Thursday, December 31, 2009

run guy run II :)

Surprise surprise... I managed to squeeze in another run before the end of the year. Ken and I did the same distance as the last time and we did it a minute faster.
I wanted to upload the map from my Polar, but the link to Google Earth didnt work so I`ll try again later this week.
I just hope I can keep this up when I get back to Oslo. It`s so nice to run in cool weather rather than freezing cold, and no ice or snow.
Now we are off to celebrate new years :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

new dress

This is my niece, Annika, in her new dress that she got from her grandparents in Norway. She loved it!

birthday dinner

My birthday dinner at Shogun, where we had sushi. Incredibly delicious!
It was a great birthday with Erik, Ken and Mom.

run guy run!

It's been way too long since I have written about exercising. In fact it looks like it's been about 2 months since my last "jogging" blog.
Well yesterday Ken and I went jogging!
Surprisingly it went much better than I feared. I managed to keep up with Ken this time (last year when I visited, I could not keep up with him at all).
We covered almost 7 km in 37 minutes. Not a fast pace at all, but a very nice steady pace. But the most important factor was that my pulse did not shoot through the roof like I had expected it to.
The temperature was about 8 Celsius and sunny, so it still required long sleeves and tights, but it was a great temperature to be out jogging with my brother.
I will not wait another 2 months for my next run ;)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

happy birthday!

It was a wonderful birthday, and my 41st if anyone was wondering ;)
Had a nice breakfast with the family, then went out to see the new Avatar movie by James Cameron.
We opted for the 3D version... which is highly recommended!! I was blown away by the special effects and the 3D, which has really come a long way since the red and blue paper glasses we had to wear before. Now they look like those Ray Bans from the 80s, with regular glass that doesnt mess up your vision afterwards.
Anyways... go see it!
Went to a nice sushi restaurant, followed by lots o presents :)
Many lovely presents including the latest book by Lance Armstrong and some camera goodies.
Too tired to remember all now as I need to go to bed.
And it was nice reading all the birthday wishes on my Facebook page.
Turning 41 isn't so bad.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

xmas lights

Only in Texas!

xmas tree

Ken's Christmas tree. This is not even half the presents!

merry christmas!

The kids were up at 6:00!!
Since I was sleeping on the couch in the living room it pretty much meant that I was up at 6 too.
It's fun to see the excitement in the kids eyes as they look at the Christmas tree and the Christmas stockings to see what Santa had brought them. They asked me if I had heard him last night. I didn't see him but I had seen his shadow as he flew past the window.
It has been a nice quiet morning with coffee and 3 games of "Go Fish"
Now it's breakfast time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

schiphol airport

This is what the Schiphol airport looked like when I was patiently waiting for my transfer flight out.
Not difficult to see why we were delayed.


jetlag!

It's 07:00.
I'm wide awake!
I even took some Melatonin last night so I would get a full nights sleep, but I've been up several times already.
I'm staying at my brothers place and everyone is, of course, still asleep.
I need coffee!
Trying to work my way around a new kitchen, not wanting to wake up anyone, is not as easy as it seems. Everything seems to creek and squeek so much more when you're trying to be silent.
After searching through the cabinets, fridge, freezer, I finally found the coffee!
Bliss!
So I'll just watch some tv until the rest of the household wakes up.

