilarious!

I put some pictures up on my Instagram page, so be sure to follow me there!

Ljusdal Traktor Power Show

Ljusdal Traktor Power Show

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From Fat to Fit – It is time to take control of myself – Week 1

From Fat to Fit – it is time!

From Fat to Fit is my quest to take control over my life, health and wellbeing. Not a second too late to be honest, I’m really excited about this and it goes great with us moving to the countryside, where the trails, nature and beautiful surroundings really help. I’m going to let you in on my progress, and I’m naming this series “From Fat to Fit”, and I’m going update on my progress once a week.

I’m not really “fat” per se, but I admit that I have gained a lot of weight in the last couple of years, and I believe that it’s because of a lazy lifestyle, office work and moving in with my wonderful girlfriend. If you ever lived with someone you know that weekends may contain more sweets and tasty food then living alone, but don’t get me wrong, I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world. But I also kind of let myself go health wise. I tried going to the gym when I lived in Stockholm, but the stress and pressure of performing at work, at the gym and at home got the best of me and I grew tired of it.

What says I won’t grow tired of it this time?

Well, nothing to be honest, except this time I really feel like I hit the spot work wise, living wise and mentally. Since we moved to the countryside I have learned to enjoy the beautiful nature, I have learned to make the most out of my days and I have learned to leave work at the office. Leaving my work at the office is a really important thing and it has made me able to relax in a whole new way. So, starting a few days ago I made a promise to myself to get healthier and more fit. From Fat to Fit is my project to be the best I can, not only health wise, but also mentally.

What have I done so far?

Trappstigen Järvsö Andreas FranssonWell, I have been going on jogs, walk and climbs around the town. I started out with a 5 km walk/jog the other day, followed by another walk/jog the day after. That time I managed to walk/jog for almost 7 kilometers, and yesterday I climbed the local mountain, which is pretty steep and I managed to track a 200+ meter elevation climb. After I reach the top I walked down the ski slopes, took a detour around the town before ending up at home. It was a total of 4.8 kilometers, but with a steep climb and descent.

So, here’s some pictures from my walks/climbs, and next week I will post some measurements, weight, stats etc. And we can track my accomplishments together in my “From Fat to Fit” project right here on the website.

I would love some pep talk in the comments, so please join me on my journey to a better, healthier life!

I might update on my progress on Instagram as well, so be sure to follow me there for photo updates!

If you would like to sponsor my journey, hit me up with an email on info(a)andreasfransson.com

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Humble Brush – my new favourite toothbrush for many reasons!

Humble Brush toothbrush, what an idea!

Different coloured Humble BrushesI stumbled upon Humble Brush toothbrushes by accident a couple of months ago. I was in Spånga, Stockholm hanging out at Georges Klipp planning Spånga Beard Party. I needed to pick up some bandages before I went home and went to the local pharmacy in Spånga. My eyes were instantly drawn towards some colourful bristles, what is this, I thought.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid advertisement, these are my own words and thoughts!

I went closer and saw the name Humble Brush burnt into the side of the toothbrush. I knew I had to have one… or all 5 different colours to be honest.

I read on the packaging that Humble Brush is working for a really great cause, dental and oral care for children across the world. For every Humble Brush sold, they give away free dental or oral care to a child in need who can’t afford it. How awesome is that?! I also read that the brushes are made out of bamboo, and yeah, I thought that the pandas might be out of food… But no, they only use the piece of the bamboo that the pandas can’t reach or want, so they are still very well fed. The bristles are made out of Nylon 6, free from the toxin Bisphenol A.

Humble Brush Beard!

Oh, and I almost forgot, when I got my Humble Brush toothbrushes I tried to fit as many as I could in my beard, you can check the results in the video above!

Humble Brush is a ECO friendly toothbrush, made in Sweden, that provides dental and oral care to children in need. Needless to say I bought 5…. to begin with. I actually got another 25 brushes a couple of weeks later, just because I like their agenda. I also gave away some brushes to friends and family, just for them to enjoy them as much as I do.

I’ve been using the brushes for a couple of months now and I really like them, I like the feel of them and the really nice design. I plan on getting more when I run out, although I think I have about 15-16 brushes left, so I might be set for the rest of the year, haha!

I think Humble Brush sells their brushes internationally on their website, check them out here! And don’t forget to read my other posts, the one with the Caliente Chili Drink for example!

A blue Humble Brush toothbrush

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124 new photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park – June 17th 2017

124 new photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park, taken June 17th.

So, I took 124 new photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park the other day, June 17th to be exact, and I thought I’d upload them to Smugmug this time. Why? Well, it take quite a lot of time, both snapping the photos but also editing, uploading and managing. That’s why I decided to sell my photos…. before you think “What the h….”, I would like to explain why!

I spend many hours taking photos in Järvsö Bergscykel Park, walking in the woods, climbing rocks, falling, jumping, sweat and bleed.. yes, I actually hit my leg on a rock the other day and got a pretty big wound. But it’s all good, I do enjoy spending my time in Järvsö Bergscykel Park, but at the same time I use my own equipment and time, which cost me money in the long run.

So, Smugmug!

Jarvso Bergscykel Park 17 june

Smugmug is a photo selling website where you can order a photo of you taken in Järvsö Bergscykel Park. You can order it in different sizes as downloadable pictures, but also order prints to put on your wall, postcards, business cards and so on. There’s actually quite a few funny things you can order. I set the digital download price very low, just so it could be affordable.

The downloads start at 29 SEK, up to 99 SEK for the original photo size, which is very cheap to be honest.

You can check out my photo page here – JbpFoto.se

I will upload photos I take in Järvsö Bergscykel Park from now on, and I hope that you like them and would like to support my hobby. Also, let me know if you think the pricing is off or that I can help you with something else. Just send me an email – info(a)andreasfransson.com and I will get back to you asap.

I uploaded two other posts in the past with free photos – and you can find them here: 90 photo post & 38 photo post!

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Caliente – Can a spicy chili drink be refreshing and good?

Caliente – “A new kind of kick”

I first tried Caliente chili drink in Malmö a few years ago when I was there attending a barber convention and EKMS – Caliente was the main sponsor of the barber convention and they handed them out to everyone who attended. I had never tried anything like Caliente before, I don’t even know if there were anything like it before?! Oh, and to clarify, this is NOT a sponsored post, this is my own words and thoughts!

Caliente is marketed as a “New kind of kick”, a chili flavoured alcohol free drink, and there are 4 different flavours at the moment (June 2017). The first ones I tried was the Cranberry Pomegranate Chili and Ginger Lime Chili, and that was at the barber conventions in Malmö. I was skeptic at first, I’m not one for hot and spicy food for starters, but trying these kind of won me over to the chili side. The drinks have a very refreshing taste followed by a distinct heat and spiciness.

Caliente Chili Drink

Shortly after the barber convention Caliente made it’s way to the shelves of Seven Eleven and other select stores, and I found myself buying these on a regular basis. The third flavour they released was the Blueberry Lemongrass Chili, and it was sooooo good. They really hit the spot during the winter because of the heat, but today I drank two bottles while I was hiking the local mountain, and it was really refreshing. I had some doubts about drinking it while outside in the hot sun, and that the heat of the chili would make me even hotter (…) – but I was really surprised that I felt so good when drinking it, and it really quenched my thirst perfectly.

The ones I drank today was the newest Caliente flavour Plum Rosemary Chili, with a chili strength of 3 out of a 5 scale. I think the Plum Rosemary Chili is my favourite Caliente flavour at the moment, with Blueberry Lemongrass Chili as a close second.

I very very very rarely drink alcohol, I mean VERY rarely. Maybe one beer at a social gathering one or two times a year, but at the barber convention in Malmö, they made fancy drinks with vodka and Caliente in them, and I must say, it was really good. I’m not promoting alcohol use, but if you are planning on throwing a get together and serving drinks, try mixing some drinks with some of the Caliente chili drinks – and Ice, use Ice. They are so very tasty when ice cold!

Caliente Spicy Hot Chili Drink

Another great thing is that they use only organic ingredients in the drinks. For example, the Plum Rosemary Chili drink contains only water, 19% juice from concentrate (apple, plum, lemon), raw sugar, natural aromas (inc. chili) and sea salt. And the nutritional facts are pretty sweet as well, if thats something you think about – per 100 ml: Energy: 103 kJ /24 kcal, Fat 0 g, Carbohydrate 5,9 g (sugars 5,8 g), Protein 0g, Salt 0,02g.

I really like these drinks, but they can be pretty hot for some – specially the Ginger Lime Chili, which is the strongest one of them all with a chili strength of 4 out of 5.

Be sure to try one and enjoy them ice cold, thats when they are the best. Now I just need to find them here in Järvsö somewhere!

 

Caliente Hot Chili Drink

 

Check them out on Instagram!

Here’s a link to their website!

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Introducing Lady Marley Monroe – kitten cuteness overload!

Lady Marley Monroe – tiny, cute and weird!

Lady Marley Monroe is the name of our new kitten we got the other day. She was born March 21st 2017 and is about 13 weeks when this post is written(June 11, 2017). We always wanted a cat in our family, but living in Stockholm for the past five years in sublet contracts and tiny apartments was not the optimal setting for a cat, so we held off on our plan. But now when we moved to the countryside and my hometown we felt that this was the perfect time, we have a big apartment, glassed in balcony, huge windows, toys and lots of sunlight.

We named her Lady Marley Monroe because she is so cute, and laid back – a Bob Marley and Marilyn Monroe rolled into one… and lady because, well, she’s a lady! She has a tortoiseshell coating and semi long fur, and she’s soft as clouds. She has green’ish eyes and a nose tiny nose. A pretty short tail so far and she is just adorable, just look at this:

Lady Marley Monroe kitten cat

Lady Marley Monroe in the windowLady Marley Monroe is our first pet together and it was love at first sight, me being raised with animals all my life – dogs, cats, bunnies, horses, cows etc – have really missed having a pet, and working from home often is perfect when having a kitten. Even Lady Marley Monroe got accustomed to us and her new home very quickly – after just 30 minutes she slept beside us, used the toilet and ate her food.

