Saturday, December 31, 2011

Books I've read in 2011 - December

Kvinne blant krigsherrer by Malalai Joya
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card - AUDIO
The Killings on Jubilee Terrace by Robert Barnard
Veien til verdens ende by Sigurd Hoel - AUDIO
Damenes detektivbyrå nr 1 by Alexander McCall Smith - AUDIO
Diana, volume two, by Alexandre Dumas
Egalias døtre by Gerd Brantenberg - AUDIO
Til salgs: Mariana, 15 år by Iana Matei
The Quiet American by Graham Greene - AUDIO
Snobs by Julian Fellowes
The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany
Sjiraffens tårer by Alexander McCall Smith - AUDIO
Moral for vakre piker by Alexander McCall Smith - AUDIO
Fyrster i tåkeland by Emberland/Pettersen, eds.
The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith - AUDIO
The Great Crash of 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith
Akimbo and the Elephants by Alexander McCall Smith - AUDIO
Kurtby by Erlend Loe - AUDIO
The World's Most Fantastic Freaks by Mike Parker

Thursday, December 22, 2011

To bring or not to bring ...

... a turtle on one's Christmas vacation. That is indeed the question. I'm going to my parents' tomorrow for five days, and I am so torn about whether or not to bring Raphael. I brought him last year ... but that was for his health, because he was so strongly affected by the severe cold we had last winter - what was it, the coldest November for 104 years? - and I was seriously concerned that if I left him at home he would hide himself away somewhere as soon as I walked out the door and sleep for 120 hours ... underneath the carpet, or wherever he'd end up. (That's not a joke about the carpet.)

It's not good for him to be on dry land for that long, so I wasn't too thrilled about that idea ... and ended up taking him with me on vacation, which he wasn't too thrilled about. It was very confusing for him to be in a totally new place like that, even though he had his pond and basking spot and everything. (My mother also wasn't too happy with him being there, she has ophidiophobia and is repulsed by his supposedly snakelike head. :-D But his presence did not adversely affect her health.)

This year it hasn't been anywhere near that cold ... November was extremely mild, in fact, and it's only over the past few days that December's gotten really cold. So I don't have the same worry as last year. But I'm still thinking about taking him with me. He'd probably be fine at home alone, but I know that he's only really interested in one of the two. He'd much rather stay home than go anywhere else, obviously - turtles like familiar places - but he definitely doesn't want to be alone. He wants to be with me ... ideally in physical contact with me, and ideally all the time. I may have mentioned this before; he is rather oversocialized now and overly interested in human contact. Well, at least contact with me. Reptiles supposedly dislike that, but Raphael seems to have missed the memo on that one.

The past couple of weeks I haven't had much time to spend with him, for obvious reasons ... Christmas preparations and all that that entails ... and I can tell that he's not too happy with that. He wants my attention --> is not getting my attention --> is not happy turtle. Five days' vacation would make it possible to spend a lot of time with him, but then of course he would have to be there with me. So I'd have to bring him, even though he won't be happy about going there. But he would be happy about spending lots of time with his precious twolegs. So what to do? To bring or not to bring?

If only turtles could talk ... :-)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blog neglect

Sheesh, time flies ... ! It's been a week already since my last post, I don't know where the time has gone. o_O I know I've been really neglecting the blog recently, this month especially ... it is of course a very busy month, so let's blame it on that. I'll do better again soon. Fingers crossed. :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

WTF are they doing here?

'They' being, in this case, Helen Mirren and Rosario Dawson. They are hosting the Nobel concert tonight. I am of course not watching. But I really am wondering WTF these people are doing here. Same old, same old ... I ranted about this last year too, you can read that post here. And I have to specify that like last year, I have nothing against Mirren and Dawson as such. They're just so stupidly irrelevant. And it's so embarrassing that they're here ... that the whole concert and celebration is set up the way it is. Sheesh. Read my post from last year, I already said it all there. :-)

But I also want to say, and this is not repeating myself, since he just came out with this now, that I totally agree with Michael Nobel in his views on the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Geir Lundestad needs to go. Don't even get me started on Jagland ... but Lundestad, seriously? When confronted with Nobel's criticisms he actually laughed. What an arrogant prick that man is. I for one totally agree with Nobel that the Committee have exceeded their mandate to an appalling degree. I'm not sure letting the Swedes take over would make things any better, but something definitely needs to be done.

