Mink Machine

Entries of year 2004

Bullet dodging on the tram

As the first snow of the year settled on the unsuspecting drivers in rush traffic, I sat on the tram and happened to see two girls in front of me who was playing with dolls. Well, action figures to be correct. They each had a figure of Elastigirl from The Incredibles, quite likely the sole survivor from a happy meal package.

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The Green Goblin is innocent

Every now and then the newspapers use a totally non-news issue as cover story. This makes me both happy and sad at the same time. Happy, since it tells that nothing spectacularly evil happened today. As we all know, the only cover stories that sell are about horrible accidents, royal sex scandals and innocent blood spilled.

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Alien loves Predator

While in Stockholm we went to the premiere of Alien vs Predator. I have been looking forward to this movie ever since that alien skull was included in the spaceship trophy room in Predator 2, fourteen years ago (gasp, am I really that old?). But it was not an alien movie, nor a predator movie. It was something weird in-between. That is not a good thing.

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Nobody to fear but ourselves

While following the current American presidential election and realizing the most probable outcome, it is only natural to ponder the doom of civilization. We are bound by the laws of ethics and morale, not to mention the laws themselves, to be nice to each other and stay away from the path of destruction.

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Viva la Air France

This would be a night to remember. We arrived at Guarulhos, the international airport of Sao Paulo, in the afternoon. To our surprise the aircraft had already left. The Air France office was already closed at 5 pm so we had a look at the Air France web site, that referred us to a 24/7 telephone number. That led us in turn to an answering machine, saying that the service was closed and any questions were referred to the web site.

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The streets of Paraguay

I used to place Egypt quite high on the paradox list, as they have a lot of signs reading “Egypt – the land of peace” while a guard carrying an automatic weapon stands firmly posing in front of the very sign. However, there’s a new kid on the block. In Paraguay, I learned recently, there are people guarding the car tire shops in full Kevlar armor, holding a sawed-off shotgun with a finger on the trigger.

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Featured stories

On the Trans-Siberian

"Since the toilets were locked during the seven hour stop, we had to bribe the provodnitsas to use the facilities. Then came the Mongols."

I still love you, New York

"Now I’m back and our roles are somewhat reversed. Like River Song and the Doctor, we meet again under different circumstances."

Roaming in Valletta

"I passed the statue of Jean de Valette, the 49th Grand Master who laid the foundation stone to Valletta in 1566, to gaze at the golden interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where he is buried in the crypt."

Historic locations in Gothenburg

"Hundreds of houses were quickly build, but unfortunately all of it was burned to the ground in 1611 by Danish forces."

Wazzup in Vaduz

"Vaduz Castle is overlooking the town from a hill, a short walk from the center. It’s really a postcard view with the alps in the background, which I’m sure the prince enjoys as he sips his morning coffee while towering above his loyal subjects."

Bunker safari

"The area contains 54 excavated bunkers along with gun emplacements, scattered around the town’s most visible landmark."