She’s a feisty little one and she loves playing with my feet for some reason, maybe she’s trying to fight the odour, I don’t know, haha! Other then that we bought her a scratching pole, a cat tree to climb and some balls, rats and other toys she can play with. At this very moment she is sitting in the window looking out at the people and traffic outside – I can’t handle the cuteness!

Below are som more pictures of her, and if you want to see more, follow @ladymarleymonroe on Instagram – where we will update with more pictures and videos of her daily life!

 

 

Lady Marley Monroe

Oh, did you know that Lady Marley Monroe used to be the lead singer in KISS before she came to us?! xD

 

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38 NEW photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park – From June 6th 2017 (Järvsö Bike Park)

June 6th in Järvsö Bergscykel Park, or Järvsö Bike Park in English!

Järvsö Bike Park is commonly used when talking about Järvsö Bergscykel Park in English – and the easy explanation is that Järvsö Bergscykel Park translates to Järvsö Bike Park. So I might us both names in my post, but they are the same, it’s just that Järvsö Bike Park is easier for the english speaking readers. Anyway, here are 38 new photos I took on June 6th in Järvsö Bike Park, I don’t know if I’m satisfied with them tho, because I think I didn’t get the colors, exposure or feeling right. Leave a comment with some constructive criticism please!

Järvsö Bike Park Andreas FranssonOther then that I’m taking my vacation from work tomorrow, 3 weeks off with pay, it’s going to be so amazingly nice and I hope to be able to hang around Järvsö Bike Park a lot, shooting more photos and hopefully some video. I can’t wait to get the DJI Spark to be able to shoot some really cool video from a new angle. I’ve had my eye on the DJI Spark since it was announced and it looks so amazing. The size is perfect for walking around the mountain as you don’t want to much heavy gear with you. I brought my tripod the other day and I thought that was too much.

I will also work on my other projects during my vacation which include graphic design, photography, events and more. I also have a new project with my little brother, but that is a secret so far, but it’s going to be great. I wish the time frame was a little bit better tho, but hey, we work good under pressure.

As I said in my previous posts about Järvsö Bergscykel Park, hit me up on Facebook, leave a comment or send me an email if you are going to Järvsö Bike Park – we could do some photoshoots. And if you are a photographer/filmmaker, it would be fun to exchange tips and do something cool together. I love to learn new things and evolve as a photographer!

I’m gonna stop talking now and show you the 38 new photos from Järvsö Bike Park as promised! Don’t forget to leave a comment!

 

Follow me on Instagram

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90 More photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park – can’t wait to go back!

Here’s 90 more photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park I took!

I wrote a post the other day about my weekend, and here are some more photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park. Hopefully I’ll be able to go back next weekend if the weather allows it and shoot some more. I need to learn more action photography and hopefully be able to take even better photos.

Photos from Järvsö Bergscykel ParkPlease leave a comment if you like the photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park, it would mean the world to me. As I mentioned in my other post about Järvsö Bergscykel Park, this is a place you need to visit if you have the opportunity, bring the whole family, your date, your friends, your everyone. You will have so much fun.

I’m going to try a thing called Järvstigen some day, which is a climbing trail on the mountain. You strap on a harness and start climbing away along mountain walls, tree tops and rocks, it looks so much fun and I can’t wait to show you! In the meantime, here’s photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park.

If you have any suggestions on my photos, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you, I like to learn and to get constructive criticism.

There are about 90 photos from Järvsö Bergscykel Park below, so this post might take a little while to load, but hopefully you’ll like them. They are all shot with a Nikon D500 equipped with a AF-S DX 16-80/2.8-4E ED VR lens. The next step is to get a drone to get some aerial photos and video, and I got my eye on the DJI Spark, the size of that thing is perfect, hopefully the 15 minute battery life is enough, unless I get a few more batteries to bring with me. Let me know if you ever tried the DJI Spark and what you think about it, or if you can recommend some other small and lightweight drone with a great camera.

Also, if you do plan on going to Järvsö Bergscykel Park this summer, leave a comment and I might be able to go there and take some photos of you!

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We spent the day at Järvzoo – Beautiful nordic animals!

Järvzoo – a zoo that show animals in their natural habitat

Järvzoo is located in my hometown of Järvsö, Sweden. Järvzoo is a zoo that focuses on showing the nordic animals in their natural habitat in the untouched forest. You walk around the zoo on a 3 kilometer long wooden platform up and down the mountain with animal pens on each side. The animal pens are spread widely apart and some are huge, based on the animals size.

Some animals might be hard to spot depending on the weather, time of day and feeding times. Since the zoo focuses on the animals, there are lots of places for the animals to hide. Along the platform there are reststops, and even a small kiosk selling lighter lunches.

Järvzoo Andreas Fransson

One of my favourite animals at Järvzoo is the muskox, a large majestic creature taken right from a fantasy novel, it looks like no other animal and have such a intimidating posture and grace. It’s a calm animal and I would love to pet one. You can read about the muskox on Wikipedia here!

The wooden platform runs through the deep dark forest and sometimes I find myself just staring out into nothing, listening to the silence and feeling the calm winds running through the trees.The peace and serenity you feel walking around this zoo is something I have never felt anywhere else, and I’m going to purchase a season pass to the park just to be able to experience this as much as I want.

Some of the animals you might see at Järvzoo is moose, reindeer, arctic foxes, wolves, owls, eagles, hawks, muskoxes, bears and many more. But one of my absolute favourites are the squirrels, they are so damn cute and run around freely in the park, jumping from tree to tree, and even come close to you. A few years ago I had a squirrel sitting on my shoulder trying to steal my ice cream, they are that “tame”.

 

Check out their website to plan a visit!

Read about my trip to Järvsö Bergscykel Park yesterday!

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Järvsö Bergscykel Park – Where I spent my weekend

Järvsö Bergscykel Park – Downhill mountain biking!

I spent my weekend hanging out in Järvsö Bergscykel Park, located in my hometown of Järvsö, Sweden. Järvsö Bergscykel Park opened it’s doors on June 6th 2010, and the first season had about 2500 visitors. That put Järvsö Bergscykel Park at third place over the most visited Downhill bike parks in Sweden 2010, a very good feat.

Järvsö Bergscykel Park Andreas FranssonI myself used to ride my downhill bike as much as I could back they opened, but then in 2012 I moved to Stockholm because I got a new job. The weekends passed too quickly when we visited home, so I never had to chance to ride for the last 5 years, but hopefully I’ll be able to ride a few trails now when we moved back home. The best thing is that I see the ski lift from our bedroom, it’s that close.

It works like this: You bring your own downhill mountainbike, protection, clothes and everything else you need (or rent everything if you don’t have it). Purchase a Downhill pass, which gives you access to the ski lift, which takes you to the top of the mountain, from there you ride you bike all the way down to the valley. A tip is to stop along the way to check out the view and beautiful surroundings.

The trails run trough the forest most of the times, but now and then you cross over the bare ski slopes, because Järvsö Bergscykel Park is open during the spring/summer and fall when the ski slope is closed and the snow is gone. I posted a trail map below, along with the names of the trails and color coded skill levels.

All trails are named after our pride and joy – Lill-Babs (<— wikipedia link). A world famous singer born and raised in our small town of Järvsö. She put this town on the map and the creators of Järvsö Bergscykel Park honor her by naming all the trails after her. Her real name is Barbro Svensson, and the first and signature trail is therefor named “Barbro”. Other trails are named after her daughters Monica, Malin and Kristin, the rest have names from her most famous songs.

Here’s one of here songs “Leva Livet”, performed way back in the days!

Pictures from Järvsö Bergscykel Park

I thought I’d post some of the photos I took this weekend while hanging out in Järvsö Bergscykel Park. Since I don’t ride anymore (yet?), I felt that being behind the camera was really fun and I hope to get a few more hours in the park this summer.

 

 

 

Järvsö Bergscykel Park Trail map

  • Lill-Babs
  • Monica
  • Hjulet Spinner
  • Barbro
  • Malin
  • Honey Honey
  • Älskade Ängel
  • Splorr
  • Klas-Göran
  • Manolito
  • Teenie Weenie
  • En Tuff Brud
  • Twist Twist
  • Pop Opp i Topp
  • Gummiboll
  • Itzy Bitzy
  • Kristin
  • Lite För Liten
GREEN is for beginners, learn to control your bike and get a feeling on how everything works.
BLUE is still easy, but a little bit more challenging then green. Blue is for you who rode the green ones a few times without problem!
RED is the next step, this is where it can get a little tricky. Narrower trails, steeper and more bumpy. Be sure to feel really comfortable on your bike before heading out on a red trail!
BLACK BEWARE – these trails are only for experienced riders and include huge jumps, gaps and steep trails. Even the most seasoned mountain biker can be intimidated by these!

Visit the bike parks website here!

This is one of the reasons we decided to move back home after years in the city!

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Overcome social anxiety when everything is working against you

How to overcome social anxiety part 2

If you haven’t read part 1 yet, please do, as it contains the beginning of the story, this is my journey to overcome social anxiety. Click here to read part 1!

Let’s begin where we left off. I had just told you about my part on skipping school, and how I felt complete and utter agony while going to class, while not having a clue what was going on. As I mentioned in part 1, I had about 45% attendance in class, which is crazy low. After almost a year, my teacher finally grew tired of never seeing me in class, and he took my parents and me in for a meeting, and I think that was the first time I told them how I felt. At least I remember it that way, but I might be wrong.

Anyway, I dropped out of school just before the summer, not knowing what to do next, how to overcome social anxiety or how to handle myself we contacted the guidance counselor at the school where I dropped out. She had seen this new school system, in which you study from home on a computer… It sounded too good to be true, and it was, but more on that later.

Overcome Social Anxiety Andreas Fransson

I applied to the home school program and got in, I felt great… How it worked was like this: You got a computer, books and everything you could possibly need from the school, they sent me a full size desktop computer in a big parcel and lots of books. For this to work, everyone who attended the home school program, would have to go online at 8-9 in the morning and click a button so that the teacher would see it, and then you could download assignments and tests to do from home. Sometimes there where audio lessons from the teacher and other things we needed to do. It worked perfectly for me, could this be the thing that would make me overcome social anxiety?

Twice every 6 months we had to go to a little town called Malung, located in Dalarna, about 2,5 hours from where I lived. We had to stay there for a week and do tests, meet the teachers and other students and so on. Me being like I was, I did NOT want to go, but my parents kind of made me, and drove me all the way there, and they even walked me in to the dorm and settled me in. Me, a 17 year old boy, escorted by his parents to the first day of school, how could that help my social anxiety? Well, it turned out that I wasn’t the only one with problems, 90% of all students felt like me, and were terrified of seeing other people, let alone live with them in a dorm for a week. How could this help me overcome social anxiety?

My parents left and I was sitting in my dorm room, which I was supposed to share with another boy, but he wasn’t there yet. I started feeling the anxiety creeping up on me, the watery eyes, the stomach pains and sweating. Why was I there, where was my parents. I started shaking and feeling nauseous, I was at the brink of tears when someone knocked on the door. It was Magnus, my roommate…

Magnus came in, introduced himself and asked how I was doing. I told him that I was doing fairly OK… what a lie! He quickly saw that I was not OK, so he began introducing himself even more, telling me how he chose this school because of hit anxiety and trouble with the law. He told me about the other students (there were about 30) and how nice they were. He asked if I wanted to come meet some of them. Not knowing how to respond I said yes, still feeling nauseous and shaky hands, still wondering how to overcome social anxiety.

Magnus took me to see Benjamin, Emanuel and Henrik, three other guys who lived in the room next to us. Henrik from SkÃ¥ne, Benjamin from Stockholm and Emanuel from Gävle. Three completely different people, but all with some sort of issue of their own. I started to ease up and talking and the next thing I knew I had met all 30 of the students. I actually liked this, I actually liked these people and I liked hanging out with them. I started to find the old me, I started to smile, laugh and do stupid things. Me and Magnus stole a shopping cart from a nearby supermarket and pushed each other into bushes (Jackass was big back then). All of a sudden the police arrive, and Magnus being the troublemaker he was RAN LIKE HELL…

He left me high and dry with a shopping cart in hand, with the police, in a town I had never been in before. I was terrified, haha. But the police just said that I should put the cart back and stop being stupid before I hurt myself. That is one of my favourite memories from that time.

Overcome social anxiety Andreas

Buuut, it wasn’t all roses and rainbows after all. Three years later, sure I had made friends, had tons of fun and even skipped one or two get togethers and the dorm because of my anxiety, reality struck again… hard. Three years, I had invested three years of my life, still broken and anxious, at that school. I hade given it my all to get better, to be better, to become my best. Reality can be a bitch sometimes, because just 3 months before graduation I got a letter in the mail. The school I had been attending for three years was not approved by the National School board.. Why? Well, the only answer we got was that because we only attended IRL classes 4 separate weeks a year, the school did not qualify to be a “real” school.

Who the hell came up with that after three years? That letter made me sink, hard! I lost everything I had built over the past years, I completely submerged myself in deep dark thoughts and I hated everything. Although, everything was not lost… for everyone else. The solution the National School Board came up with did not work for me, they said, that if we wanted our grades and graduate we had to stay the last three months of the school year at the dorm. THREE MONTHS? I had problems being away for a week as it was.

We tried talking to the people in charge, but they did not budge. Three months or no graduation! With the state I was in, with my emotions and thoughts, this were out of the question. I dropped out… again. I dropped out after three years and missed my graduation with three months, but what could I have done? I simply could not manage to stay in that dorm for three whole months, I just couldn’t

So, if we do the math.. I spent 4 years in the Gymnasium (3 years being the normal amount of time), and what did I have to show for it? Nothing…. or so I thought then, I thought I had nothing to show from those three years. But the thing is, I made friends, friends I still talk to, 15-16 years later, and for that I’m very grateful.

Even tho this was not what really made me realize that I had social anxiety, this made a huge impact on my life, even to this day. I still feel that I’m not good enough, that I have no talent or skills worth showing. In the back of my head I know that’s not true, I have grown immensely the last few years and even made a name for myself in the bearded community, but I still can’t get that feeling out of my head. Am I good enough?

 

I’m going to cut it here and start writing the next part. I realized when I started writing part 1, that this is gonna take awhile.

But please, do comment with your own experiences and with your thoughts. I will put a link in here to part 3 when it’s posted, and I hope you’ll read it.

This is my story and how I tried to overcome social anxiety!

Don’t forget to read part 1

(Footnote – I still talk to Emanuel, Henrik and Benjamin now and then. The three boys that greeted me at the dorm so many years ago)

 

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Birthday gift from Tommy Wiseau – He is tearing me apart!!!!

A birthday gift from Tommy Wiseau, who would’ve thought!

It’s not everyday you receive a birthday gift from the legend himself – Tommy Wiseau. You should’ve seen our faces when we opened the package and found a signed picture, a talking bobblehead of Tommy and another signature on the back of the box. For those of you who don’t know who Tommy Wiseau is, please read my other posts about the movie The Room, and the movie The House that dripped blood on Alex.

So, it’s my birthday, June 1st, and I’m turning 34, and I got this amazing thing in the mail today, how can I not love it and cherish this piece of movie history and Tommy Wiseau memorabilia.

Tommy wrote:

To: Andreas
Love is blind!
Love: Tommy Wiseau
05/19/17
P.S. Be good (USA?)

I’m not sure if it says USA at the end, and if I’m wrong, please let me know in the comments.

A birthday gift Tommy Wiseau AutographI got an autographed picture and a Tommy Wiseau bobblehead as a birthday gift, along with the personal note. I mean, this is huge, this is beyond huge, this is cataclysmicly huge! I never been startstruck before and I’ve met a lot of celebrities during my days as a photographer. But I really wish we had recorded our reaction when we opened the package, I actually giggled, laughed and almost cried out of excitement. A birthday gift from Tommy Wiseau…. So, I can call it a day now, haha!

No, but for real, me and my girlfriend will look at this thing and remember this day forever, how we opened the package in the car and bursted out in laughter and happiness.

As for the bobblehead, it talks!!!

It comes with a few famous quotes from the movie The Room, and it’s hilarious! Here’s a clip showing you how it sounds. I could press that red button all day long, but for now Tommy goes back in the box and up on our bookcase for everyone to see. I love this bobblehead, and the autographed picture, a perfect birthday gift.

 

And if you haven’t seen The Room yet, do so, you will not regret it. Check out the IMDB page here!

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Overcoming social anxiety that started in my teenage years – Part 1

Overcoming social anxiety can be hard – tremendously hard!

I will now tell you my story on overcoming social anxiety, this post might get long, deep, sad, happy and a little bit of everything, but if you are ready, please read on!

First of all, if you are suffering from social anxiety and have no one to turn to, send me an email at info(a)andreasfransson.com, maybe I can help you, or at least give you some pointers on how you could overcome social anxiety. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But I do believe that you can overcome social anxiety if you put your mind too it.

Ever since I started middle school I felt a bit like an outsider, I tended to shy away from crowds and keep too myself. Most notably at the end of ninth grade, when I most of the time had my headphones on listening to music, disappearing into my own thoughts and keeping too myself. All of this was a little bit weird for me, because I were always the class clown, I had no problems with friends, I did not get bullied, I did not bully, I did not drink, smoke or do drugs. I remember having some trouble with math and Swedish, but that’s about it.

It wasn’t until I started my first year of Gymnasiet (<— Wikipedia link for info) I noticed some real changes in my behaviour. Moving up a grade meant that we had to merge with other schools from other districts into a Gymnasium (Check the Wikipedia link above) and choose our speciality classes. I chose to attend the Media Programme, which focused on editing, photographing, movies and graphic design. I also ended up in a great group with great classmates, and we had lots of fun. But this was the time I noticed that I had a hard time being alone among people for the first time, I absolutely hated going to different classes by my own, I sometimes skipped a class because I did not want to go through the halls by myself.

Everyone was staring Overcoming-social-anxiety Andreas Fransson

There were even days were I skipped lunch all together, just because I didn’t catch up with my friends before they went. I could not master the courage to go alone into the dining hall, and I had no idea why I felt this way. I had never had this problem before, I even dreamt about being on stage singing, becoming a movie star or stand up comedian. The latter I just practice at home, and my girlfriend loves my comedy *insert sarcasm*, haha. But anyway, this kept on going, I thought that is would pass and get better, but it didn’t. One feeling I had was that everyone was looking at me, that I had something on my face or I was dressed funny, I can still remember those feelings of constantly feeling watched, but no one was watching, it was all in my head.

I started skipping school, A LOT. Every month you get a allowance from the government here in Sweden, it is given to students for basic necessities like books, clothes, food etc. What ever you want to spend them on. At that time the allowance was about 100 USD a month, and to be eligible for that you need a 85% attendance at school. When I was at my worst and dropped out, my attendance was at 45%…. But in some way I still got that allowance, because my teacher liked me and saw potential in me, so he never reported me not being there most of the time.

I don’t think I have ever told this story to anyone before, but I spent my days hanging out in a big hallway at my old school, just before the dining hall. It was pretty calm and not many people walked through there, other then around lunch time, but by then when a teacher or janitor asked why I was there, I just said that I was waiting for the bus or that I waited for a friend. No one suspected me being an utter shut-in with darker and darker thoughts. I still remember where I used to sit, with my walkman and later portable CD player, listening to music over and over again. I sat with my back up against a window for hours…

Overcoming social anxiety Andreas Fransson

At 07.30 in the morning I hopped on the school bus which arrived at my old school at around 07.50. At 08.10 the next bus, taking us to the Gymnasium arrived, but most of the times I never got on. I went to the hallway in the dining area, sat on a marble stone bench leaned up against the window. I sat there until 3 in the afternoon… That’s when the school bus home arrived. I hopped on, went home and threw my backpack in my room and went to eat dinner with my family. They never suspected anything. (I think)

When they used to ask me about my day I mostly mumbled something like “Yeah, it was ok” and continued eating. I think I acted pretty normal at home to be honest, and I never had any thoughts that I was sick or that I ever needed overcoming social anxiety. Heck, I don’t even knew what that word even meant back then. This is when I was 16-17 years old by the way, and that was the start of a very long journey, many sleepless nights, many tears and feelings of despair of overcoming social anxiety.

