31 August 2006

August 31st

Today is our anniversary... Well, not wedding anniversary, but getting-together anniversary. 11 years today! Which means there must be pizza... We had pizza on our first "date" (it wasn't really a date) and have had pizza on this day every year since.

Someone asked how I knew it was this exact date - and assumed it had something to do with jumping into bed. Now I'm not going to tell you when we first jumped into bed, that's not your business ;) (But that we have, on occasion, is hard to deny, what with all those kids around...) I was in effect stalking this bloke, my colleague. Or wooing, as it were.. We'd "happened" to meet socially too (he wasn't that hard to woo...), and we'd had a meal or two together, but no flirting - as such - and no kissing at all. And to think in 4 months we were engaged, 5 more months, married..

But I know the exact date is today. 11 years ago, after work, I went with him to shop baby clothes - his brother's third daughter had been born in the morning (and happy birthday to you, J K, even if you don't read this), and he claimed he needed help with the shopping. Right. He already had three nieces and a nephew and babysat frequently, so I didn't buy into that, but pretended to, of course.

I was due to meet a girlfriend after work, but she (along with everyone else) had been hearing so much about him that she practically threw me off and sent me along with him to finally hook him... And after the shopping we were hungry, and went for pizza. Then he walked me home, as gentlemen do. Walked me all the way home. Followed me inside, I think we were leafing through old photo albums or something. AND talking. A lot. We always did. And do.

Eventually, he got up to leave. Eventually there was a goodnight hug. Eventually the hug turned into a kiss... And what did I say, my first, romantic utterings after 8 months of hard work?

- Now my friends will be really happy!

He laughed. Wouldn't I be happy...?

Yes. I was. And still am. So happy endekiversary (that ought to be a word!), hubby!

30 August 2006

How much do you know about Norway?

Firstly, when I said Norwegians were "childishly optimistic" I was being nice. I think "naive" is the correct term... Why? Well, listen to this -
- "we don't have to save up, our oil will last forever!"
- "everybody knows about Norway, the nation that brought peace to the Middle East"
- "oh, and to Sri Lanka"
- "and there's the paper clip, still"

Secondly, a quiz about Norway's appropriate about now. Here, let's see what you make out of this...

Thirdly, I really must not stay up this late... Darn msn ;)

27 August 2006

Scandinavian relations

Some of you were interested to know about Scandinavian interrelations. Well, I'm Scandinavian, so if you don't mind my lumping all Norwegians together and calling my humble opinion universal, well then, I'm off..

Firstly, Scandinavia. It's actually only Denmark, Norway and Sweden (listed alphabetically to avoid accusations of bias, ok?). If you add Finland and Iceland it'll turn out as The Nordic Countries. To us, that is. The rest of you still call it Scandinavia.
(It's just the same that happened when a Norwegian I know (of) went travelling around the world, and although he insisted he was called Njål (...) people would say stuff like "that's all right, we'll just call you Bob!".. Digress? I wouldn't dream of it. )

Norwegians, on the whole, possibly spoiled by the ridiculous amount of money the oil's pouring into this country (if not into its inhabitants' pockets), tend to be rather optimistic. I was going to say joyful, but that's an exaggeration. It's more like kiddies' optimism. Only with a poker face. It's not true that Norwegians don't smile. They do. Just look:
It's just that when you wear a woollen hat 9 months a year it doesn't show.

Norwegians are very proud of Norway ("didn't the UN just say that we were the best country to live in, again, this year?"), but we're not proud of things Norwegian. We mostly don't feel very attached to the old Norwegian culture at all, except for the bunad-wearing on the 17th of May and the Christmas
lutefisk. Traditional dancing and music is very much a rural thing, and we'd rather talk about Madrugada, a-ha or Sondre Lerche... Or Sweden, actually - they've got Volvo, IKEA, Sony Ericsson - Abba, Roxette - Bjørn Borg, Tre Kronor ice hockey team, and a national side in football that's not just in various world cups, but doing well at it.

So, the further away from Norway we are, the more "uni-Scandinavian" we are - sure we can take credit for IKEA and Olympic gold winning olympic teams... Closer to home, we make fun of the Swedes, we have jokes about eachother, we claim they're a rather stupid people. But secretly, or not so secretly, they're the big brother we're really proud of, still rather annoyed at, for being so much better than us at everything... And they've got
Astrid Lindgren.