Monday, December 21, 2009

destination houston - delays delays delays

It seems like every time I travel to Houston theres always problems. This time the oproblems started already before I left the house.
I wanted to be at the airport by 5:00 am so I had ordered a taxi to pick me up at 04:00.
At 04:10 there was still no cab so I called to find out what happened. Turns out there was a mixup and they sent a new cab. Also, the price they had given me was wrong and he said it would be 860 kroners instead of 550 kroners. Well, thats not my problem is it... they cant change the price on me after giving me a quote.
They were nice about it and will give me back the money they owe me.
I had bigger concerns.
The cab didn't come until 4:30. But he said he could make it there in 30 minutes, so I felt a little better. It was cold and icy weather, and as soon as we came out on the main road, E6, up towards the airport, there were 3 snow plows blocking both lanes, going 40 kmh (instead of 100 kmh which is the speed limit). My cab had no choice but to follow them in that speed.
I ended up falling asleep in the cab.
We didn't get to the airport until 5:30! The flight leaves at 6:25!
Luckily there were almost no lines, so I quickly checked in.
The flight left on time, and I arrived at Schippol airport on time. Next flight was scheduled to leave at 10:50 for Houston.
It was delayed until 11:15.
Luckily I always pack an energy bar in my carry on, so I ate that.
11:30 - We finally boarded, and they started to de-ice the plane.
12:00 - message from the captain: we should be leaving soon.
13:00 - conditions are not good. We don't have enough runway to make a safe lift off.
13:30 - we are still sitting on the ground, and I am getting seriously hungry. Message from the captain is that we may have to cancel the flight.
13:45 - we are allowed to take off anyway!

We finally take off and I am now eagerly awaiting some food!
The first round of snacks include a small drink and a tiny packet of roasted almonds. It's a 12 gram packet of maybe 10 almonds. I look at the stewardess with a desparate look and ask her if I can get an extra packet. She hesitantly gives me another packet.
Luckily the dinner arrived soon after. These dinners never really taste anything at all.

The flight was fairly nice and quiet. Not too much turbulence. I was watching some of the movies but I was sleeping on and off through G-force (the kids movie about gerbils) and the Harry Potter movie.

Anyways, we finally land in Houston! Only 2 hours late. I zoom through customs with no problems, and find both my luggages! And make it through the gates.
I can see Ken waiting for me waiving, and pointing to where the kids are.
I can see Mom and Stian and Annika holding a "Welcome home Uncle Guy" sign that they had painted for me.
It felt great to be back.

I felt kinda bad because the airline had not reported any delays to the people waiting, so Mom, Erik, Ken and the kids had been waiting for over 2 hours for me to arrive.
But all of that was forgotten when I got there, and we went out to get some dinner.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

the eagle has landed

I finally made it to Houston, after a few delays here and there.
I've been up since 3 am and it is now 5:30 am, so I've been up for 26 hours.
So I will write a more detailed report tomorrow.
Good night! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

advertising: rollerskating babies

Ok, this one was just too funny! Since it made me laugh it deserves to be in here.

into the darkness

I`ve been trying to stay positive these past few weeks.
But I always struggle with this time of year.
The darkness. The coldness. The loneliness.
Sometimes it`s all I can do just to get out of bed.
I don`t think anyone could have prepared me for the dark seasons when I moved back to Norway.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

email etiquette

The "subject line" is not where you write an entire sentence!

fun with photoshop II

I may look skinny but I´m actually the world`s strongest man!

cycling in the snow

It was a cold bike ride to work this morning. Only 14 degrees at the most. That`s Fahrenheit by the way... which is about minus 10 Celsius.
I`ve added another layer of clothing to my already layered ensemble so my body isn`t really cold... but it felt like my face and eyeballs were going to freeze shut.
Still... it`s a good way to wake up, and it`s kinda fun riding on snow when it`s hard like it is now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

fun with photoshop

I`m working on next year`s catalog for work where "Circus" is the theme.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

what, the president?

So the one day I decide to use the car to work (give me some slack, I`m still groggy from the virus) is the same day president Obama decides to visit our little country. I knew this before I started my car, but I figure how bad could it be way outside the outer loop?
Well... pretty bad.
It took me over 30 minutes just to cover 4 km (just past Bryn senter for those of you who know where I live).
When I finally exited the loop, Ring 3, the cars were at a standstill yet again. I still had a good kilometer left and saw no other solution but to park the car there, pay for public parking, and do a small jog the rest of the way.
This probably saved me at least 20 minutes, and it only took me 4 minutes on foot.
Only 2 out of my 7 students even made it on time, the last student coming in an hour late.

I`m excited about the president being here though. I just wish I would have taken my bike.
And I wish we could have given him a more white, snowy, wintery-feel Norway.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

wheel change

I just need to laugh for a bit:

hugging the porcelain throne

(or "calling the moose" as we say in Norwegian).
I guess it was only a matter of time during these days of swine-flu and viruses. Monday was awful for me and I had no energy in my body. Sure enough, by Monday evening, whatever it was wanted to get out of my body.
I have to say though, I felt really good, or rather relieved, immediately afterwards. But the rest of the night would be sleep-less.
It took me all day Tuesday to get out of bed, and just eating a bowl of soup and some crackers was a huge step. But at least it stayed down.
I was back at work today... although I still feel pretty wiped out.
I`m still not sure if this was a virus, food poisoning or some sort of flu, but hopefully it will be the last time I have to hug the porcelain for at least another year.

Monday, December 07, 2009

porn

The secret is out guys. They`ve now proven that all guys watch porn.
Read article

It took them 2 years to figure this out?
Couldn`t they have researched on something a bit more important like cancer?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

lazy hackers

I just received an email to my hotmail account. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but something tells me I probably should not reply to this one:


Dear Account Owner

This Email is from Hotmail Customer Care and we are sending it to every Hotmail Email User Accounts Owner for safety. we are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of Hotmail accounts so we are shutting down some Hotmail accounts and your account was among those to be deleted. We are sending this email to you so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account. If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below.Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account.

* Username: ...............................
* Password: ................................
* Date of Birth: ............................
* Country Or Territory: ................

Confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, or your account will be suspended within 48 hours for security reasons.

Friday, December 04, 2009

photo: no monkey business

Theres a new budding photographer in the Tiegergarten Zoo, in Vienna, Austria. The 33 year old orangutang, Nonja, has been given a camera that spits out a raisin when she snaps a photo.
So we get a sneak peek into the life of a zoo inmate. According to the spokesman at the zoo, she doesn`t really care about the outcome of the photos, she just wants her raisins.

You can find her photos on Facebook if you search for Nonja :-)






Wednesday, December 02, 2009

lost in translation

I love reading the Norwegian subtitles on tv. Todays best one:
"I feel like a beer"
"Jeg føler meg som en bjørn"

am I really that old?

So I`ve been tuning in to P4 RadioRetro today, which is classified as "Oldies", on my iTunes. Partly to guarantee that songs by Alexander Rybak and Lady Gaga don`t suddenly turn up.
But amidst the songs from the 60s that are played are songs by artists like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Dire Straits, Styx, etc etc.
This is oldies?
Shit... I guess I AM old!

Or maybe I should just classify myself as retro...

Monday, November 30, 2009

ho ho ho

So I thought I`d try to decorate my site a bit to get into the Christmas spirit.

vernissage II

Friday I went to another art opening. This time at Kreaktiv in Drammen.
Here with the lovely Rita (to quote John and Paul), the curator of Kreaktiv. This is one of her pieces from the Elva Rundt, where I posed together with Ann Karin for her.
It`s a great piece!

There were lots of great pieces by many different artists that use Kreaktiv as their base. And as always, it`s pretty cool to see the different results.

This is another one of Rita`s pieces.


This was done by Rikke, Rita`s sister, who joined in on the croquis class for her first time. Pretty cool drawing.

One of the artists has his slipper for sale, supposedly worth 3000 kroners.

let it snow, let it snow


Taken this morning at about 9 am.
So maybe this is not exactly winter wonderland just yet. It snowed again yesterday, but as usual today it is about 35 F outside and raining.
Basically it`s just dark and wet outside, which makes my bike ride to work all that more fun.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

yoga yoga yoga

Finally! I signed up for an hour of yoga at one of the exercise clubs nearby. And I could tell it`s been a while since I last did this. Had some problems with the basic balancing moves. But this just proves that I need to keep doing this.

I don`t stretch enough, and I think that both the back problems this summer and my last little scare with the pain in my side can all be related to muscular problems.
Plus the fact that the class consists of 99% girls should be an extra incentive too ;-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

when cyclists party

Once a year, my bike club Frikransen gathers together for an end of the year christmas party. It`s always strange at first when we see each other in our "civilian" clothes and not our standard cycling gear. But as always it is alot of fun.
So Friday night we were invited to Øyvind`s place and were served an incredible meal, including an appetizer that you can see below.

