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livredor
It's been how long since I updated?
Monday, 06 August 2007 at 09:23 pm
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I've been fairly busy workwise, though there were a few fun things too. And this week MF is visiting so I'm mostly hanging out with her rather than online. (I am LJing now because she hasn't come home yet; I do hope she isn't lost!)

Last weekend the Tall Ships Race was in Stockholm, so I indulged my inner eight-year-old boy and spent the afternoon admiring the ships. The slightly weird Malaysian guy from synagogue tagged along; I feel guilty about not being more enthusiastic about his company, but at least he had an outing. There was a very cool Russian ship, the Shtandard, which was an exact replica of a ship built in 1700. And lots of organizations for young people to get the experience of sailing, which made me very tempted indeed to run away to sea.

Then on Sunday I got invited to a teaparty by my elderly Jewish neighbour, who is the sweetest woman ever. She introduced me to her daughter who lives in England, and we played Jewish geography, and had invited an interesting and eclectic bunch of people including BB. It was an extremely convivial afternoon; the only downside was that I managed to get caught in a torrential rainstorm precisely during the five minutes I spent walking home. It was almost worth getting soaked for the impressive double rainbow.

MF arrived on Friday, and we spent what was left of the afternoon eating at Örtagården and mooching. We were both sleep deprived so we had a lie-in Saturday morning. And spent the afternoon at the Pride parade; Pride this year was so badly publicized that I nearly missed it although I was specifically looking for it, but at least we caught the parade. It was incredibly endearing, just hundreds and hundreds of queer people of all sorts having fun and being coupley.

And then yesterday we tried to go to the fairy lake but got lost in the forest instead. In the afternoon we took a boat trip to the Viking town of Birka. The boat trip was beautiful, and the island was full of the best sort of geeky enthusiasts in period costume. We elected to take an extended tour with details about the ongoing archaeological dig; unfortunately it was in Swedish, and some of the archaeology got too technical for me to get more than the gist.

But Birka is cool. It seems to have been founded in about 800 with a monopoly on manufacture and export of certain luxury goods such as fancy combs. For a couple of centuries it had trading relations with the whole world, quite literally from India to Ethiopia, as the Bible has it. And then it disappeared and the population moved to Sigtuna, probably because the falling water table meant that it was no longer suitable for large ships. My favourite fact is that in the mid tenth century, they built a Viking long hall in the style that had been popular in the eighth century, filled with golden treasure and elaborate weapons. It was burnt to the ground some time after the main population had left Birka, but all the treasure was left alone, not only by the raiders at the time but by subsequent thieves and archaeologists right up until the end of the twentieth century. How weird is that?

We also got very sunburnt; by the time we realized we were catching the sun, we were in the middle of Lake Mälaren so there wasn't much we could do about it except watch eachother get redder. I feel a bit sheepish about that, but never mind.

Other than that we've talking our heads off about every possible topic, and I have introduced MF to The Armageddon rag, which she seems to be appreciating. I'm only semi keeping up with LJ, and I'm a bit behind on emails about logistics and stuff.


Whereaboooots: Birka, Sweden
Moooood: happyhappy
Tuuuuune: Meatpuppets: Light the fire
Discussion: 6 contributions | Contribute something
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smhwpf: Doctor Martha
From:smhwpf
Date:August 6th, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
50 minutes after journal entry, 10:03 pm (smhwpf's time)
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Birka is muuuch fun. Got there when my brother and his friends were visiting.

How do you play Jewish geography?
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lethargic_man: default
From:lethargic_man
Date:August 6th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
59 minutes after journal entry, 09:12 pm (lethargic_man's time)
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Birka is muuuch fun. Got there when my brother and his friends were visiting.

I'm still miffed it was shut at the time of the year I visited.

How do you play Jewish geography?

It requires a board with twelve million players on it...

Oh, no, wait a second; that's Azad. :o)
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rysmiel: nuclear weapons
From:rysmiel
Date:August 7th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry, 09:31 am (rysmiel's time)
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All Civ aspires to the condition of Azad.
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livredor: geekette
From:livredor
Date:August 9th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 07:10 pm (livredor's time)
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Have you come across Travian? It isn't a very good implementation, but I think it's the embryonic form of what may eventually be a MMO version of Civ...
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livredor: hands
From:livredor
Date:August 9th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 07:07 pm (livredor's time)
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The general idea of Jewish geography is to establish some kind of connection with a person you've just met. Ideally a mutual acquaintance, and ideally one with some kind of Jewish relevance (eg "my cousin goes to the same synagogue as your sister-in-law's best friend, yay, we win at Jewish geography"). Non-Jews from some cultures play a similar sort of game, though without the last requirement.

In this particular case we didn't do very well; we established that my neighbour's daughter belongs to the same synagogue I was a member of until we moved away when I was five, which is a connection but a fairly useless one as I can't remember anyone from back then. And at least it establishes we belong to the same movement / denomination. Also, her son goes to uni with my sister, and they probably overlapped at J-soc, but since we were working at second hand I couldn't be sure whether we could actually claim "my sister knows your grandson". Compare some really successful Jewish geography: I walk into a monastic community / seminary, and the senior priest there mentions that he's always felt an affinity for Judaism as his mother had been Jewish before she converted, and it turns out that said priest is my fifth cousin by marriage!
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smhwpf: Sandman
From:smhwpf
Date:August 10th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
4 days after journal entry, 09:40 pm (smhwpf's time)
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Aha, yes I guessed it might be something like that. I guess the Jewish world has just about the ideal sort of size and interconnectedness to make it a good game - large and diverse enough to make it challenging, but small and interconnedcted enough to give a good chance of winning.
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