Archive for July, 2013

TB_shoot 

I have just completed the second and final part of the Tornado Blaze novel for RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition), and with that, everything is in place. I can finally get this on CD for the printers now. It took me a full year to complete this double issue, quite a lot of hard work in fact. I will have the Western edition out in a couple of months time, and then there will be a party here in Östersund, with Deep Purple as the soundtrack.

I kind of painted myself into a corner with the Tornado Blaze novel. The first part set up one hell of an adventure with Gods, Aliens and a Ranch War. Then I had to end it all in six A4 pages (of text) in RETROFUTURE 6. I had ideas, but it was tough to get going. I think a lot of writers get this every now and then.

I am so glad that I managed to end it, and that it feels like a job well done. 

RF_100small (RF6, both editions)

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Cooper 

A friend of mine sent me some images from the Alice Cooper show here in Östersund this weekend, so I thought I would share this snapshot with you. As I said in an earlier post I couldn´t see this show due to work, but word on the street is that Alice ruled and that the festival has never had a better ending than this.

I could have told them that years ago. In fact, I did. But big names in Classic Rock has not been their thing. Maybe the ticket sales this year, for Alice, will make them reassess the situation? Festivals are dying all over the place, not counting the Classic Rock scene, which strives.

So what will it be in 2014? Deep Purple? Why not?

(Many thanks to Kalle Thelin for the images)

Ostersund 

Yesterday (after the Mojo concert, see previous post) I managed to catch a rare visit by the old steamboat SS Östersund to the harbour of the city that bears the same name (Östersund). Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) is the fifth largest lake of Sweden and a hundred years ago there was plenty of traffic in these waters. Only two of the classic steamboats have survived, SS Thomée (mentioned before on this blog) and SS Östersund.

This beautiful boat was built in 1874 and saw traffic in the lake until 1963 when it was put out of business. Enthusiasts saved the boat and by 1989 it was in traffic again, now from the harbour of Arvesund (where a fantastic museum is located). It now operates during the summer months, June to September.

The Great Lake Monster has been sighted from these steamboats on several occations over the decades, there are cases in the archives. A mysterious film was taken from SS Thomée in 1996 by Gun-Britt Widmark that I helped to rescue from VHS format to DVD last year. It is being kept in the archives of Föreningen Storsjöodjuret (a local interest group that I have mentioned before).

The Great Lake Monster was sighted in the harbour of Arvesund not long ago – see earlier post (and full story in RETROFUTURE 6).

Mojo_20130725 

A huge festival called Storsjöyran is gearing up here in Östersund, and thursday evening saw Michael Mojo Nilsson play a couple of blues sets down by the harbour in front of a few hundred people (x2) in a tent. I catched the second set and snapped some pictures. Good vibes, as usual. Mojo is a good entertainer.

Big names like Alice Cooper are coming up in the next few days, but I will be working so no more festivities for me this weekend.

Blondie

Posted: July 24, 2013 in Comics

Blondie 

Blondie is still published in Sweden (kind of low profile, but still), and is one of the true survivors at this point. Chic Young introduced Blondie to the world in 1930 and in 1951 the first comic book came out in Sweden. This run (see issue 7 1972 above) lasted until 1985, a good 34 years. Blondie soon emerged again in Kul med Blondie between 1986 and 1989 and the title has also gone out in many pocket books over the years.

Since 1990, Blondie has been a guest in some of the last comic books that concentrates on classic comics, and today it is part of Humorklassiker (a title I have presented earlier on this blog).

I used to collect Blondie for years, I always found it a delight – so I do enjoy the fact that it is still around. I have recently found some of the old stuff, which is good. I will certainly read these old comic books again some day.

The Forts of Colonial North America

Posted: July 21, 2013 in Books

Osprey_forts 

Well I have to say that I am a sucker for forts, so the Osprey books on this subject is a gold mine of joy. This title, “The Forts of Colonial North America – British, Dutch and Swedish Colonies” (Osprey, 2011) by author René Chartrand and artist Donato Spedaliere, is a splendid example. The reader is allowed to get a quick understanding of what took place and the drawings are just fantastic. Not sure about how many titles there are in this series, but I have an additional two in my collection regarding America, “Forts of the American Frontier 1820-91 – Central and Northern Plains” and “Forts of the American Frontier 1820-91 – The Southern Plains and Southwest”.

Plenty of good stuff to collect.

Festus_2013 

My family celebrated Festus (our own thing, read on…) for the eighth time this afternoon, an annual excuse of ours to get together and have some fun. It all started back in 2005 when I read an article about how people view things they have done three times as “tradition”, so I thought “Why not create our own?”. I presented the idea during a Christmas dinner that year and we decided to make it a summer gathering, with some easy games, good food and a fine excuse to just meet each other. So we had our own Festus (I just made up the name, it sounds OK) for the first time in July 2006 and it was a success for sure.

To make it more fun I purchased a Golden Trophy (see inserted picture) and inscripted the name Festus on it. When the games are over, the winner gets to keep the trophy for a year. We fill it with candy and it is always a big thing for the children when we bring it out. Good fun actually. Good fun for the winner to hold it for a year as well. I think the trophy kind of nailed it.

I am really glad that we thought of this. The winner gets to pick next years location and we have been in some really beautiful places around Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) over the years. This year, we had a location (in Östersund) fairly close but not right at the shore this time (usually, we have been outside of town). Still, beautiful view. I took a walk down to the lake with one of the kids after the festivities were over and took some snapshots at the lake. The wind made good looking waves that I wanted to catch.

I did send a letter about this idea to a major magazine called På Landet that was published in issue 8 2007, so I guess others may have picked up on it and created their own variations. It makes sense, why not have some fun once a year in the summer, catching up?

For the children, growing up with this, it will be a natural thing that just happens. I like that – this is here to stay in this family. We all enjoy it and yet it is no big deal. Some people are travelling quite far to be part of it though, which is amazing. We can also invite friends if we want to. If one of them should win the trophy, the person that invited said friend gets to keep the trophy. You need little rules like that, but it is not rocket science.

I can recommend that you create your own thing and have a go. Call it Festus, call it whatever you like. Just have some fun and enjoy your own thing, your own tradition.

At least, this is a tradition worthy of your time.