With a champagne welcome drink, and very nice red wine for dinner, followed by coffe and cognac, led to a pretty happy group. The christmas presents game at the end has become a tradition as well... although this year I did not get a present. Oh well. I still have a bunch of nice photos I intend to use for blackmail.

And here`s a link to my photo gallery
Merry Christmas! :-)





Sunday, November 22, 2009

sunday spin

What was supposed to be jogging outside turned out to be a 2 hour spinning class with a good friend (we opted for something indoors due to the freezing rain).
It felt really good to be "back in the saddle".

I actually had 2 offers to go working out today, which is pretty surprising considering I haven`t been the easiest person to get out of the house these past few months. But I guess thats what good friends are for.
Thanks :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

vernissage


My friend Sissel is one of the students from Nydalen and has drawn me for about a year now (like this one).
She has her own art exhibit at the Cafe Deja Vu in Frognerveien 58, and had her vernissage last night.
This piece was one of my favorites, entitled "Father and son" if I remember correctly. Her work will be hanging here for about a month so go see!

Friday, November 20, 2009

norseman 2003 - where it all started

I miss these days. Everything was new and exciting. We were a small bunch of friends who ventured into the unknown. 21 guys would turn up to do something that nobody before us had done before. My girlfriend at the time was my support during the whole event, and in the weeks prior to this.
We even got a 5 minute slot on NRK! It has been posted on youtube and can still be enjoyed here:
Norseman Xtreme Triathlon 2003

Ever since the first Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, my life has been consumed with triathlons and bike races. It defined me.
But things change, people come and go, and things are not the same. I need to find that "spark" again. The excitement.
Maybe looking at these old videos will bring it all back.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

true blood

A 4 hour True Blood marathon, a huge pizza and a good friend to share it with.
Haven`t done that since college.
Thanks for a fun evening :-)

marketing

Translation: "Opening soon an exciting take-away kitchen!"


Not sure what attracted me to this the most... the stylish sign written in marker, the fact that they are describing this as exciting, that we don`t have a Norwegian word for "take-away", or a mixture of all of these.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

warning signs?

I had just finished lunch at work, Thursday, when suddenly I got this pain in the side of my chest. Felt mostly like the cramps you get when running. I didn`t think much of it at first and excused myself from class, thinking I could "walk it off". Well it didn`t go away but rather it got worse. It was painful breathing in and I could barely keep standing.

I dropped everything and took a cab downtown to the emergency room.
The doctor was not sure what this could be, so she took some x-rays and took about 3 viles of blood from me.
Before I knew it I was in a hospital bed in my own room waiting for the results (well, actually I shared a room with an older Pakistani man who turned out to be very talkative).

The blood results didn`t come back until 7 pm, but they all came back negative. None of the x-rays showed anything either.
This was all good news of course, but basically I still didn`t know what this was. Maybe it was muscular? Was it an anxiety attack? I got to talk to the doctor again, before going home, but all we could do is speculate.
Today is Sunday and I have tried to just take it easy the past few days. Went swimming for a while yesterday and that felt really good. It still feels like somebody punched me in the side, but I don`t have any problems breathing.

Maybe my body is angry with me for not training actively anymore.
I don`t really know what to do, but I am taking this as some sort of warning sign and I need to change my daily routines.

Friday, November 13, 2009

croquis drawings

These 2 drawings are done by 2 of the girls, Sissel and Margrete, from Nydalen Kunstskole and they hired me in for some extra croquis classes. I love to see the different results, so I took a picture of them (unfortunately my cell phone is not the best camera).


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

gaining weight

No, not me.
My bike.
Last night I switched out my front tire with the studded tire. The normal tire weighs 700 grams while the studded tire weighs 1000 gr.
So far it`s just the front tire but when I get both of them on there then my bike will weigh over 1/2 kg more than normal.
Should be good for the uphills ;-)

Monday, November 02, 2009

cold, dark and wet


I am reminded of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles".
Steve Martin: "What do you think the temperature is?"
John Candy: "One."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

snowflakes!