I think I’ll hold on here, and write another post about the next step in my journey of overcoming social anxiety. Remember, do not hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email if you have any questions.

Check out and read part 2 of theis anxiety series!

If you want to get notified when my next post is published, you can subscribe down in the comment section!

 

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#heartbeard – My way of trying to fight heart disease with my beard

#heartbeard – fighting heart disease with beards!

Or, at least I’m using my beard to spread the word about #heartbeard and heart disease. I created the #heartbeard logo and hashtag about 4 years ago in an attempt to help others, and myself in a way. Heart disease is one of those diseases that can lay dormant for years and strike when you least expect it. My family got to experience that first hand when my father died at age 52 in 2008. Two days after his birthday…

We knew he had problems with his heart before, but “nothing serious”. By nothing serious I mean that he did not need a pacemaker, he was not up for transplant or heavily medicated. He was an energetic full time worker and managed a horse farm in his free time. Sure, he had been to the hospital before and got medication, but he was off most of his meds because he was “healthy”.

#heartbeard logoThen one morning he and my mother got up in the morning as usual, they went to the stables to feed the horses like usual. My mother later told me that the only thing that was “odd”, was that he felt a bit tired… but who doesn’t at 7 in the morning. After they did the morning chores they got ready for work, my father who started at 9, said he was gonna lay down for a few minutes and rest while my mother headed off to work. He fell asleep and never woke up.

That was a turning point in my life, I had been struggling with depression, social anxiety and drinking too much, and it was time for me to straighten up. Not only for myself, but also for my family, and my future (insert kids/cats/dogs/wife/etc). They years followed I worked on myself and “overcame” my social anxiety and depression. Overcame in the sense that I now have my good days and my bad days, the good days being 95% of my daily life.

But the death of my father also sparked an investigation of me and my brothers to see if we had the same kind of heart disease. The doctors insisted on testing us due to the fact that my father, grandfather and great grandfather all died suddenly in their 50’s, and we don’t have medical history further back then that. The test showed that I had heart disease… but not my brothers.

The sentence wasDilated cardiomyopathy” (<— Wikipedia link), the same as my father. The next few months and years I did numerous tests and hospital visits, I got medication and there where even talk about getting a pacemaker, but I ended up being declared healthy. Healthy? Well, I guess I am, I have never really suffered from my condition, but at the same time, my father never did either.

I have a few funny stories from my hospital visits that I will share in future blog posts, many including blood and needles…. Haha, it might not sound funny, but I promise, they are!

#heartbeard t-shirts from SpreadshirtAnyway, I’m here to talk about #heartbeard – but it needed a little bit of explaining first. #heartbeard is a pretty big deal to me, and close to my heart (pun intended) due to my and my father’s medical history. When I created #heartbeard my goal was to raise lot’s of money for the Swedish Heart & Lung Foundation, and I did. Or not a lot, but every cent counts.

I designed some shirts to help in my campaign, and you can find them over at Spreadshirt. After Spreadshirt take their cut, the remaining money will go directly to the Heart & Lung Foundation.

So, that’s it, if you feel like contributing, please buy a shirt and help spread the word. Or just share this post to help. My goal has always been to NOTuse Spreadshirt as a manufacturer, as the percentage I get to donate is pretty low, but at the same time, it’s very convenient and can be used from all around the world. I also have a dedicated website set up for #heartbeard, and it’s located at http://heartbeard.org, check it out. It hasn’t been updated in a while, but I will try to do it more often.

Do you have heart disease, or do you have someone in your family with it? Share your story in the comments!

Be sure to follow #heartbeard on Social Media!

Heartbeard on FacebookHeartbeard on InstagramHeartbeard on Twitter

 

Read my series on overcoming social anxiety!

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Swedish caviar – a delicacy you never thought you’d eat… ever in your life

Swedish caviar – have you tried it?

Swedish caviar must be one of those things you either love or hate, I really don’t think that there are something in between there. For those of you who are new to Swedish caviar I can tell you that it’s nothing at all like the regular “russian caviar” served at restaurants etc. No, Swedish caviar is of a more refined taste, a more smokey and salty taste.

Where regular caviar is enjoyed with all kinds of fancy dishes, our caviar is mostly eaten with eggs, preferably boiled or fried eggs. A sandwich with Swedish caviar is also common, but only caviar (with the exception of eggs) and butter. The distinct taste of out caviar really doesn’t play well with other ingredients.

swedish caviar on sandwichThe Swedish caviar is made from cod and coalfish roe, which is pretty funny when you think about it. Roe being fish eggs turned in to caviar, eaten with regular eggs… InEggCeption! Our caviar is marketed as a sandwich spread and is refined in a very special way. The roe is smoked which gives it more taste, and is then mixed with tomato puré, potatoes, sugar and other additives. The caviar have been manufactured by Abba Seafood since 1954, which means that there are a market for it, especially in Sweden.

The taste is hard to explain. Imagine a more smokey and a little bit flavorful taste than the Australian treat, Vegemite. Even tho I do not like Vegemite, I do like Swedish caviar. I do believe that they are pretty similar in the Love/Hate category.

So, what are the do’s and don’ts with Swedish caviar?

First of all, and I can’t stress this enough, DO NOT drink orange juice, fruity lemonade or soda after you’ve eaten caviar, the taste is so horrible and will make you cringe like never before. It has almost the same effect at toothpaste and drinks. Second thing is, do not take too much on your sandwich/eggs/etc, the taste is pretty overpowering. Also, trying other combinations then eggs and sandwiches can make you very disappointed. I wrote a post yesterday about odd food combinations, and there were some Swedish caviar combos that I strongly advise against, like caviar on banana. That combo sound like it could be the end of the world, a mix filled with banana caviar is too much to handle even for the most seasoned caviar eater.

DO however enjoy the caviar with boiled or fried eggs, it’s really really good. Also as a spread on a sandwich, preferable with eggs as well. I’m trying to come up with other uses for caviar, but I can’t. I can only see myself eating it with eggs or on a sandwich.

Let me know in the comments about your caviar experiences, and if you are interested, we can set something up where I send you a tube.

The Swedish company Abba Seafood made a series of commercials to further promote their product, and here’s clip they made when they treated people to the caviar in Los Angeles. See for yourself what people thought about it. I love how they admit that it’s not for everyone! You can check out their other caviar commercials here, where they visit other cities around the world.

 

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Odd food combinations – a delicious treat or a horrible experience

Odd food combinations are a fun thing to try, trust me.

Have you ever come up with odd food combinations you never thought would work out? Let me know in the comments which ones are your favourites!

Odd food combinations - How does Swedish caviar tasteI came to think about odd food combinations one night when I sat infront of the TV eating salted crackers and drinking coke. The sweet coke gave those salty crackers such a wonderful taste that I was kind of shocked, which I shouldn’t be to be honest, salt and sweet go great together. Even tho salted crackers and coke aren’t weird at all, that sparked my interest for other more odd food combinations.

I asked around among my friends in Bearded Villains Sweden, and I got some really odd ones.

  • Ketchup on boiled eggs
  • Cheese slices with mustard on
  • Pickles and vanilla ice cream
  • French fries and ice cream
  • Chocolate dipped potato chips
  • Pizza topped with shrimp sallad, crushed potato chips and one can of tomato mackerel
  • Swedish caviar on banana

Those where just a few odd food combinations i gathered, but I would love if you would comment on this post with your own combos.

 

Odd food combinations french fries with ice creamI get some of them, but ketchup on boiled eggs? Yuck! Fried eggs, sure. But boiled… na, not for me. Although writing this post I kind of want to challenge myself to try those things, maybe I’m just picky or misinformed. Those could be the lost delicacies of the world, or they will make my gag reflexes work overtime. Cheese slices with mustard, that one actually sounds good, some really nice cheese with sweet mustard, I like it.

 

Pickles and vanilla ice cream…. First thing that came to mind was a one way ticket to the porcelain throne, but letting that idea run a extra lap around my brain might win me over. The thing that intrigues me is the salt and sweet combo, it worked for salted crackers and coke, right?!… French fries and ice cream might sound like a very odd food combination, but I have actually heard from a number of people who actually genuinely enjoys it. Can it be as disgusting as it sounds? Probably, but I think I need to try it.

Chocolate dipped potato chips… aren’t those a thing now? I think I saw them at the supermarket, but that might’ve been just chocolate shaped like potato chips. It does sound very good tho. What do you think?

The super topped pizza, hmm, yeah. I will leave that to the inventor, it just sounds like a pile of goo. But who am I to judge.

Ok, the Swedish caviar on banana, that is a big no go. I like Swedish caviar on boiled and fried eggs, on sandwiches and on… no, thats just about it. It’s also almost only marketed for eggs and sandwiches for a reason, it does not go together with anything else. I will write a whole blog post about Swedish caviar tomorrow, I just hope they invent “scratch and taste online” until then. It’s a taste you love to hate but still eat. And don’t get me started on drinking orange juice afterwards….

So, this concludes the odd food combinations post, and as I said before, please post a comment with your weird, “disgusting” and personal taste experiences.

Check out the Wikipedia page on Swedish Caviar

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Trolls walked among us and wrecked havoc on unsuspecting humans

Trolls used to walk among humans several hundreds, if not thousands of years ago!

This is the story about the Swedish trolls that wrecked havoc on unsuspecting humans, terrorising villages, destroying houses and leaving people in complete agony.

Cracked boulderOne day about 600 years ago there was a troll waking up in the deep dark forest of Järvsö, Hälsingland in Sweden. The troll had been sleeping for decades and minding his own business. The trolls being extremely dangerous if encountered, were actually pretty docile and slow creatures when not disturbed. This particular troll had been woken up by christian missionaries walking through the deep forest, singing, chanting and preaching their godly beliefs.

