About the author

    Thomas

    Thomas is a retired IT professional, who lives alone with his golden retriever Ziggy Stardust in a small townhouse in a small town in the southern half of Sweden. He has two grown-up kids and at least five grandkids – "as far as I know". Thomas enjoys daily long walks with Ziggy in the forests around town, he loves cooking for his guests, and he likes to make things with his hands. He says he loves good food, good wine, people who smile and make him smile. Having spent most of his life developing things, methods and organizations, he's passionately interested in all kinds of technology, natural science, politics,... anything that raises a problem, whether it can be solved or not. Consequently, he is consistently short of time. While he was professionally active, he lived in San Francisco a few years, working as software engineer down in Silicon Valley. He claims that he did leave his heart in San Francisco, and is constantly planning to go back and pick it up. Quoting Hoagy Carmichael's Hong Kong Blues, he says "... every time I try to leave, sweet opium won't let me fly away... ...i.e. my opium is Sweden, my kids, my dog, my friends, my forest,... you know, I'm Swedish."

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    When Sweden Was A Superpower

    By Thomas / February 27, 2013

    SwedishFreak’s condensed Swedish history continues today with the third episode; all and all there will be six episodes. With the beginning of the16th century, a new king ascended to the throne, founded the world’s longest cross-country ski race, defeated the Danes and dissolved the union with Denmark. In the next century, a powerful and resourceful […]

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    Melodifestivalen

    By Thomas / February 11, 2013

    Melodifestivalen – The Song Contest If you are a Swedish mum or dad, you know what you’ll be doing between 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM, six Saturdays in a row, starting in February every year: you’ll be watching Melodifestivalen on TV. And three weeknights in May are also booked. What is Melodifestivalen? It’s a TV […]

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    Bloodshed, Intrigues And Oppression

    By Thomas / January 29, 2013

    Bloodshed, Intrigues And Oppression SwedishFreak’s condensed Swedish history continues today with the second of six episodes. This is medieval times between the 11th and 15th centuries, when a number of small kingdoms were united to form Sweden. Christianity arrived: there is the king who is hailed as a saint for performing a crusade, even though […]

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    Amazing Swedish History

    By Thomas / January 23, 2013

    Amazing Swedish History Swedish history is full of amazing stories. There’s the king who was killed by a pastry, the man who neutered horses with his teeth, the king who berated Adolf Hitler in his office,… Over the next few weeks, SwedishFreak will tell you everything you need to know about Swedish history, plus a […]

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    The Winter Of Distraction

    By Thomas / January 15, 2013

    Holiday On Ice – The Real Thing Mid January. Light is returning: it’s dawning around 8:30 now, but even if the sun keeps shining the next seven hours, it doesn’t yet provide any warmth to my face. The foot deep snow we had before Christmas disappeared before New Year’s Eve, and the ground lies barren, […]

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    Revolver Harry

    By Thomas / January 2, 2013

    A Real Life Law Enforcer from Sweden Do you know who Dirty Harry is? Of course you do. But I bet that you have no idea who Revolver Harry was, even though he, in contrast to Dirty Harry, was a real living and highly remarkable person. Here’s a sample of his achievements: In the 1920’s: […]

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    The first known picture of a Swedish Lucia

    By Thomas / December 13, 2012

    This is the first known picture of a Swedish Lucia. It was painted in 1848 on Koberg Castle in Västergötland (today the residence of Princess Desirée, the king’s sister). The artist was lieutenant-colonel and count Fritz von Dardel, owner of the castle and aide-de-camp to king Karl XV. Von Dardel, who married one of the […]

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    Lucia: Celebrating the Queen of Light in Sweden

    By Thomas / December 10, 2012

    If you are a Swedish woman with a husband and a family, on the morning on the 13thof December you will rise earlier than usual, leave the bedroom and quietly close the door. You’ll prepare a tray with candles, ginger bread, funny shaped saffron buns with raisins (lussebullar), and make a big pot of coffee. […]

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    A Free Lunch – in the Grocery Store!

    By Thomas / December 7, 2012

    Today, I spent extra half an hour in my favorite grocery store, eating a complimentary lunch from their julbord, which they put up one day every year a few weeks before Christmas. (Please see explanation of julbord below.) The julbord is open for all customers, free of charge. You’re invited even if you haven’t been […]

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