We've got Swedish programmes on television and a lot of Norway has access to Swedish channels as well. Most Norwegians understand any given Swedish dialect on any given day. Swedes won't even try understanding Norwegian, so as soon as the border's crossed (- you can cross into Sweden a million places along the border, only a few are watched) Norwegians change into Norwedish, which is more easily understood, and which gives the Swedes the feeling that they do, after all, understand Norwegians...

Denmark will be dealt with later ;)

Fun exercise - family edition

Yesterday the whole family went for a walk in the woods. Ending up at a farm that's only open to the public on Sundays, but the football field was there even on a Saturday...

Posted by Picasa Scholiast hiking in unrestricted area - a few years ago

You may, or may not know, that going for walks is Norway's national sport no. 1. (I know I've said that it's football, but that's in registered members - you don't register anywhere to take a walk*.) Norwegians tend to walk to school, walk to do the shopping, walk to work and then, to relax, walk somewhere else. In a park, to a park, in the woods, along the shore, to a friend, to the cinema etc. etc. Yes a lot of people drive too, but if it's reachable on foot, that's what we opt for. Using "we" very loosely here, as we (my family) had our very first walk on our own, and on our own initiative, yesterday...

The kids have all been to this place before, with their class / kindergarten. And they're more used to walking (with said institutions...) than we, their parents. Still, as expected, I was walking briskly (as I do) trying to catch up with three of them - while hubby was strolling (as he'd love being able to do on weekdays too...) with the other two. Who hardly move at all. Not because they're tired, and not really because they stop all the time (although they do stop to observe the odd snail, mushroom or whatever), but because they walk really s l o w l y ... Well, we ended up in the same place, but walking together was impossible. At least on this, our first try.

Now the kids weren't ecstatic about it all... (Where do they get these un-Norwegian vibes??) So now we've decided we'll do it every weekend. Not to taunt them, no, listen - we're buying a thingamajig that measures the distance you walk, multiply by seven, then add up and once we're passed 50 / 100 / (any number we decide upon) kms, we're treating ourselves to a day at a waterpark or a cinema or something.

Now the kids are ecstatic. Fun, eh?

* You don't even have to walk on set paths. As long as it's public land - and there's a lot of that here - you walk wherever you want, stopping to feed wherever you want, no signs showing you were to photograph even... Here's an example of people in a restricted area...

Checklist meme

Just bold the things you have accomplished in your life.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain (highest: Norway's highest, Galdhøpiggen, 2469 metres)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid (awesome!)
06. Held a tarantula (not for a million dollars...)
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I love you" and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped (there are so many other interesting ways to die)
11. Visited Paris (twice. So far)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise (... but more often stayed up all night to watch the sun never set - up north where I grew up)
14. Seen the Northern Lights (so many advantages growing up north of the Arctic Circle!)
15. Gone to a huge sports game (England-Norway at Wembley big enough?)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg (and walked through it)
19. Slept under the stars (in theory. Actually it was under the midnight sun)
20. Changed a baby's diaper (hah...)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity (I was a student, I had another student loan coming up the next term anyway...)
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (I felt quite embarrassed, at least, having the giggling fit of the century at the altar, receiving mass - aged 13...)
27. Had a food fight (aged 20... But we were staging a kiddy party!)
28. Bet on a winning horse (I don't make bets. Ever.)
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight (loads)
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (even to my kids once, that made them shut up...)
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse of the moon
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run (a what?)
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (I don't dance. My two brain halves are unconnected and arms and legs won't cooperate)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day (not for a whole day)
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (most of the time!)
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states (yeah. Right)
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends (absolutely! You know who you are!)
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales (what'd I tell you about growing up where I did?)
45. Stolen a sign (it was for a friend, who collected, honest)
46. Backpacked in Europe (Norway - Greece. England - France. Etc.)
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing (small scale climbing without all the harnesses and stuff, like Claire)
49. Midnight walk on the beach (Greece - under the stars, Lofoten - in the sun)
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland (sadly, only once, but I'll be back!)
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs (all the time. Never out of order)
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day (several times. Most unexpected - on holiday with my cousin in Portugal. Why waste an entire day like that?)
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain (my hubby's attractive in all weather conditions)
63. Played in the mud (with and without kids!)
64. Played in the rain (as above...)
65. Gone to a drive-in theater (we haven't got them)
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business (my own translation agency. Employees: me)
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (see # 62)
69. Toured ancient sites (Greece, Egypt, England, Ireland)
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight (but blogging, that's another matter...)
72. Gotten married (fortunately!)
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days (I decided to fast one week while studying in England. I was disappointed at how easy it was. Only I needed to chew something and was left chewing ice cubes day in day out...)
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (I hate dressing up)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason (see # 62...)
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house (two, in fact, one at a time, though)
91. Been in a combat zone (but not while there was fighting... Ex Yugoslavia)
92. Buried one/both of your parents (touch wood!)
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently (I guess my English is ok. Greek not fluent, though. Yet)
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (never ending story...)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour (de Lillos, U2, Sting - though not an entire tour)
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking (happens alot)
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds (that would be a bit much, even for me)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane (my uncle flies a 4 seat one, I was given the stick for a couple of minutes. I was terrified...)
109. Petted a stingray (this summer, in Denmark, Kattegatcenteret)
110. Broken someone's heart (I doubt it very much)
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show (don't know if the national lottery counts? The draw is on tv, at least. Didn't win a million, but a few thousand dollars..)
113. Broken a bone (my nose. Twice)
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (airgun. Friend's house centuries back...)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (but not by me)
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery (unless caeserean with quads and major infection + operations to follow is major surgery)
120. Had a snake as a pet (hah. That'd be the day!)
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (I'm sure I did when I was a student. A friend used to say if I wasn't waken up every now and then I'd sleep till I was dead...)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states (but that doesn't count, I guess...)
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper (they do that over here when you have quads. This from a few years back)
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about (possibly. Can't prove it, though)
130. Gone back to school (I go back all the time to do more Greek classes)
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (not the entire thing)
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions so far (the one I went to was good fun)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream (sometimes even now. All the summer I was living in Crete - 1994...)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair (yellow. It wasn't even the eighties...)
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