You need to understand that the trolls hated christianity, they where absolutely disgusted by it and wanted to destroy it by any means necessary. Trolls where extremely strong, big and terrifying. They where hairy deformed stinking beasts. No one were safe from the trolls, not even women and children who would be stripped of their flesh and eaten alive if they accidentally wandered into troll territory. Many humans lost their lives in gruesome manners. Arms and legs torn off in a single blow, heads crushed between troll fingers, nothing could stop them.

These beasts could grow up to 10 meters in height, weigh about as much as five fully grown elephants and stink like rotten skunk carcass.

Trolls threw thisAnyway, the trolls left proof of their existence for us to explore in this day and age, mostly things like we would never know to be done by those monsters. One of those things are a huge boulder broken in two, located at our Swedish shieling (which I wrote about yesterday). The troll who woke up where so infuriated by the christian missionaries, that he (or she) picked up a massive boulder, aimed for a church in Delsbo located about 40 kilometers away… a short distance for these insanely strong creatures. The reason for aiming at the church was that it hated the church bells, they rang constantly and the sound where like garlic to a vampire for the troll.

By a unlucky footing, the troll slipped when it threw the boulder, and it did not reach its destination… the church. Instead the boulder landed halfway there, at the shieling, where it cracked in two and still lay today as a reminder of when trolls where out to get all christians by any means necessary.

Thrown boulder

How do I know all this? Well, my grandmother used to tell us this story as kids every time we visited our shieling in the woods. It was one of my favourite stories and it brings back so many memories. I know we believed the story as kids, and I can’t help in some way hope that the story has some truth to it. How neat would it be with trolls.

Wanna see more of these beasts? Check out the Norwegian movie Troll Hunter, it’s really great!

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Swedish Shielings – A trip back in time and history

Swedish shielings, or “Fäbodvall” in Swedish is a pretty rare sight nowadays unfortunately.

Swedish Shielings

Our shieling cabin

Swedish shielings were commonly used to herd cows for summer pastures and making milk, cheese and butter in small huts. Shielings in Sweden date back all the way to the middle ages and have been up and running ever since, but they are decreasing rapidly. People would gather at these shielings/small villages in the summer months, herding the cows through woods and narrow paths just to get there.

The herding were mostly done by women and children over the age of five, five being the magic number to be able to walk the sometimes treacherous forest trails. The cows could easily find their own way through the forest just by memory and instinct, but the women and children did not just keep an eye out for the cows, but also they fended off bears, wolves and other predators. They usually had some kind of bell to makes loud noises with to scare the other predators.

So, why am I writing this?

Well, last weekend I visited our family shieling in Hälsingland, one of the few Swedish shielings that actually have people come stay during the summers, although there are no animals there anymore, people still come to tend their houses and keep it nice and cozy there. I spent many summers at our little house and grew up learning how to go on with daily life without running water or electricity. Me, my two brothers and our cousins used to spend a week now and then at the shieling with our grandparents.

When we were young, the farm was actually producing milk, butter and cheese, but it has stopped in later years.

Swedish Shieling

Moss has grown on the fences.

This trip, me, my girlfriend, mother and grandmother went there for the first time this year. My grandparents always used to visit the cabin in May of every year, just to check up on it and rakes some old dried grass, fix broken things that the snow destroyed during the winter, and to relax. My grandfather suddenly passed away about a month ago, so this was the first time after his passing that my grandmother went to their cabin. Many memories came up.

I took some pictures and shot som video when we where there, just to show you the peacefulness and serenity we got to experience. Please watch them and let me know if you have ever visited Swedish shielings, or any shieling what so ever. There are actually some shielings in Sweden that are open to tourists in the summer, so if you are planning on visiting one… do it!

Shieling in Swedish is called “Fäbod”, “Fäbodvall” or “Vall”, and for more information you can visit the Wikipedia page for shielings, although it’s only in Swedish.

 

Edit: The videos blow don’t seem to be working as they should, will try to fix that asap!

Don’t forget to read my other posts in the blog!

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Tommy Wiseau – The House That Drips Blood On Alex… Here we go again!

Tommy Wiseau – the man, the myth, the legend?!

I wrote about Tommy Wiseau’s movie The Room yesterday and urged you to watch it, and I hope you did. Let me know what you thought in the comments.

So, I also wrote that I would write a post about another one of Tommy’s masterpieces, and here we are. This one is called “The House That Drips Blood On Alex” and follows the main character (Tommy Wiseau) Alex, who buys a house on Blood Street, and you know what that house does? Well, it drops blood on him… hence the title The House That Drips Blood On Alex. Clever, right?!

This one is a short film and lasts for about 14 minutes, unfortunately it’s not a full length movie, because the acting, story and special effects are in fact “better” then in The Room, and by better I mean worse. Or are they?! I really can’t tell, they might be on the same level as The Room tho. This short film has a lot to offer even tho it’s only 14 minutes long, and if you are like me and my girlfriend, you really should grab pen and paper and start writing down the weird stuff they say in the movie. A fun game for example, is to count how many times Alex (Tommy Wiseau) says the name “Thomas”, haha. It’s hilarious.

Tommy really gives it his everything when it comes to deliver a horror themed feel to the movie, especially the scene where he wakes up in the middle of the night, looks into a mirror in a slight off angle and lets out a chilling and horrifying roar, oh wait, did I say horrifying roar? I meant a constipated moan…

The story of the movie follows Alex, who buys a house on Blood Street from a shady salesman played by Joey Greco of all people, Greco insures Alex that the house is NOT located on Blood Street, but that it’s pronounced Blut Street. And as soon as Alex moves in, the house starts to drip blood on him, and all of Alex’s friends says it’s paint, ketchup or that it’s nothing to worry about. After some heavy dripping and agonising time for Alex, he decides to return to the realtor to demand an explanation, but to his surprise the office where Joey Greco was working…. is empty….. dum dum dum.

Alex then decides to check the attic and see what is causing the dripping, and this is where the movie comes to conclusion, if the conclusion was made up by a senile panda, high on mushrooms in a pitch black room, hanging upside down from a spinning ceiling fan.

Although it’s only 14 minutes, the movie is full of hilarious little things to keep an eye on, I’m gonna list a few, but let me know in the comments if you find more funny stuff.

First of all, when Alex friend is visiting with pizza, check the writing on the moving boxes in the living room….
Check Alex’s (Tommy Wiseau) hand when he is shining and shaking his flashlight in the attic.
Notice the angle and weird placement of the mirror when Alex wakes up in the middle of the night.
Listen to the dialog when Alex is signing the papers to the house with a feathered pen.
Count the number of times Alex says the name “Thomas” in the course of a 14 minute long movie.

Oh, and another great thing? The movie is available to watch for free on Vimeo, which means you can watch it right here on AndreasFransson.com. Just start the embedded player below and enjoy one of best worst acting in the world. Tommy Wiseau is a genius, I said it yesterday and I say it today, you can’t go wrong with his movies and I really hope that he makes more movies in the same spirit of The Room and The House That Drips Blood On Alex.

Now, sit back and enjoy, grab a drink and most of all, have fun!

The House That Drips Blood On Alex from Dos Rios on Vimeo.

 
The Disaster Artist – Biography/Behind the scenes book by The Room actor Greg Sestero (<— affiliate link)

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The Room – The best worst movie ever made? Or are there “better” ones?

The Room – a movie so bad it gained cult status – it’s hilarious!

If you have not seen the movie The Room yet, you definitely should. It’s directed by the very special Tommy Wiseau, a man know for his special “acting” skill and directing. The Room have collected a huge number of followers around the world, not because being a great movie, but being probably the best worst movie ever made. You can check out the movie on IMDB here!

The Room“Oh hi Mark”

Some of the lines in the movie can’t be described in a good enough way to give them credit. The randomness and awkwardness is almost to good to be true. My girlfriend introduced me to The Room about 4 years ago and since then we have watched it… oh I don’t know, maybe 50 times, at least! Why? Because even tho it’s supposed to be a romantic drama of some sort, the acting, scenery, the obvious use of a green screen and bad lines keep us coming back for more. We even sometimes had a pen and paper beside us to write down funny things.

Tommy WiseauCheep chip chip

Tommy Wiseau is a genius for making The Room, and I don’t know if he ever thought it would get the kind of following it has. The movie was released in 2003 and yet to this day in 2017, fans all over the world throw screenings at movie theatres for other fans. Actor Greg Sestero who played Mark even wrote a biography/behind the scenes book about the movie and his role in it. In the book “The Disaster Artist” (<— affiliate link) Greg Sestero tells us about Tommy and his many odd behaviours and quotes, he also tells us how life on stage was and how all the actors got along during filming. If you ever find yourself watching The Room, be sure to also read The Disaster Artist to get the full grasp on the legend that is Tommy Wiseau.

Tommy Wiseau“Anyway, how is your sex life?”

Yes, that is actually a line from the movie, where the main character, played by Tommy Wiseau, just switches from one thing to another and asks he’s co-actor how his sex life is… It’s priceless!

I really can’t explain how amusing this movie is, everything from the music, acting, scenery to characters are so bad(?) or genius. I urge you, please watch The Room, you will be disappointed, yes you read that right, because if you are hoping for a great movie experience, you will be disappointed. But if you watch it with the mindset that this might be the funniest thing you’ll ever see, then you will get pleasantly surprised.

Have you seen The Room? What did you think of it? Leave a comment below.

 

Next time I will talk about another Tommy Wiseau movie called “The House That Dripped Blood on Alex“. Another attempt by Mr Wiseau to make a movie, this time a short one, but the amount of cringe and laughs you get out of those 15 minutes is better than any cat clip or fail video online.

Up later are also a “Swedish” movie which make you cringe like never before, especially if you are Swedish. The whole cast in this old movie from the 80’s are Swedish, but in some weird way, trying to hit internationally, they (tried) speaking english. The acting and special effects really makes this horror movie more of a hilarious comedy. I will talk about “Scorched Heat” another day, stay tuned!

Don’t forget to check out the other posts!

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Chris Cornell Dead at 52 – What is happening with our rockstars!?!

The music industry lost a great performer today – Chris Cornell Dead at 52!

Chris Cornell Dead at 52. My father died of heart failure at age 52, 9 years ago and it was at a far too early age. It left the whole family scarred for life as it was so sudden and not expected at all.

Now I read that Chris Cornell, frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave, died at the same age. The cause of death is not known as I write this, but according to reports he tweeted just a few hours before his death. He was in Detroit for a show with Soundgarden. It’s sad to see all actors, singers and celebrities you grew up with dying one after another, you somewhat build up a “relationship” with these people because they sometime shaped your youth with their music/acting.

I saw Chris Cornell at Sweden Rock Festival in 2012 I think, when he performed with Soundgarden, a band I had not listened too that much before, but that live performance put them on my regular playlists and a go to band when I needed something good. I also listened to some Audioslave now and then, but not enough to call it a favorite band. I remember that show like it was yesterday, how his fantastic voice gave me goosebumps, and how the audience cheered. I even have a crappy video I shot with my phone somewhere, I will check and see if I can find it.

I couple of years ago, when Lemmy from Motörhead died, along with tons of other musicians and actors, the world held it’s breath to see who kicked the bucket next, but the deaths seemed to stagnate, and I hope this is not the beginning of another loosing streak of the people we love to listen to and watch on the big screen. Chris Cornell Dead, I can’t believe it!

Do you have any memories of Chris Cornell you would like share? Leave a comment!

Chris Cornell dead at the age of 52

This is from Sweden Rock Festival when I saw Chris Cornell perform with Soundgarden.

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Technology – how it changed my way of living – Part 1

It’s funny when you think about it, technology, how we once upon a time lived without it and nowadays you go ballistic when internet is down or the tv isn’t working.

I’m sitting here in our living room, in our couch with my phone, writing this. Technology. I usually dislike writing and doing “serious” things on my phone, mostly because of the size of it and the limited possibilities when it comes to editing etc. However, I kinda like it right now. I’m writing this post on my iPhone, sitting in our couch watching tv.

Isn’t that kind of neat? And after I post this, millions of people all over the world can read it (although in my case I’m happy if my girlfriend and my mom reads this). The possibilities are endless when it comes to technology.

TechnologyThe thing that made me write this post was mostly coincidence, technological coincidence if you will. When I sat down in the couch the room was pretty dark, the tv was off and it felt kind of gloomy in here. But with the push of a button I started both the tv and Apple TV, with another press of a button I turned on the Philips Hue (<— affiliate link) lights in the apartment, set them to my desired color and strength. With the Apple TV remote I checked Netflix, Viaplay, the news, played some games and checked tomorrows weather, all from a laying down position in our couch, how neat is that?

I know, this is not breakthrough tech or even that futuristic, but that’s not what this post is about. It is about how these simple things changed my daily life, for the better of course, and how these things have made life easier in my last 34 years.

Sure, I’m still young enough to have grown up with a color tv, tv remotes, and dial up internet. I was born in 1983, and back then there were no internet, no Apple TV, no Philips Hue light, no cellphones, no texting and no writing blog posts from your phone laying in the couch.

I do not remember my age when we first got internet tho, but I do remember it was 9,6k or 14k dial up modem, the sound it made when connecting to the internet, how no one could call us when someone was online or how if someone picked up the phone, the internet connection would break. After awhile the “splitters” came, which made it possible at least maintain a connection when someone picked up the phone or called.

Listen to the sound of a dial up modem here!

 

And the speeds…

The speed of a dial up modem was so slow, it could take minutes literally to load a single image, and if you where unlucky the unstable internet connection would break and you had to do it all over again. In that time we also downloaded MP3 songs from programs like DC++, Napster and Limewire. Songs we played in heavily modified WinAmp players. I remember when you got together with friends for a LAN and you competed who had the best WinAmp skins and equalizer. ONE song at 5-6 MB could take upwards of 20 minutes to download, put that into perspective when you play your games or listen to music on Spotify.

TechnologyAnother thing I’m taking for granted today is channels on the tv. We get them mostly from fiber connections, cable tv or something else, but back then there were no cable tv, specially not here where I grew up. I remember when one of the (now) biggest channels started, TV4, and my father worked as a cameraman at the local station. To be able to get that channel we had to have a huuuuuge 2×2 meter satellite dish, and that was only for that channel. We had at least 2 or 3 more satellite dishes for other channel providers, and they worked like shit.

A common error was “weak signal”, which could freeze the picture and you’d miss half your show. That happened frequently on windy days and in the winter when the snow interfered with the signals. Oh how I do not miss those days.

I’m rounding this up now before I write a short novel. But I will write part 2 soon enough, where I will write about cameras, phones and shopping and how they have changed my life. Stay tuned!

Do you have any memories of technology that changed your life? Leave a comment!

Are you a fan of old tech?! Follow me on Instagram!

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Blood has been taken from me – now please give me a cookie!

So, they took my blood today and now I need a cookie!

I think yesterday’s post about procrastination really did something good, I actually crossed off the doctors appointment from the list, or at least a part of it when they took some of my blood for a checkup….

Blood needleI started my day by going to the doctors office to have my blood taken and sent off to a laboratory for testing. I’m not sick or anything, but sometimes it’s good to check and see if you lack certain vitamins or have some disease. Did I tell you that I hate needles?

Well, I’m a pretty big guy, bearded and covered with tattoos, I do not fit the stereotype of being scared of needles, but I am! Or… scared is a pretty big word for this occasion, I’m not scared per se, but I really dislike it. Not because it hurts, but because I can’t seem to look away when the stick the needle in me, and after holding my breath I tend to get lightheaded and dizzy. I wish they had cookies or some candy at the doctors office, I need that sugar kick after they took my blood.

Why do I dislike needles?

Well, this is a pretty fun story actually, and I have told it many times but never in writing. A few years ago I was at the hospital for a EKG checkup, a routine one, nothing weird about that. But before the procedure I had to leave some blood, and taking my blood was a pretty heavyset guy in his 40’s, nothing weird about that either. But…

As I was laying down on the hospital bed (Yes, I sometimes get to lay dawn not to faint) the big heavyset male nurse sticked me with the needle and everything was going great, and I was giving a few tubes of blood at the same time so it took a while…. Now comes the horrific part…

That big heavyset nurse… he had a pretty big stomach.. And for some reason, while the needle was inside my arm, he needed to reach for some instrument above my head… He stands up, leans in over me and… you get what happened right? Well, his big stomach pushes the needle into my arm even further, and I start to panic. But since I’m laying down I can’t go anywhere, I’m in a complete shock because of the pain, so I can’t get a single word out. I’m just laying there, hurting like hell while a heavyset male nurse’s stomach is pushing the needle further and further in to my arm.

Finally after maybe two second, which by the way felt like 10 minutes, he sat down again, not even noticing what happened. I was still in shock, so I didn’t even tell him what happened, maybe out of pity, maybe because I was hurting. Nevertheless, my whole arm by the elbow was blue’ish for two weeks after that, all because of a little bit of blood. I wish I had taken a picture back then, but hindsight aint my strongest game!

We still laugh about it to this day, it was such a unthinkable story, but now you might understand where my disliking of needles come from.

You dislike needles as well? Follow me on Instagram!

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Procrastinating – why is it so easy?!

Procrastinating – I’m really good at it!

I have a long list in my mind of thing I should, need and must do. However, in my mind, most of them “can be done later”, I’m procrastinating the shit out of them. Do you ever feel the same? You want to do them, but you just can’t, wether it is being lazy, being tired or something else, procrastination is the easiest thing to do!

Some things on my list are:

  • Making a doctors appointment to check my general health.
  • Making a dentist appointment to fix a aching tooth.
  • Hang some paintings in the new apartment.
  • Finish unpacking the last boxes.
  • Take afternoon walks.
  • Write more blog posts.
  • Finish a few started reviews.
  • Practice my photography.
  • and much more….

These are pretty simple things for a grown person, right?! Well, I thought so too. At the moment I work two jobs, one daytime and one part time, which makes me somewhat tired at times. Coming home pretty tired from my day job, to cook and start doing other job stuff is hard some days. Making doctor/dentist appointments seem pretty far away those days, so does unpacking boxes. And don’t get me started on the weekends, I’m so happy to have some time off, that my mind shuts down and force my body to just relax and do nothing.

Me and my girlfriend said that we were going to take afternoon walks when I got home from work… that was two weeks ago, we have yet to start walking xD

Procrastinating

Even tho I seem to work too much and be tired all the time, it’s not true. I feel better and more energetic then ever. That’s the thing, I feel so good, but still procrastinate the easiest things. Why is that? I’m not lazy, I’m not tired, I’m not sick, yet I can’t seem to get off my butt and do those easy things. I think one thing that can help me do all of these things is to write them down, and do one or two every day, not overdoing it, starting with the easy ones (even tho they all are pretty easy) and work my way up to the more tedious tasks. I rock at procrastinating.

Although, to be fair. Procrastinating made me write this post, even tho it took me a few days to start writing, I did it. I wanted to give myself a boost by writing about my flaws, and maybe feel better about doing it, making it easier to get up and get busy! I hope I’m right!

Do you ever feel that the small things in you daily life are the hardest ones to do? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time. (Wikipedia)

 

If you are bored and want to procrastinate some things, follow me on Instagram!

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Collecting random stuff – Cute or a hoarder in training?

Collecting random stuff have alway been my vice!

collecting random stuffBut even tho the “random” stuff have been pretty innocent and “normal”, like old comic books, beard products, nice rocks etc, I think my last find takes the prize. Collecting random stuff really hits the spot when we recently moved to a bigger place, and with that came a few extra boxes that I had stored in my mothers garage since I was a kid. Going through those boxes really brought back memories, but also a lot of laughs, thinking to myself – “Why the hell did I save this!?”.

Most things was normal childhood savings, like old lyrics, cheat sheets for video games, comic books, rocks, hockey cards and Magic the Gathering cards for example. Nothing weird here, because thats normal, right!?

Spruce needles 1996The next thing I found really made me smile at my childhood me, and somewhat began to question what my thoughts was back then. In a moving box, in a small “slime” container shaped as a ghost I saw it. Those small brown rice shaped things. What where they doing in a empty toy slime container? Upon close inspection I found some writing on the side, it said (in Swedish) “Barr frÃ¥n julgranen -96”, which mean “Spruce needles from the Christmas tree -96″….. Yes, you read that right, I saved Spruce needles from our Christmas tree in 1996. Who does that?

I opened the can, and you should’ve seen my facial expression.. the needles smelled wonderful, they really smelled like a Christmas tree. How is it that the container, air tight but still, could preserve the smell for 21 one years?! Wow, I was amazed. I just found 21 year old Spruce needles in a air tight toy slime container, and the smell was as fresh as the day we cut that tree down. I don’t need to explain that I took a trip down memory lane that day, seeing how life has passed and changed. Family lost along the way, me growing up and starting my own family and so on. My eye got a bit watery.

I plan on saving this container, hopefully for another 21 years…

Do you have any weird stuff you collected through the years?

Oh, on a side note, I found another container from 1997, also from the Christmas tree that year, but hey, who wants 20 year old spruce needles when you have 21 year olds… right?! 😀

Hoarder?

Check out the other posts in the blog here!

 

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Moving to the countryside after years in the city

Moving to the countryside after a few years in the city was a pretty big step for me, specially since 2 months ago we had not even thought about doing it. But times change and so does life!

The main reason for moving is a pretty common one… finding somewhere to live in Stockholm… For the past few years we have been moving from apartment to apartment, dealing with shady sublet deals and overpriced accommodation, a daily struggle for thousands of people living and working in Stockholm, Sweden. The reason being a shortage of apartments, and around 600.000 people in queue to get a first hand apartment contract. I wrote another post about it a few weeks ago, you can read it here!

Moving to JärvsöThe short story is, we could not find a new apartment within our price range or budget in time, which forced us to pack our things and move to the countryside where I grew up, 320 kilometers north of Stockholm (about 3,5-4 hours by car). The plan was that me and my girlfriend (who grew up in the city) would live in my mothers house, maybe not the most ideal thing when your are 33 years old, but we did not have a choice due to the apartment situation. But then, just a few days before moving, we got an offer from the local community that there was a 3 bedroom apartment opening up, available 2 days after our arrival…. Done deal, we took it!

So, here we are, now pretty much settled in after a week in Järvsö. We went to Ikea the other day to get some furniture and started refurnishing some of chairs and tables to fit our style. Within a week or so we should be settled in for real, just waiting for our new Philips Hue Lights (<— affiliate link) to arrive to make the place more cozy. Ordered a starter kit and plan on doing some nice light constellations in our living room.

And you know what, now when we are almost settled, we love it. We are much happier, more energetic and smiling much more. I think a huge weight lifted from our shoulders when we got our own place, not having to worry about finding a new home within a few months or living in a cramped space on the bottom floor without natural light. This new place is on the third floor, light and spacious, it’s amazing. I think we are going to love it here!

What about jobs? Well, I work as an Art Director for a magazine, which head office is located just 20 kilometers (15 minutes by car) from Järvsö. I used to sit at their Stockholm Office, but working from here is much better. It works fantastic! My salary is also good enough for my girlfriend to focus on getting her drivers license and studying to become what ever she wants! We also bought a car, so we can get wherever we want. Life has really taken a turn for the better.

If your are thinking of leaving the city for a life on the countryside, really consider it. The air is much fresher, the people are nicer and you will feel so much better! Just look at the header image above, it’s taken the other day when we took a ride up the mountain to check out the view over the town, beautiful!

Below is a picture I took about 7 years ago, very early one morning. It was before I moved to the city. It feels good to be home!

Moving to Järvsö

 

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How to get likes & followers on Instagram

Instagram Likes and Followers

You have probably googled “How to get Instagram likes” before and found hundreds of guides or websites offering to give you thousands of likes and followers for a small fee. Well, guess what, this guide is free, and it does not include any payed software or website. This is the real way growing your Instagram organically. It wont give you thousands of followers overnight, but if you hang in there and stick too it, thousands of followers a month wont be impossible.

 

Instagram likesFirst things first, your niche!

Your niche can be important when getting more Instagram likes and followers. Don’t know your niche? Check your posts, do you post mostly food pictures? Are your Instagram full of bearded selfies? Do you upload lots of pictures of your animal? Well, that might be your niche. Also, check your old posts to see which ones who got the most likes. Did selfies get more likes then a food post? Then there’s a big chance your followers are there for your face and not food… You get the point.

Facebook page and statistics

Getting a Facebook page for yourself, brand and/or food/animal pictures is a great thing, because you can link your Instagram feed to your Facebook page to get really great insights and statistics. Since I don’t use payed (or free) third party websites to see statistics, I solely rely on the Instagram Company profile. Remember, you need a Facebook Page to be able to use the Instagram Company profile. In the statistics you can see your top posts in any give time frame, you can see what times during the day your followers are most active etc. It’s really great!

Hashtags, do you need them?

Yes and no. Hashtags are a great way to reach new followers, and you can use 30 of them. Before I used to use the same hashtags over and over again, no matter what kind of picture I was posting, and it worked at first, but I slowly started to notice a decrease in likes and followers as time went on. I don’t know if that is some kind of diminishing thing Instagram implemented or not, but using the same hashtags over and over seemed to hurt my account more then help. So what I did was that I started using around 1-5 hashtags that my picture related with, then in the first comment, I posted around 20 random (but chosen) hashtags to get more spread. That way, with every picture, there were about 1-5 new hashtags, which did not diminish my posts. Also, do not use generic hashtags, not applicable to your feed. Rather you should look up hashtags that relate to your picture. Also check out the competition. Look at a feed with tons of followers/likes and borrow some of their hashtags, if they relate to your pictures. Also try to change your hashtags now and then, not all of them, but switch out 2-3 for new ones every few weeks.

Like, comment and follow

This should be first on the list to be honest. It’s very important to stay active, not only uploading pictures, but also liking, commenting and follow other users. Most of the times they will return the favour and follow back. And it will build your Instagram even more. And try to comment things that show you care about the picture. A generic comment like “nice one”, “great picture” etc, makes you sound like a bot. Instead, comment “Great picture, how long have you been growing your beard?”. That way you show that you really looked at the picture, and also asks a question, which might yield you a new follower, a comment etc. Other people will also see this, and might follow you based on your comment.

Tagging tons of feeds and people?

Same goes for the hashtags. Tagging the same people over and over again sucks. Also, if you try to get featured on a big Instagram feed that relates to your niche, try to DM them, or only tag the page you want to get featured on. Tagging too many people will make you look needy, and the pages tagged wont feature you, because you tagged their competitor. Keep the tagging to a minimum, or send a DM asking for a feature. Try to build a friendship or a connection with the pages. And know that you are not the only one tagging them, so don’t get upset or sad if they wont answer. Be persistent and cross your fingers! Also, VERY IMPORTANT. Do not tag for example, a Beard feed in your food pictures or your food pictures in a animal feed. Be selective!

 

In conclusion, look at your statistics, the best time to post. Like, comment and follow other people. Comment interesting things. Don’t over tag, don’t over hashtag and be humble. You wont grow your Instagram in a day, it takes hard work, time and perseverance. I hope this will help you and don’t forget to comment with your thoughts!

Also, this post might get updated as time goes to improve the guide on how to get Instagram likes & followers!

 

If you want, give me a follow on Instagram – @freeradical666

 

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The Barber Pole – Origin of the red, white and blue barber’s pole

Why is the barber pole red, white and blue?

The barber pole, or barber’s pole is a more and more common sight today all over the world. The well renowned craftsmanship of the barbers are coming back after falling out of style during the eighties. Much due to the aids/HIV hysteria going on back then, barbers lost customers who where afraid to get infected by poorly cleaned razors and equipment. That is however a thing of the past, and much have changed since then, both in sanitation and precautions, but also equipment is much better nowadays, especially shavettes, or disposable blade razors which almost completely eradicate any chance of some kind of disease spreading through blood. But, that’s not why we are here, no, we are talking about the barber pole, or barber’s pole, and why is it red, white and blue?

Red, White and Blue

Some say that the red, white and blue stands for the American flag, but there are no proof thats the case. In some countries the barber’s pole is only red and white or blue and white. Archaeologists have found evidence of razors dating back to around 3500 BC in ancient Egypt, which also suggests that there were some kind of barber profession back then. However, barbers back in the old days was a little bit different from our modern time barber who only cut hair, trim beards etc. Barbers were actually a kind of surgeon in the beginning, besides cutting hair and beards, they also performed dentistry in the form of pulling teeth, blood letting* and other surgical things. This however was banned in the 1160’s, which separated the surgeon and barber profession into two different professions.

George Klipp Spånga barber

 

The barber pole, or barber’s pole dates back to the middle ages, back when barbers performed all kinds of things on patients, which may seem gruesome today. The barber pole with it’s red, white and blue stripes, where originally BLUE, WHITE and RED at the bottom. Blue symbolizing a vessel filled with leaches used in bloodletting, where the leaches sucked the “infected” blood from patients, thinking it would help cleanse the blood. The red stripe at the bottom then symbolized the vessel where the blood was caught or stored, and the white was the pole itself, where the patient would grab on to increase blood flow of the veins, draining the blood faster or bandages.

Pretty gruesome right?!

Yes, it was, but there are also other theories about the barber pole, in which where the blue stands for the venous blood, the red for arterial blood and the white stands for bandages, which could make sense as well. In England around the 1300’s the United Barber Surgeon’s Company was formed, and they enforced a law where barbers where required to use a blue and white pole, while surgeons was required to use a red and white pole.

There you have it, even tho these are just historical and archaeological findings and we may not be a 100% certain, these explanations actually make sense.

Barber Pole - George Klipp Spånga barber

 

Visit Bloodletting on Wikipedia to read more about it!

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How to make a great cup of coffee fast

How to make a great cup of coffee

How to make a great cup of coffee. You probably Google’d this before and found tons of different tips and tricks on how to make it. Often those guides contain almost scientific and impossible steps on getting that perfect cup, but not here. We will show you how to make a great cup of coffee, fast, easy and it will turn out delicious…

Originally posted on Ratemybeard.se

Well, it’s not that hard to be honest. First of all you need to get some high quality coffee (Which you can find at Beardshop.se) – not that cheap bitter stuff you find at the supermarket. Or, you just chose the brand you like and love to drink.