I look out the window this morning and see big fluffy snowflakes slowly falling from the sky!
There are only a few of them, and it only lasts for a little while, but it is definitely a sign of things to come.
There is nothing more tranquil snow falling. Maybe it`s because I have lived half my life in the southern states, but snow still fascinates me.

You might have to remind me of that come January/February, when I am cursing the snow at 6 am when I am trying to dig out my car ;-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

cycling to work

It`s getting darker. It`s getting colder. It`s getting wetter.

Cycling to work is not just putting on some cycling shorts and heading out the door. The amount of layers of clothing and additions to the bike has increased in the past few weeks. So far, this is my wardrobe:
-long sleeved thermal top -
-bike shorts -
-a long legged outer shell that is semi water/wind proof in the front -
-a windproof vest over that -
-a winter bike jacket -
-a waterproof bike jacket over that (yellow for more visibility) -
-a latex-like head cap underneath helmet (windproof) -
-water-resistant booties over my shoes -
-winter gloves -
-reflective strips around my legs.

In addition I have added a blinking white headlight on the handlebars and a blinking red light under my seat.
On rainy days I have a yellow plastic cover for my backpack which is waterproof and has a reflective strip.

I am waiting with the studded tires... but they are right around the corner.

At this point it probably would be faster just taking the subway... but there`s still something satisfying about riding to work.

Monday, October 19, 2009

triathlon memories I


Gøteborg Triathlon - June 16, 2002

I drove down to Gøteborg with Ole and Clive to compete in my first ever triathlon. It was the olympic distance and I finished in 2:34:52.
I have competed in it 3 more times after that, but my first one is still one of my favorites, and Gøteborg Triathlon will always have a special place in my heart.

Friday, October 16, 2009

bikes vs cars

It almost happened again.
I am riding my bike to work, still slightly dark and a little bit of rain making it slippery. Coming down the hill from Bryn I am crossing the crosswalk in pretty good speed. I have a blinking light on my handle bars plus reflectors on my legs. Still, this car wants to take a left and cross the crosswalk even though I am now almost halfway over!!
I have to break really hard and start sliding. The car stops and honks in anger. I manage to stop, and continue to ride over in front of the car who has now stopped. My heart is racing and I got pretty scared, and really angry. By the time I turn around he is already gone.
What an idiot.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

thank you NAF :-)

As I am riding my bike home from work I see 2 people from NAF (Norwegian Automobile Association) handing out free reflectors. When the lady saw me on my bike she gave me a headlight as well.
Now I`ll be lit up like a Christmas tree on my way to and from work.
Hopefully the cars will see me now.
Thank you NAF :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

run: nøklevann rundt

This Saturday I decided, at the very last minute, to run the 9.6 km Nøklevann Rundt. It has sort of become a tradition for me since my first one in 2003 and has become my "end of the season" run. And with the Nøklevann Rundt plate as the finisher prize, I now have 6 plates in my collection. Woo hoo!
My pulse was a little higher than normal, and my pace a little slower. Not very surprising since my training has gone downhill at a rapid pace. But it was a beautiful day with sunny skies and a chilly fall temperature.
Not sure what I`ll be doing from here on in, but in the meantime I can study my pulse/pace from the race.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

still seeking tolerance and acceptance

I was simply appalled and amazed after reading the negative reactions that TV2 have received because they have included a gay participant in the "Jakten på Kjærligheten" (Search for Love) show in Norway. The show tries to find a parter for a girl or a guy and has, until now, had heterosexuals on the show. Now that they include a gay man on the show it is causing a stir and people do not wish to watch this on tv.
I would expect this negative reaction (or at least not be surprised) from the southern states in America, the so-called "Christian bible-belt", where they love to pull quotes from the bible about how man is not supposed to be with another man. But I really thought that this sort of prejudism was gone from today`s Norway.
Not long ago it was declared legal for same-sex marriage in Norway, which was a great victory for the gay community. But there is still a lot of gay-related violence (gay bashing) in the streets of Oslo.
I can only imagine how difficult it is to "come out" and accept that one is gay, and how reports like this will make it even more difficult... not just to accept that one is gay, but feel comfortable with it and to feel accepted. I simply do not understand why people still cannot accept a persons sexual preference an instead look for ones inner beauties.
We are all simply looking for love and acceptance. Whether this is with a person of opposite sex or not is irrelevant.

The article, in Norwegian, can be read here. What is even more scary are the reactions written in below the article. The article does not state the number of complaints that were called in to the station... I just hope it is a minute number.

fall colors: updated

The colors didn`t pop out the way I had wanted them to in the first one, so I spent some time in Photoshop, like I should have done in the first place.

fall colors

The fall colors are starting to come out.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

lutefisk



Lutefisk... the fish is prepared using caustic lye soda! It does not look good or smell good, but it tastes incredibly good!
Add the obligatory fixins, like bacon bits, stewed peas and boiled potatoes and you`re golden. Of course beer and aquavit isn`t bad either.
I ended up consuming 3 portions of this.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

an apple a year

I love apples!
Unfortunately I am allergic to them.
All of the store bought apples that is. Don`t ask me why... I don`t get it either. I have tried all kinds including ecological apples, but the results are the same... my throat starts to itch.
But! I found out a few years ago that apples picked straight from the trees are okay. No reaction whatsoever.
Which means that the fall season is "apple season" for me.

It just so happens that I pass a house on my way to work that has posted a sign "Please pick our apples. We have too many". So every morning I pick 2-3 apples.
Maybe it`s because apples have been such a rare food item for me, but these apples taste incredibly good!
I am tempted to pick a whole bunch this week and make an apple pie, seeing how the frost is coming and the trees are still full of unharvested apples. It`s a shame really that so many apple trees go unharvested. I see that most of the apples just fall to the ground and rot away.
Well, I am gonna eat as many apples as I can before they fall from the trees. Then I have to wait patiently for the next apple season.

mr. frost is coming

It was quite nippy this morning when I rode my bike to work. There has been a gradual increase in the number of layers of clothing and their thickness/windproofness (its now a word) that I need to wear. A bandana under my helmet was also added to my repertoire this morning.
The thermostat outside my kitchen window measured 2 degrees C. Thats 35,6 Fahrenheit for you Americans ;-)
Frost was covering most of the cars and several people were scraping their windshield while their car was warming up. And of course the subway was filled with people coughing and sneezing.
So even though it`s a cold start, it`s still a pretty good way to start the day. And my first cup of coffee tastes even that much better.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

inspirational words

Listening to the car radio on the way home last night, the wonderful song, "Don`t Give Up" by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, came on that I had not heard in ages. The lyrics just sunk in and I wanted to share.

in this proud land we grew up strong
we were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

no fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I've changed my face, I've changed my name
but no one wants you when you lose

don't give up
'cos you have friends
don't give up
you're not beaten yet
don't give up
I know you can make it good

though I saw it all around
never thought I could be affected
thought that we'd be the last to go
it is so strange the way things turn

drove the night toward my home
the place that I was born, on the lakeside
as daylight broke, I saw the earth
the trees had burned down to the ground

don't give up
you still have us
don't give up
we don't need much of anything
don't give up
'cause somewhere there's a place
where we belong

rest your head
you worry too much
it's going to be alright
when times get rough
you can fall back on us
don't give up
please don't give up

'got to walk out of here
I can't take anymore
going to stand on that bridge
keep my eyes down below
whatever may come
and whatever may go
that river's flowing
that river's flowing

moved on to another town
tried hard to settle down
for every job, so many men
so many men no-one needs

don't give up
'cause you have friends
don't give up
you're not the only one
don't give up
no reason to be ashamed
don't give up
you still have us
don't give up now
we're proud of who you are
don't give up
you know it's never been easy
don't give up
'cause I believe there's the a place
there's a place where we belong