I wouldn't mind getting to check # 2, 22, 25, 61, 65, 66, 79, 99, 105, 114, 121, 124 and 134 before I go either.

20 August 2006

Quote of the day (# umpteen) with accompaniment

Me: Time for bed, Jakob, it's getting late, the others are already asleep

J: But I'm not tired!

Me (conclusively, I felt this was a real selling point): Yes you are, look in the mirror, the white in your eyes is red!

J: That's because I'm a
Liverpool supporter!!

He did, eventually, go to bed...


Now, does anyone remember the Russian song in this year's Eurovision Song Contest? Dima Bilan sang "never, never let you go" with quite a bit of moaning, a compelling pronunciation of the word 'blood', and with a lot more clothes on than he appears to have if you google him... You can hear the original here, if you like.

Now, my kids - and especially Filip - love this song. (I must admit I've admitted it (hah!) into my iPod as well. It kind of grows on you...) A couple of nights ago I caught him singing along with it - you judge for yourselves if his English isn't a match for Dima's :)

(He sings very softly at the beginning, but wait for it...)

Posted by Picasa

19 August 2006

Little known facts about Norway

And I use the term "facts" loosely.
Riannan showed me the way here, and you'll have to go see for yourself. Uncyclopedia is made totally out of nonsense. It's hilarious! Make sure you don't mix it up with Wikipedia...

It did however contain a very good and uptodate post on Norway, that I would like to share with you. (I removed their links, though, so the links beneath are mine, neat and proper, in case you wanted to actually learn something...)

The People's Republic of Norway
(pronounced nowhere by Asians), one of the last Soviet states, joining the one-man club of Belarus. The fabled Slartibartfast created it around tea-time; as legend has it, he was inspired by a particularly complicated wrinkle in his tablecloth.

A member of the United Federation of Planets since its independence from Stockholm in 1953, the colony has a reputation amongst outsiders for censorship and a strong, almost fetishistic love of socks, particularly white ones. The colony has, in recent years, been at war with whales and, more infrequently, Good Christian Decency. A little known fact about these so-called Norwegians is that they reproduce asexually.

Tourist Information
There are 2 supermarkets in Norway, on account of the trees growing too thickly for anyone to be able to get their shopping trolleys to the checkout register. If you somehow manage to find one despite the odds, you should be advised that the names of the foodstuffs may be confusing. This is because bork is the Swedish spelling; Norwegians will be mortally offended at its mere whispered mention. The closest Norwegian equivalent is "bjørk" - please note that for a full and balanced diet, you need both bjørk and other bjørk, or the ever-popular daily multibjørk.

