Why an ’80s themed birthday party? Because Lena and Magnus both turned 40 and 40+40=80. Good times!
We were in town for the excellent FrozenRails conference.
Yesterday, sitting here in Sweden and emailing my friends back home in Washington, DC, is when the adrenaline-pumping excitement really hit me (for the second time — this was the first).
We are at:
- The end of a dark era that spread fear, turned “us” against “them,” and “we” into “me.”
- And the beginning of a new era!
While I know it won’t be easy, I believe Obama and his team represent the best — by far — that we could hope for right now. It’s a tough job, and I know it’s not possible to please everyone inside America, let alone also outside America, but I believe he can/will do better than any of the others could have.
This was one of the best displays I’ve ever seen — and I’ve seen a bunch of good ones on the National Mall in Washington, DC on July 4th. These Swedish guys rocked it! See this video of the grand finale (click “watch in high quality” mode, expand to full-screen mode, and turn up the sound).
The last pic is from our balcony about 8 minutes after midnight, after a 15-minute barrage of fireworks from everywhere (all over the city). The fireworks were going all night up to the midnight finale (video clip shot from our balcony).
The four bonus pics after that are from our New Year’s Day walk.
Overall, it was a great New Year’s Eve with Annica and Henrik and a great New Year’s Day with Birgitta and Roy! Happy New Year to you!
Just a quick post of some interesting date from the U.S. Census Bureau. As shown on the chart above (click for larger image), the percentage of Americans who own their own homes is declining. No surprise there, but it does beg a few questions, such as:
What (and when) was the peak and how far (and how long) will the rate fall?
What I found was that…
Everything is posted in chronological order:
- Berlin and Web 2.0 Expo: See pics here: business and personal.
- Pool Night: Boys night out, organized by Magnus. I came in second place in the pool tournament. After that was dinner, then video and sport games competition. Good times, but three of of us injured our hands during “how hard can you punch” game. Par punched so hard he fractured a bone.
- Dalsland: Susanne, Birgitta, Roy and I to visit family (Arvid and Agnes). We love visiting them, even if the whole “moose” thing is a big scam here in Sweden (just kidding). The group pic you see if at their guest cabin. Arvid and Agnes came to “our place” for dinner Saturday night and we had lunch at their home on the farm Sunday.
- Stockholm: BuzzPal business. Susanne came to keep me company and meet our friend Anne. They went to a Lebanese restaurant Saturday night and I was at the Thai place you see pictured (good food, good meeting). Sunday was breakfast with Anne, then drive back to Gothenburg.
- Kiel (Germany): Susanne, Ulrika, Johan, and I. You leave on the boat in the evening and arrive in the morning. Dinner and party in between. When in Kiel, if you’re coming from Sweden, you stock up on alcohol because it is MUCH cheaper in Germany than in Sweden. We bought a LOT (see pic). After dropping off the alcohol on the boat, we went strolling around town, stopping here and there to eat, drink (coffee), and shop (the girls, anyway). Then back to the boat for the overnight trip home. Good times. And, if you buy enough booze, you almost make money on the trip. We didn’t buy THAT much, but I did turn 50 SEK into 300 SEK at the roulette wheel (in two minutes). In the morning, we saw some seals as the boat docked in Gothenburg.
These are our “personal” Berlin pics. The “business” pics are here: Web 2.0 Expo Berlin Photo Story.
The upscale restaurant you see is the Aigner, which is on the ground floor of the Sofitel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt, one of Berlin’s most modern hotels (we didn’t stay there, we stayed here). Here’s Frommer’s Aigner Restaurant review.
Susanne and I liked the place so much we went there twice, and that’s after getting recommendations and checking out at least a dozen other restaurants. Super nice people, amazing service, and fantastic food. Aigner gets our top rating, especially considering the price, which was quite reasonable. See their website for more info and some of their recipes.
We had the liver dumpling soup and the creamy parsley-root soup to start, then split a Weiner Schnitzel for the main course (so we could save room for a chocolate soufflé desert). Everything was incredible. Our second visit we had the Tafelspitz and the veal dumplings. Both also incredible.
(Note: the screenshot above is from this morning. Since then, the Obama margin has increased. See The New York Times interactive election map and Big Board for the latest. You can toggle the map to any of the past four presidential elections. There are also links to speeches, polls, and more.)
My hope in USA is restored; we are not scared anymore. Fear, bullying and “me, me, me” loses. Courage, cooperation, and “we, we, we” wins. Thank you is all I can say. Thank you, Barack Obama. Thank you, world! Be the change!
Video of Obama’s acceptance speech:
Did it bring tears to your eyes the way it did mine?
Yes, we can! That message is global; it’s for all of us.
Here is my uncut reaction video and below is the transcript of Obama’s speech. Here is how Washington DC voted. Update: Fast forward to my January 2009 blog post: Gearing up for Obama-Rama-Palooza in DC.
Update: See the comments at the bottom of this post. So far…
See the blog for details on how to enter and qualify. And please leave a comment here on my blog, which is what I need to qualify. Thanks.
More importantly, and whether you leave a comment for me or not:
If you are also participating in the contest, let me know (comment below or email me at http://buzzpal.com/contact). I am happy to drop by your blog and leave a comment for you. In fact, I really, really want to! Why?
NOTE: The is a repost from The BuzzPal Blog, but this is personal as well as business (that’s why it’s on both blogs).
Congrats and have a blast to those invited! To those who didn’t, like BuzzPal, save that turn down email, it will look great framed one day!