How about changing the committee from a final resting place for washed up politicians into, I don't know, a team of normally intelligent professionals with relevant backgrounds and expertise? I don't know, it's just a crazy thought I had. Crazy ...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Name and shame

There's clearly something wrong with the laws in this country when guys like the scumbag in this article is walking around as a free man. And working a new job, no less. (The article is in Norwegian, but I'm sure that all of you reading this, if you're not Norwegian, have people just as scummy in all of your own countries too.) It's so wrong that it's actually possible to deliberately scam people out of their money - inflict economic harm on others for your own personal gain - and risk no legal sanction for it as long as it's done the right way. Well, 'right'. And they call it 'business'. Shit. What kind of business is that that doesn't produce anything, not even money, just numbers? Fuck 'em.

Now that the harm is done, what IMO is also really wrong with our laws is that Aftenposten in this article is - I presume - not allowed to name the guy in their article. Since he hasn't been convicted of anything, it's probably slander if they do. Fuck that shit too. People like this should be named and shamed. All of Bergen should be plastered with posters of this guy. And I would really like to know where this guy works now so I can avoid that institution at all costs.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to know that. Fortunately, in our brave new world of information everywhere I'm sure someone will be able to suss the guy out and start a group, or whatever, against him on Facebook. I'd theoretically consider joining that group.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A beautiful poem

I'm not much for poetry, but this is just beautiful. I love this. So wonderful what can be done with words.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Postcrossing annoyance

Can I just mention one thing that really annoys me on Postcrossing? It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I always feel like ... well, it really pisses me off. I won't name names, but if this applies to you, you should seriously reconsider what you're doing, because pretty much everyone else who comes across you on the site thinks you're a cheap hypocritical bitch.

Isn't it incredibly annoying when you either get somebody's address, or you get a card from somebody, and you see on their profile that they specify that they don't want ad cards ... and then you go to their wall and see that pretty much EVERY SINGLE CARD they send out is - you guessed it - an ad card? Kinda like the one they just sent to you, say.

Yeah, that seriously pisses me off. >:-(

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SNOW!!

This afternoon at work the phones suddenly disconnected, and just then I noticed that it was snowing outside. It had been snowing for a little while but I only noticed it then. Totally unrelated of course, but still. :-) I'm not much of a snow fan generally, but right now I'm thinking YAY! :-D You know, as long as it's only a couple of inches and not three feet.


Monday, December 5, 2011

What if he's right??

Well, she spells it 'Stephenie', but other than that I think this is spot on. It really is the only sensible explanation. Alas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Books I've read in 2011 - November

Diana, volume one by Alexandre Dumas
The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
Politi og røver by Kjetil S Østli - AUDIO
Not Buying It by Judith Levine
Den vidunderlige kjærlighetens historie
by Carl-Johan Vallgren - AUDIO
Sitt ned og hold kjeft by Knut Nærum
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Solar by Ian McEwan - AUDIO
Dypet by Tom Kristensen - AUDIO
Mysteries and Legends - Virginia by Emilee Hines
En verdensomseiling under havet by Jules Verne - AUDIO
Ulysses by James Joyce - AUDIO
The Vintage Mencken by HL Mencken, Alistair Cooke
Tordengudens sønn by Arto Paasilinna - AUDIO
The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein
Kurt blir grusom by Erlend Loe - AUDIO

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quote of the Week

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
HL Mencken

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's happening again

I think Keanu's becoming a meme again. Well, at least this time he's philosophical instead of sad. Kind of stupidly philosophical, but still, it's an improvement.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not too smart

Staying up really really late watching American Horror Story and then, standing in your darkened hall about to go to bed, totally forgetting that the light sensor in the hallway can detect motion inside the apartments too, if it's just inside a door and the door has a peephole. So no, the fact that the lights just went on in the hallway - very noticeable via that very same peephole - doesn't mean that someone standing outside your door just moved. You did that yourself.

Better check all the same, just to be on the safe side.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

IT IS DONE

Yes, finally, my torment is over. I can't tell you how happy I am. In the future, I may be happy about the actual achievement as well, but right now, I'm really only so thrilled that the ordeal is behind me.

I have read, all the way through, James Joyce's Ulysses. I really have. Remember I posted about how I was reading it, or trying to, and just slowly struggling my way through it ... ? That was only three weeks ago. Well, 20 days. And now I'm actually done. It was a long hard slog at first ... I seemed to be making hardly any progress and I felt like I would never hear the end of this thing. But about a week and a half ago I got my metaphorical second wind and got really serious with it. Some days I've been listening to upwards of ninety minutes of this boring trash. It's been horrendous, but now I finally have my reward. I finished it this morning.

NEVER AGAIN ... !!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kleine kids

Den siste tida har jeg innsett at jeg ikke er inne i slangen de unge bruker nå til dags. Det er jeg forsåvidt glad for. Jeg hadde egentlig trodd at jeg ikke helt hadde mistet kontakten med ungdommens språk, men jo, det har jeg nok, og det er slett ikke det verste som kan skje. Når jeg tok Aftenpostens språktest her om dagen fikk jeg opplyst at jeg har en språklig alder på ... hva var det nå, 74 år? Bare fordi jeg ikke er så tett i nøtta at jeg tror at det heter et hamster. >:-(

Men i alle fall. Jeg har skjønt at jeg ikke vet hvordan ungdommen snakker, og denne innsikten har jeg oppnådd gjennom massemedia. Til og med Dagbladet har altså fortsatt sin misjon. Som alle gamle avfeldige knarker som ikke forstår verden rundt seg lenger irriterer også jeg meg over hvordan disse unge jyplingene maltrakterer språket vårt. Det er spesielt to ord som irriterer meg i ekstrem grad og som jeg nå bare må beklage meg over.

Det ene er adjektivet kleint, som tydeligvis er det helt store dilleordet for tiden, av en eller annen ubegripelig grunn. Det må være svært mye brukt - alle unge kvasikjendiser, fra Trekanttullinger til jockeyer som har sett døden i hvitøyet, og en lang rekke helt ukjente brødhuer, blir sitert på dette ordet. Da kan jeg knapt forestille meg hvor ofte de bruker det i dagligtalen, hvis de er villige til å la seg forevige i landets største aviser med så idiotiske utsagn. Hvor kommer dette fra? Dansk? Tysk? Det virker ikke særlig kebabnorsk. Men det er i hvert fall utrolig irriterende.

Dog ikke på langt nær så irriterende som det faktum at nordmenn nå tydeligvis har begynt å bruke ordet kids når de mener barn eller unger. Dette begynte vel som noe hipsterironisk, at de som var hakket eldre skulle virke underholdende nedlatende mot generasjonene under seg ved å kalle dem for kidsa. Men nå har det altså gått over i mainstream, dessverre, og det ser ut til å brukes som om det var et virkelig ord, et normalt ord. Og ikke bare av ungdommen heller - folk som hevder seg å være småbarnsforeldre bruker det. Jeg er far til to kids, for eksempel. Hæ? Er du en geitebukk, eller hva er det du innbiller deg at du sier?

På tross av at det norske språket er langt fra fattig sliter jeg med å uttrykke hvor enormt irriterende jeg synes dette ordet og bruken av det er. Språket vårt er ikke fattig, men om det noen gang blir det, så kommer det til å være på grunn av disse personene som bruker slike ord. Er du en av dem? Du skulle faen meg hatt deg en på trynet.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

News flash

Til de som trenger å høre det, og dem er det visst noen av:

Ytringsfrihet kan ikke misbrukes. Det er derfor det er ytringsfrihet.

Veldig god kommentar her. Langt fra alltid jeg er enig med Gunnar Stavrum, men denne gangen er han god. Men hartkorn staves altså ikke med d.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Interesting interview

Not available yet, but will be soon. Only in Norwegian, though. :-) We recorded another episode of Saltklypa tonight and devoted the entire episode to Andreas Heldal-Lund, of Operation Clambake fame. It's going to be a pretty long one, because, and I quote, we 'let him talk way too much'. :-D His words, not ours. Time goes so fast ... and everything he said was so interesting. :-)

Keep an eye out for the episode - it'll be released in a few days' time - and in the meantime, check out Andreas' website, here, for everything you ever wanted to know about the 'Church' of $cientology.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A hell of a show

So, we saw the show yesterday, and we both laughed our heads off ... along with the rest of a very happy audience. It rocked. If you twist my arm, I guess I would have to admit that it isn't quite as good as the previous production. It's really very very good, but it's maybe not quite up there with the 1996 'version'. We both agreed on this. It looks extremely similar - they may even be using the same sets and props - and the director is, strangely, the very same, so I have no choice but to put it down mostly to the actors.

I say mostly because we also both agreed that we have become older and more blasé since 1996. ;-)

Don't get me wrong, they did a great job, both of them. But Hatlo and Joner were amazing. They're always amazing together, whatever they're doing. They just absolutely blew this show out of the water and I think that anyone who saw them in it back then will probably be just the teensiest bit ... not let down, but ... well ... slightly less impressed this time around.

But all the same it's a hysterical and fantastic production and we totally loved it. I'm thinking I want to see it again. :-) You should go too!! :-) You'll laugh till your face hurts, or you should see a doctor. :-)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fadervår forbedret

En svært forbedret utgave av Fadervår. Denne liker jeg. Kan nesten overveie å begynne med aftenbønn nå. ;-)

Fader vår, la din bok holdes lukket, prakk den ikke på oss for vi er opplyste og gjennomskuer dens falskhet. La dens vold være historie og plag oss ikke mere for vi er et sekulært samfunn.

Fra en kommentar i diskusjonen under denne artikkelen i Aftenposten.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Want to get a good laugh?

Then you really can't beat live theater at its best. Sure, movies can be tremendously funny too, but IMO there's really nothing to beat live theater when it's done just right. And right now here in Oslo you have the chance to see something that is exactly right. :-)

Anyone remember Mysteriet Myrna Vep? It was produced for the first, or was it second, time in Norway right here in town in 1996, starring the fantastically comical pair of Anders Hatlo and Johannes Joner, and it was absolutely beyond brilliant. I went to see it three times and I laughed till it hurt every time. Now it's on again - opened a month ago - this time starring Simon Andersen and Stig Werner-Moe. The former I'm sure will be fantastic; the latter I have never seen in anything, but the reviews indicate that the casting is right on the money this time too.

The Mystery of Irma Vep is a brilliant play for two actors. They must be either both male or both female; this is stipulated in the performance rights. There are seven characters; crossdressing is inevitable and costume changes extremely frequent and very impressive. Each actor needs his or her own highly skilled dresser, who are almost as important to the play's success as the actors. The play, which was written by the American playwright Charles Ludlam in the early 80s, is on the face of it a gothic horror mystery, but it's really a totally wacky comedy. If you can see this play without laughing, you must be dead.

The current production will run at Centralteatret through December 17th. I'm going to see it tomorrow night. I am SO excited that I can hardly wait. We've had our tickets since August and now we are practically swooning with excitement. One more day ... !! :-o

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quote of the Week

A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ninjas and pirates and zombies, oh my!

And princesses and aliens! But not just any old ninjas and pirates and zombies and princesses and aliens!! No! MEEPLE ninjas and pirates and zombies and princesses and aliens!!! :-D

Look they are so many!!1 Everywhar!!1!

Five different kinds, and all of them SO COOL ... !1! They are all megameeple, normal sized meeple don't come in this much detail, it would be too tricky. So sayeth the wonderful folks over at MeepleSource. But who cares!! We'll squeeze those giant meeple on there! Pirates on the roads, zombies in the fields!! Aliens in every town!! Are you with me?? :-D

Watch your back, the aliens have got their eyes on you ... o_O Aliens in Carcassonne. It's what's always been missing in my life.

Consider yourselves warned (you know who you are) - next board game night, we are soo playing Carcassonne. ;-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

He totally would have!

Ahahahahaha!! Fantastic! :-D

If you haven't seen this movie, you really need to get hold of it. Al Pacino as Satan, come on! :-D

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Little house in the big woods

Well, I'm not sure it's exactly the big woods. You don't have to go very far to hit a main road. Then again, it is Värmland. :-) There's nothing much except the road. ;-)

My mother bought a house in Sweden this summer, much to the distress of my father at the time, but now he's fixing it up like a champ. Even doing lots of stuff that nobody's asking him to do ... and loving it like I knew he would. ;-) It's already very charming but I think it's got a lot of improvements ahead of it still. I totally love the place, I can't tell you why exactly but I just love being there. I jump at every chance to go. Like this weekend ... my mother's in Copenhagen, but my father was going to Sweden, so I asked to go with him. Of course he was thrilled at the idea.