If you decide to wisit Norway be sure to bring lots of money, if you're income is less than 1.000.000$ don't bother, go somewhere else. Every year Germans invade Norway in their mobile homes, Germans are the only people that can afford to go to Norway. This is only because they bring their own place to live and their own food and therefore don't spend any money in Norway. Food in Norway is expensive, a Big-Mac menu costs 11$ and it's not even supersized. A car costs the same as the national budget of a small African country, so most Norwegians drive old underpowered cars. The roads of Norway holds a standard equal to the dirt roads in the Amazon jungle. Combined with the old shitty cars driving i Norway is a nightmare.

Gays in Norway
Norway is ruled by the gay dynasty. This is a dynasty which passes from one gay person to another every month. The gays have set for a modest reformation, which includes the rule that if you have a boring gay club in your area, you will get punished if you try to start a new one. The annual gay-tax for new clubs in 2005 is 95%. These taxes are then used to fund the old gay clubs and stop the new generation from starting clubs which favour fun before money. The gay dynasty also favours the old-church christians, just so they have someone to fight with. This is the only political group which is
allowed besides GDP (Gay Dynasty Party).

Major Cities
Hellesylt - Fluffy little town in the end of a fjord, actually the last remaining feral fjord in the world and the only fjord in Norway that has not been tamed. In the summer Hellesylt is a tourist magnet, in the winter, it's white.
Geiranger - Another fluffy little town, near Hellesylt. Often seen as a forest with a with many treehouses from a cruiseship. Its fluffiness may in fact be slightly more fluffy than Hellesylt's. But they're both pretty fluffy.

Sverige is one of the biggest cities in Norway. This is where the norwegians send all the retarded people. This city is known in other countries as Sweden.

This very last bit at least is true. Everyone knows that Sweden is full of . . . Which neatly links directly to my next, Scandinavian post... Coming up!

16 August 2006

And still...

... Norway is the only team in the world that Brazil has never beaten. Of the 79 countries they've met in official matches.

We only managed 1-1, but I just had to mention it!

15 August 2006

All the time in the world

Now, I sometimes feel I could do with some extra time. Don't we all? And I think I've found a way of gaining at least one hour a day. One hour per working day.

You may, or may not know, that Norway has a ban on public smoking. Following Ireland, and with Britain tailing us. I don't know the exact details of their laws, but at least here, you're not allowed to smoke indoors in any public building, like in bars, restaurants, airports, or at work. (Even if everybody working there smokes and noone ever visits...) But smoking itself isn't illegal. Yet...

I don't smoke. So, I don't need to take breaks for smoking during a work day. Hey, wait! That's not fair?!

Smoking a cigarette takes, what, 6-7 minutes? And walking up and down to street level (all these people smoking on pavements outside public buildings may really be a health hazard...), to / from the stairs / lift, getting dressed to go out in, say, 20 below freezing (-4 F), must make that at least 15 minutes altogether.

An average smoker needs a good 4 cigarettes during a work day. This is perfectly legitimate still - and leaves said smokers 1 hour to themselves. Every work day.

Surely this means I'm allowed 1 hour of blogging during an 8 hour work day?

And again. No wonder I'm all spaced out...

13 August 2006

One-eyed or not,

Merujo, you're my visitor no. 9,000! I'm flattered, truly!

(If you wonder about the one-eyedness, you obviously have not been reading Merujo's posts lately. Or even at all? Then get thee over yonder!)

Matt meme

It's from Matt, alright? It's not about him. It's about ME. Naturally... I'd just like to add, hastily, that these days I get most reading done on the boat. 23 minutes to and from work. Takes a while to finish a brick like that..

1. One book you have read more than once

Not all that many, or, well, just a few...
From age six, I read "The Secret Garden" and "Little Lord Fauntleroy" once a month. At least. Up until the age of about 15. That makes, erh, quite a few readings.. I've re-read them a few times as an adult too, I still like the feeling of change. In those characters, of course, I'm not changing...

More recently, Good Omens (by Terry Pratchett) and Amatøren (by Lars Saabye Christensen) are my most frequent repeats. I laugh my head off at both each time.

2. One book you would want on a desert island

I was going to say one of the above, for entertainment - but reading how Matt would bring a heavy novel to kill major time I figured that made sense. In which case I'd bring Ulysses and Don Quijote. I'd really like to read both but never seem to find the time for it.

3. One book that made you laugh

Most by Terry Pratchett, Discworld series. Good Omens, Amatøren (am I repeating myself?), several books by Are Kalvø - those actually had someone coming up to me on the boat, asking if I was choking. I'd been trying not to laugh out loud... Oh, and "Families, and how to survive them" by John Cleese and Robin Skynner.

I'm really not very good at choosing just one, am I..?

4. One book that made you cry

Cry, as in weep, not cry with laughter? I honestly can't say, I tend to opt for the lighter variety...
Well, there may be at least one. I've read a lot of books of and / or about native Americans. I'd been very interested in their culture, language and history since I was about 9 or 10, and wrote a major thesis about them in my senior year in high school. If memory serves correctly, Dee Brown's Bury my heart at Wounded Knee had me shed a few tears. Whereas the biography of Geronimo just made me really ashamed to be white. One of many times. (So I was happy to find a t-shirt with "Don't judge my colour, judge my mind"...)

5. One book you wish you had written

I may have to say - any one by Douglas Adams, at least the first four of the (increasingly inaccurately named) trilogy Hitchhiker's guide to the Universe. Not least for all the fun he must have had while writing!
I'd also like to have written a ridiculous number of traveller's guides - to Greece, mainly - and do all the research for them myself!

6. One book you wish had never been written

The fifth book of the (increasingly inaccurately named) trilogy Hitchhikers' guide to the Universe. It's not such a horrible book in itself. It just breaks down the others. I feel.

There. I chose just one. Happy?

7. One book you are currently reading

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Don't look at me, I've only just started it, can't expect me to finish it. I've even had holidays, right, and no boating!

8. One book you have been meaning to read

The Da Vinci code. NOT because I want to read the Da Vinci code. At all. But because I'd very much like to read my favourite author Knut Nærum's book Madonnagåten (aka The Madonna riddle) - a parody that is best read after the original... I'd even throw in The Asti Spumante Code for good measure, Rarity recommended it ages ago. If I could only bring myself to read the first one...

9. One Book That Changed Your Life

Huh? Nah, sorry, haven't found that one yet.

10. Now tag five people

Do I want to do this? Do you?

12 August 2006

The end of summer

For me, summer isn't just getting away from work, or doing something fun with family and friends.

Summer is a feeling. A feeling like my skin's too tight, after hours in the sun. A glance in the mirror of a darker shade of pale on my skin, making me smile. A feeling of amazement at how white the kids' hair can get.

Summer is a feeling I love.

And today we're back from the cabin. The kids' hair is still white, of course. My skin hasn't really felt too tight at all this summer - that comes out best in Greece. (And if it feels too tight to handle, there's always yoghurt, soothens sunburn and prevents peeling every time.) I'm feeling rather melancholy. And it hasn't even started raining...

09 August 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean - dead man's chest

My hubby and I went to see this film the week before going to Denmark. (Being at the cabin with his parents means there are babysitters close at hand!) It wasn't as much fun as the first one, we thought, and I totally agree with Josh about the unavoidable second sequel (terquel?)...

Still, going to the cinema only once a year, as we tend to, it was great just seeing a film that was larger than life, what with the surround sound and all. And there's a lot to be said about Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp - or Keira Knightley, for hubby's sake! The film had a lot of moments that made me jump, even if it wasn't nightmare scary - even to me...
We were at the night show - starting at 10 pm and finishing at about half an hour past midnight. Age limit has been set to 11 in Norway, which means kids can come in at age 8 if they're together with grown-ups. Still - at that hour, even during summer holidays, we hadn't expected there to be so many kids!
There were two girls sitting behind us - I guess they were about 8. One of them seemed to be absorbed by her goody-bag, and fell asleep halfway through. (She had a funny hairdo at the end of it, I'll grant her that.) Her sister (?) was panically grasping her dad / uncle / neighbour throughout most of it, giving out little gasps every now and again.
Really - I thought it was good fun, if not an epic film. But for a kid that age? Now, I'd never take our 8-year-old to see this, he wouldn't catch a wink of sleep for about 3 weeks! Not necessarily because of the Kraken, and definitely not because of any fighting - but because of the messy mutant humanoids. And because he doesn't get to stay up that late...
Now - they weren't all that messy, or humanoids, even. As this very accurate test shows, there is also Will Turner (aka Yours Truly..)

Which Pirates of the Caribbean character are you?

(I'd already decided to do the test again had it told me I was anyone else, but then I didn't have to!)

Denmark (II) - Legoland

[To retain a family friendly profile this post contains no photos of Mr. Kjelling...]
Click on a photo / collage to enlarge.

Samples of what you can do with lego - some people actually do this for a living! If memory serves correctly, there are about 5 million lego bricks in Sitting Bull, whereas Abu Simbel required 11 million...