Seriously, I hope you got as much out of the application process as we did:
- Made first video
- Recruited a co-founder (that didn’t work, unfortunately)
- Got first mention in media and on blogs, including TechCrunch UK
It’s been awesome! Thanks again, Seedcamp people for the kick in the pants!
NOTE: Even though BuzzPal was not invited to be a Seedcamp team, we were invited to Seedcamp week, anyway, and a number of meetings are already scheduled, with to come (with you?). My schedule so far is here. Hit me up if you want to connect.
REMEMBER: “Eighty percent of success is showing up” –Woody Allen
The is a repost from The BuzzPal Blog, but this is personal as well as business (that’s why it’s on both blogs).
Here is the 10-minute version.and here is the 2-minute version that we posted on the Seedcamp blog. If you just want to see the 1-minute music/photo video of some of the people and places that got us this far, here ya go: BuzzPal Music/Photo Video.
When watching the video, please bear in mind that this is BuzzPal’s first-ever PowerPoint presentation, first-ever video “pitch,” and it was done in a couple of hours, using some new tools and low-budget equipment. So be kind!
Also, please bear in mind that BuzzPal’s founder was in venture finance in the media, communications, publishing, and technology areas from 1999 to 2003 (MCG went public on the NASDAQ in 2001). During that time he has seen hundreds of pitches, so he knows what he likes in a pitch, especially a first pitch (see you expose yourself and show your personality + be different) and what he doesn’t like (see your formal face or fake/boring personality + talk the same old smack).
Yes, we don’t go into a lot of detail. That’s pretty common for pre-launch startups. This is not the launch video or private presentation we give to prospective stakeholders. This is the public version, the teaser version. Don’t like it? Tough cookies. Unless you’re one of the guys and gals who has gotten down in the dirt, in the arena, struggled for your life, in full public view, then you probably have no business being a critic. Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the U.S., had to say about it:
BuzzPal – The World Is Your Party, got it’s first press mention today:
The article is about the new generation of Swedish startups and Seedcamp, which is basically the European version of Ycombinator. BuzzPal may be participating in Seedcamp, coming to it based on the suggestion of Anders Fredriksson, one of last year’s participants. Anders is a friend and contact here in Gothenburg. Thanks, Anders. -Chris
These first three pics and this concert video (“Radio Nowhere”) are from the Gothenburg Post, which gave the show a perfect 5-lighthouse rating. I do too, but I was scared for a few minutes when they opened up with “Born in the USA” and the sound quality was horrible. But they tuned it up fast and it was loud, crisp, and clean for the rest of the 3-hour concert (9:00 to midnight).
Below are pics from our pre-party BBQ at Martin and Anna’s place and then my concert photos, some of them blurry and probably should not have been posted, but screw it, here they are!
Happy FOJ everyone! I might update this post later with an original (but low quality) video clip or two. Cheers.
PS: Here’s a link to yesterday’s post and pics about how we got our Bruce tickets (camped out in December).
UPDATE #1: NEW VIDEO CLIP: Here’s one of the video clips I shot (will post more later if any good). Depending on how sentimental [or empathetic] you are, this one might tug your heart strings, the way it did mine.
UPDATE #2: NEW VIDEO CLIPS: 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).
UPDATE #3: NEW VIDEO CLIPS: Out in the Street.
Yes, Mr. “Born in the USA” is doing his American Independence Day show here in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Susanne and I are going (it’s her birthday present from me). Before the show, 18 of us will gather at Martin and Anna’s place for a BBQ and some pre-partying. Looks like it’s going be a perfect day weatherwise, perfect blue sky and 25-30 degrees Celsius. That is the ultimate summer weather in Sweden, it does not get any better. (more text and images below)
I wasn’t going to do a posting to mark the 10 years since Jerry Garcia died, but after receiving an email from a friend (FD) entitled “10 Years!” and seeing a few images, including this one and the two others on the next page, I just started writing and this is what came out:
I know, I can’t believe it…. I was on my way back from a week trip in the Adirondacks in NY. Here:
and I kept hearing the Grateful Dead and JGB on the radio, but whenever I heard them going to a commercial break or start talking I changed the channel…. then after maybe a half hour or something, after I figured out that all the stations I was flipping around to were playing the Dead and Jerry, I decided I better see what was going on…. and I found out…. and I drove for 8 hours by myself doing a lot of crying. I made it home to DC at sunset and went straight to the Lincoln Memorial, knowing there’d be others there for the same reason… I have pics from that too:
A couple of strange coincidences:
The night before, or maybe the night of, Jerry’s death we were in a field in the mountains in the Adirondacks. This field:
listening to music, hanging out, etc. when we saw the entire sky get lit up by the biggest, brightest, most amazing shooting star we ever saw… It seemed to go from horizon to horizon, leaving a trail so thick, bright, and long-lasting that its reflection lit up each others astonished faces for many a hearbeat. To this day I have never seen anything like that.
The other coincidence was that, even though I went to the Adirondacks every year with my parents when I was a kid, I had not been there in 11 years, but now I was back… And it was that summer 11 years prior — the summer of 1984, when I was barely 15 — that I saw my first Dead show and embarked on an era of my life that was amazing in all kinds of ways… and then to come back to the Adirondacks, after all that time, changed by the experiences of 11 years, yet still with the same core…. it was like coming home in a way to go back there, because I love it so much… and it was like leaving home — and leaving the era — hearing and thinking about the news and all things that happened, all the friends, concerts, and experiences, over those 11 years… Those were magical years. The Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia enabled a connection to be formed, on an individual and group level, that I have never seen before and will be lucky to ever see again. The experience, bond and the values last a lifetime… And for that I am thankful.
Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell, Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul.