Tag Archives: radio

Christmas in Sweden – Advent Calendar

awesomechristmasEvery family has at least one Advent Calendar, usually with bits of chocolate on the inside. There is also a tv calendar and a radio calendar.

The Christmas Calendar (Julkalendern), which dates back to the 1960s, is an annual TV series airing one episode a day in 10 minute increments. Each year it’s a different story.

There is also a radio calendar with a different Christmas story than the television, airing a 10-minute episode each day.

The TV calendar this year is a story set in the early 1900s about a girl and a professor who build a hot air balloon to travel to find the land of Santa Claus.


The radio calendar story this year is about a girl who shakes a snow globe and is taken to a magical land.

We listen to the radio calendar every morning at breakfast, and watch the television calendar every evening.

It’s a good way to practice my Swedish, though many years the stories take place in the 1800s to early 1900s, so I may have picked up a few unused words here and there.



Chicago Cubes

While we were in Italy, we heard the news about the Chicago Cubs World Series win on the radio. Of course, it took us a while to figure it out since the Italian announcer congratulated the “Chicago Cubes.”


The best ads are on AM Radio

When’s the last time you listened to AM Radio in East Texas?  … Well that’s too long!

Commercials on AM Radio are the funniest thing out there. In addition to the poor quality, the subject matter of the area will make you laugh so hard you’ll have to pull to the side of the road. Let me give you two real examples of commercials we heard while listening to AM Radio:

1. Big Lou’s Term Life Insurance.  You should buy life insurance from Big Lou because, “Big Lou. He’s just like you….. He’s on meds too.”

2. “Cowboy Catheter”  A commercial for a personal catheter is always uncomfortable and difficult to listen to, but I had no idea there were catheters for every personality type! In this commerical, an old cowboy discusses why his cowboy catheter works for his cowboy lifestyle.

And BONUS! I just typed Cowboy Catheter into Google and there’s a video!

Long live creepy radio!

When I lived in Houston, I enjoyed listening to the college radio station.  You never knew what they would be playing.  It could be anything from Robert Johnson to the Muppets.  The best part of finding the channel was the DJs.  After most blocks of songs, there would be at least a 10 second awkward silence before you would hear, “Uh… yeah… uh… that was the Moody Blues covering the theme song from Flash Gordon….. uh…. up next… uh….. Mike with the Chamber Music hour….”

Who runs these college stations?  I always thought the point of the stations was to train students going into radio.  I suppose this might be why radio is phasing out now and continious music on Sirius and Spotify is more popular.

I’ve missed the creepy college station here in Stockholm, but yesterday while driving in the car (I blame you for that McDonald’s), I found an odd station in English playing old 60s music.  It’s not common to find English speaking radio here, so I listened for a while as the British DJ talked about the songs.  Imagine my joy as I heard the completely inexperienced man say in a drawling, monotone voice, “uh….. that was The Doors…. Hello, I Love You…uh…kind of short song….. most of their songs were longer….. not that one….. uh…. going to play some blues next….. the blues are not so happy….. usually men compaining…… uh…. not good relationships…… yeah….. um…. here’s Buddy Guy.”

What sort of station is this?!  It’s now on Pre-set number 1 in the car.  I’m not sure if it’s an English learning station or some lonely British guy in Stockholm stuck in a basement with his old records.  But this is what I’ve been missing.  Good for you, creepy British radio guy!  Our kids need to live in a world with mysterious, confused radio DJs.  Keep up the good work!


America is losing millions!

This is what I’ve been hearing from my 6 year old son for the past two mornings.  He gets a very concerned face and then tells us, “America is losing millions of dollars!”  He’s very upset.

We finally got him to tell us that he heard this several times on the internet radio.  Our kids aren’t really exposed to many commercials, so when they do hear them, they believe them completely.  Several times on vacation in the U.S., my children have told us about fabulous products we should buy while adding, “It’s so nice of them to tell us about this special cleaner!”

Anyway, our 6 year old is both worried that we will lose a million dollars if we go there and that everyone in the country will be living in boxes under a bridge. Thanks alot, radio commercials.



Once again with the Public Service Announcements

(Disclaimer: I am not trying to make fun of the issues in the announcements – simply the poor quality of the announcements.)

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but what’s happening with these American Public Service Announcements on the radio?  We listen to Internet radio stations in the morning during breakfast, and they are full of these commercials.  Is the whole point to have bad voice-overs and cheesy material so we will remember what was said?  My 2 favorites at the moment:

1. “I remember the day my son slammed the door in my face and told me he hated me.”
Every time I hear this, I laugh after that line.  In fact, I’m not really sure what the announcement is for.  I assume the mom did something awful.  She probably threw out all his comic books or put Little Mermaid sheets on his bed.  Every time I hear this annoying woman talk, I also want to slam a door in her face and tell her I hate her.

2. “Smile for the picture! C’mon son, smile for the camera! He’s not smiling. Maybe he’s not happy. Maybe he’s hungry. Maybe he’s sad. Maybe he’s tired. Maybe he just doesn’t feel like smiling. Honey… Maybe he has autism!”
Well, I didn’t see that one coming.  Who wrote this nonsense? You know, it’s most likely your baby is sick of this awful dialogue.  Can we roll it back a bit? How about he doesn’t know what the hell a camera is and he doesn’t speak English because he’s a baby!?


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