Some people do more than visit miniature worlds, though. Tonight my attention was brought to this travelsite by a friend - it's really funny AND there are photos from virtually everywhere. Have a safe journey with Matt! (But do come back, please...)

08 August 2006

Finger analysis

You may have read or heard of the theory that the length of your fingers decide on your sexuality. Or, if not decides, at least tells the rest of us about it... If you're not sure what I'm on about, you can read about it here, here, and even here, if you like. As an example of heterosexual man I bring you this photo of Kristian Kjelling, purely because you can measure the length of his fingers on it, of course. (Yes, he's straight, at least his girlfriend & mother of his child likes to think so.)

But now it turns out that finger length also proves - or at least indicates - who'll be great footballers (yes, Americans, I do mean soccer players)... Research from the UK seems to suggest that good footballers possibly have a genetic advantage. Dr John Manning from the University of Liverpool (...) has suggested a link between the length of footballers’ ring fingers and their abilities as players. He found that elite players have longer ring fingers compared to their index fingers. (Remember that in gay men, this was the opposite...)

Players found to be in this ‘long finger club’ include Bryan Robson, Sir Stanley Matthews and Gazza (for the sake of public safety I'm not going to put a photo of Gazza here. Nor the smell of his breath (oh no, he wouldn't drink?), even if it should have been possible...) Dr Manning explains this unlikely linkage: “There is evidence that our fingers tell us how much of the male hormone testosterone we have been exposed to before birth. Early exposure to testosterone is important in males for the formation of the heart and in determining ability in spatial judgment.”


So here's yet an example of testosterone gone lost - this Mr. Kristian Kjelling is actually a professional HANDball player, with the Portland San Antonio in Spain... Should you be interested to see more (and I mean more) of this, erh, great personality, despite his obvious lacks in the finger / testosterone areas, there's quite a few good shots over here... Incidentally, he's also been appointed one of the best handball players today. In the world. Shame with those fingers, though..

A question and an answer (unrelated)

What, good readers, is this in English? It's a "wildlife sweater" or "wilderness sweater" in Norwegian, but I somehow don't think that's the correct translation...

And for the answer - my niece has now arrived safely in San Francisco and has even set up a blog to relate her life over there. It's in Norwegian, but for those of you who don't speak it, isn't it about time you made the effort..?

(And why is it you think I'm home alone again, simply because I'm blogging at this hour?!!? Oh, alright, you're right of course... I'll be rejoining the others at the cabin on Wednesday, just staying home to catch up with some work...)

07 August 2006

Denmark (I)

Jakob rejoined our ranks on our first day in Denmark, much to our delight - not quite so much to his, as holidaying with our friends had meant freer reins than we keep... But still, we boldly went off to visit our Danish friends.

Last time we saw them, they'd bought and totally refurbished an old house. It was amazing - and we could not imagine anyone would ever move away from such a house. How wrong we were!

They now live here. It's not a fantasy photo - it's an actual house, they've even got a homepage for it, so it's definitely a home!

I'm not sure how to describe it. It's made of straw, as in a thatched roof, only the roof isn't thatched... (The roof's covered in blue mussels!) The straw walls have then been sprayed with a mortar mix, then painted. I have no idea what to call such a house, have you? Apparently, it's a technique much used in Canada. Not that I have ever seen anything like it in any photos from Canada ever, but perhaps I should ask a Canadian? (Cathy?)

Anyway, the house was amazing, it was beautiful, cozy, nice & warm, spacious - - just fill in positive adjectives here:

And the dining table - also made by our friends, who've built the entire house themselves - seated 5 + 7 with no problem at all. They've even got a view --- and if you know anything about Denmark, you'll know this is quite a feat!

This time, they're not moving house again...

Just imagine these photos taken with a proper camera...

We were given this orchid about 5 years ago, with the message "give one cup of water every Tuesday". Well, we've tried doing that, but usually forget. Now it has roots everywhere, there's hardly any earth left, the cups are nowhere near even on Tuesdays.

But just look at it - even through the ineptness of my camera - despite the hot and dry summer it simply gets more and more beautiful!

Back again. But back then...

I didn't have the time to show the more pleasant sides of staying at home with the kids the week before last, as opposed to working... So here's the sunny side!

We went to a nearby beach (Oslo can be spotted "over there", pleasantly far away) - my kids are in the water somewhere, as they were for most of the day. And in the old summer house by the beach they sell ice cream. Need I say more?