How to make a cup of coffeeThen you can get an AeroPress, it’s pretty cheap and is very easy to use. Check out the video below on how we use an AeroPress to make our drink. And if you need great coffee, check out our awesome java at Beardshop.se! AeroPress uses force and air to press out all the goodness in the coffee and leave the bitterness behind. It’s easy and can be used by everyone, the amount of force used is very low.

Be sure to not use boiling water directly, you might burn the coffee and it will taste funky. First boil the water, and let it sit for about one minute to “cool” down. It should be hot, but not boiling.

Everyone has different techniques and way to do this, but then again, we all like different things. We highly recommend this way, because you get a very smooth and amazing taste.

Do you have your own specific way to make morning drink? Do you use a special device or technique? Let us know in the comments!

Our delicious black nectar is available to buy in Sweden at Beardshop.se.

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Beard Wipes – How to clean your beard after a meal

Beard wipes?! Yes, you heard me!

Beard Wipes are quite a new thing in the beard community, the earliest I’ve seen was about 1.5 years ago, and after that only a few brands have produced them.

Originally posted on Ratemybeard.se

Why are Beard Wipes a life saver?
Well, we all eat out sometimes, some more then others, but when we do, regular napkins really doesn’t do the job properly. Imagine after having a sloppy burger, soup or greasy ribs, the restaurants dry napkins aren’t that good to be honest. Sure, your beard and moustache might feel clean, but then after an hour or two you start to feel the smell of your last meal, wondering where it comes from. Before you know it, you realise the smell is coming from your beard or moustache.

Thats because when you cleaned it with a regular napkin, you only got the visible stuff off your beard. The rest, the smell, the sauces, the microscopic parts of food, they are still there.

What can Beard Wipes do then?
The Beard Wipes contain cleaning agents that get everything microscopic and smelly out of your beard, and at the same time moisturising it, making it feel crispy fresh and clean. After the use of a beard wipe, your beard and moustache will feel like your straight out of the shower, fixing your beard. You know that awesome feeling of satisfaction after prepping your beard in the morning. There’s nothing better then that freshness!

Beardilizer Beard WipesWhere can I get Beard Wipes?
You can get them from Beardilizer – buy them in packs of 10 and you are set for awhile. Not only do they come in beautiful packaging, but one wipe will definitely clean your whole beard and moustache, no matter the size. They also contain a keratin and wheat protein blend which helps protect your beard from UV rays, pollution, skin dryness, dust and other contaminants. They contain an antibacterial agent as well as Biotin and D-Panthenol whick are key ingredients for making your beard in stronger, better and thicker!

You can get them from Beardilizer here!

 

These Beard Wipes are great for wiping your moustache after a cup of coffee!

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Hotell Riddargatan – A night a the hotel in Stockholm Sweden

Hotell Riddargatan – a pleasant stay!

Purpose for staying at Hotell Riddargatan: Romantic getaway
Nights: One
Room: Suite
Price: approximately 2500 SEK (290 USD)
Stars of the hotel: 4,5

Backstory

One Saturday, we sat at home in front of the TV, knowing that the Swedish Eurovision finals was about to start in a few hours we felt the urge to get out of the house, to do something out of the ordinary for once. We live in Stockholm, Sweden, just a couple of kilometers from Hotell Riddargatan actually, but how often do you just out of the blue book a one night stay at a hotell, just to spice things up? Not very often unfortunately.

We looked around for different hotel rooms on short notice, the time was about 17.00 (5 pm) when we started looking, and even tho we found quite a few rooms at other hotels at a better price, the suite at Hotel Riddargatan caught our eye because it had a jacuzzi in it. Said and done, we booked the suite, packed an overnight bag and called a cab. We were at the hotel just past 18.00 (6 pm). Check out the video of our room below

First impressions

Our first impressions of our suite at Hotell Riddargatan was one of the best we’ve ever had, the front desk was very nice and helpful and explained everything we needed to know. Where the breakfast was, the bar, elevator, stairs etc. We felt very welcomed. The room itself was a very pleasant surprise, we did not expect it to be so big and spacious, almost bigger then our apartment we live in. The room was bright, clean and had all these extra little things as books, magazines, two TV’s, a balcony and the best of all, a jacuzzi.

The suite/room was very clean and fresh, not a speck of dust anywhere, no forgotten socks under the sheets or furniture, no left behind trash, everything was in perfect condition. The amount of books and magazines were a really nice touch and a welcomed feature of the room. It being March in Sweden, we couldn’t use the balcony due to the cold weather, but standing there a few minutes in the middle of the night, seeing people walk past below, doing their stuff, it was soothing, and hearing the bustling city getting ready to party.

We went out to eat dinner, but instead of going to a fancy restaurant, we ended up at Mc Donalds, we wanted something fast and easy, and then head back to the room to enjoy it. As I wrote before, we live in Stockholm, so the nightlife or sights did not interest us this night, it was all about just being in the now and enjoy a relaxing night at a hotel.

Standards

One thing that was really nice, was the slippers and bathrobe, as soon as we got back from our meal, we put them on, and I don’t think we took them off until heading down to breakfast the next morning.

The beds/linnen at Hotel Riddargatan was in tip top shape, smelling fresh and clean. Not a single thing to complain about and it was well worth the money. The breakfast was one of the best hotel breakfasts we’ve had, there were fruits, vegetables, eggs, bacon, scrambled eggs, beans, sandwiches, sausages, meatballs and many different kinds of cold cuts. We’ve stayed at other hotels, but few have had this kind of breakfast.

We really enjoyed our stay and we hope to go back some day, maybe for a longer stay. And if you want to read more about the hotel, click here!

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Finding apartments in Stockholm – Hitta lägenhet i Stockholm

How to find apartments in Stockholm

That’s the million dollar question I ask myself every day. Stockholm is one of the greatest cities in the world, tons of stuff to do and beautiful sights. But finding an apartment to settle down can be a down right pain in the ass. This is what I think about finding apartments in Stockholm.

How does it work?

Bostad i StockholmWell, first of all, the government “hands out” the apartment based on your time in the apartment queue, which you can sign up for the day you turn 18. The price is 210 SEK per year. There are many private apartment building owners, but most of them give their vacant apartments to Stockholm Stads Bostadskö (Stocholm City apartment queue) to “hand out”.

Somehow they though this would be a better idea and give everyone a chance to get an apartment….. think again. At the time writing this, there are 92, yes 92 vacant apartments in all of Stockholm on their website. You know how many people there are in line to get one? 500.000+, yes, thats true. There are over five hundred thousand people standing in line to get an apartment in Stockholm. And you know what else, the queue time is what give you a chance to get an apartment. I have been in line for 4 years, which puts me at a no chance in hell place in line, even out in the suburbs and “bad neighborhoods”.

So, if you are planning on moving to Stockholm, and want to have your own rental apartment, be prepared to stand 10+ years in line to get one. IF you are not very very very lucky to get one through the private apartment building owners, but that’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

The other option is to sublet…. oh the joy. Most of the sublet contract are on short term, 6 months to a year, or even shorter, and most of them are overpriced as hell. Paying up as much as 2-3 times over the real rent. And the closer to the city you come, the more expensive.

I’m not saying it’s impossible, but here’s my story about finding apartments in Stockholm:

I’m 33 years old, born and raised in the northern parts of Sweden. I moved to Stockholm 4 years ago and was lucky to sublet a small 20 m2 apartment through a work colleague, after a year I got a 40 m2 apartment through another friend, but had to move out after a year. I am currently living with my girlfriend in yet another sublet apartment, 49 m2, and have been doing that for the last 2 years, but now we have to move out by May 1st. Why? Well, there are also this rule that if you have bought your apartment, you can sublet it to someone, but not for more then 2 years….

That means there are tons and tons of empty condos all over Stockholm, due to the fact that the people who could afford to buy their own apartment can’t sublet it for more then 2 years. Most people keep a spare apartment for emergencies like family issues and what not, because they know, that if they sell if our cancel their contract, they wont get a new one for many years to come.

In conclusion

The apartment situation in Stockholm is so incredibly bad, and to get a first hand rental contract, it’s nearly impossible. And buying a condo? Well, a 1 room apartment cost upwards of 2-3 million SEK, which “normal” people like me cant afford. So if you are planning on moving here, be sure to fix your living situation beforehand.

You can sign up for the apartment queue here at Stockholm Stads Bostadskö

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The American Food & Gift store in Stockholm

Find American food & candy in Stockholm

American FoodAs a long time customer of the American Food & Gift Store in Stockholm, Sweden, I can’t other then warmly recommend this place. Not only is the manager super friendly, but there are tons of stuff, especially for such a small place. If you ever want to visit the store, it’s located on Sveavägen, just take the Subway to RÃ¥dmansgatan and walk about 100 meters towards Odenplan and you will find it.

As a Swede, we are not very used to American food, candy, drinks etc, we have mostly domestic candy and drink, for the exception of big named brands of course, which are plentiful. Coming to this store really gets you in a great mood.

Find awesome stuff

This store packs a huge supply of everything you would ever want when it comes to American food & candy. As a sucker for Reeses Pieces, I love this place. Pop Rocks are another thing not very common in Swedish, but here you’ll find a wide selection of different flavours and brands. The American Food & Gift Store have a big selection of drinks, cookie mixes, cereals, syrup, Kool Aid etc. They even have a fantastic selection of Star Wars toys, cups, plates, coasters and much more. Check out the pictures to see some of the stuff they have.

Although a bit pricey, times like these you cant be picky if you really want American Candy.

They also have a American Food & Gift Store in Täby, Stockholm. It’s located in Täby Centrum, just a train ride away from the city, which is not that bad, that store is even bigger, but I have not been there yet.

If you want to visit the store, the address is:
Sveavägen 106, 113 50 Stockholm

The store in Täby is located in Täby Centrum

Visit the store on Facebook