Now, I totally accept that he was primarily happy to have company. And especially that of his only child. However, it was certainly very convenient that he also wouldn't have to cook dinner for himself, since naturally I would be doing that. I'm a woman, so ... Right? I put this to him and he denied the charges, of course not, anyone who feels like it can do the cooking, he wasn't thinking about that at all. I pretended to believe him. This was on Friday.

Then yesterday - by which time he had clearly forgotten the details of our conversation - he came in from doing some work on the property, I was sitting in my room reading, in my new* chair. I heard him opening the front door, this was about 1pm ... and I heard him call out, Leisha? Are you going to make me some lunch?

Sure, anyone can cook who feels like it! :-D

Here's our little house, isn't it pretty. And soo Swedish-looking. ;-)

*I say new, what I mean is that I kind of rescued it from the dump. But it's new to me ... and totally comfortable. Free stuff, yay!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pointless but harmless

I didn't actually post this on Friday. I left for Sweden early Friday morning and didn't have time to post anything. But I'm still going back to update the blog with this post, because I want to have something posted on this very unusual date - 11/11/11. I know, it's totally meaningless ... but it's kind of fun anyway. And at least this is harmless. Some people take it a few steps further, and it can definitely get beyond harmless. Sheesh, humans.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quote of the Week

I'd like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species, and I realised that humans are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment; but you humans do not. Instead you multiply, and multiply, until every resource is consumed. The only way for you to survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern... a virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet, you are a plague.
Agent Smith, The Matrix

Even though I'm such a massive Keanufan, I never really got all that into The Matrix. Probably because I rooted for the other guy. I think Agent Smith is totally right. We suck. The world would be infinitely better off without us. >:-(

Post inspired, if that's the word I want, by this tragic and infuriating news.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Norgesrekord!

Norgeshistoriens beste oppmøte på BookCrossing-treff, så vidt jeg kjenner til: 15 personer. Noen bedre? :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

J&M tell it like it is

I love Jesus and Mo. I mean, who doesn't? Sometimes - or in fact, often - the Author just says things so well and puts his finger on something so exactly. And in only four panels, too. Major kudos.

Read more here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Less interesting book

Another book I'm reading, or trying to read, is far from recommendable. Ulysses by James Joyce. I'm reading it because it's on the 1001 list. (I know, I know.) I got it on audio and it lasts FOREVER. Seriously, it just goes on and on and on and on. Each track is about half an hour long and there are 64 of them. o_O I could only do this on audio. I don't mean to offend any Irishmen reading this, but, sheesh. I hope they don't make you read the whole thing in school. I know it's supposed to be an amazing classic, but it's mostly just boring me to tears. I'm now at track 25 and I can hardly find anything at all to keep my interest. And there are forty more tracks!! :-o At least there's a mention here and there of a Dublin street that I remember walking along, otherwise I might almost be tempted to throw in the towel.

I know, I know ...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

V. interesting book

Just started reading it. Very thought-provoking. Deals with some issues that I think about a lot. So far highly recommendable.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Quote of the Week

If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it.
Kofi Annan

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This is SO TRUE

This is the truest Rage Comic I've ever seen. I feel this.

Ooh, and on a totally unrelated subject: happy birthday to James!!! :-D

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A pretty crazy story

Finally getting around to telling that crazy story I promised. :-)

Anne Ida and Tanumine and I went to my mother's house in Sweden this past weekend, to celebrate Anne Ida's birthday, and we might have had a more eventful time than we expected. Fortunately that didn't pan out, everything was fine and we made it back home alive and unharmed. ;-) Here's the crazy back story.

The weekend before our trip, my parents were at the house and spent some days there. When they got there Thursday night, they suddenly got an unexpected visit from a hitherto unknown neighbor. There are a couple of neighbors that they've introduced themselves to, they seem nice and normal, but this guy, well ... did not. They didn't even know about him, but apparently he lives pretty close, we just can't see his house through the forest. So, it was dark by then, and he arrived while they were carrying their groceries in from the car, but they felt they had to invite him in for coffee.

While they were having coffee he told them about himself. Oh, and he had a dog with him too, a 'creepy' dog according to my mother. It was an amstaff, so she may have just thought it looked creepy - they aren't exactly eye candy - because they can be really sweet and wonderful dogs. But she says no, it really was creepy too. I can't say, obviously. But she didn't like his dog. He told them that he had worked for years in a psychiatric institution, and told them various stories from them days ... this was kind of fun actually, my mother said that although he said he'd worked there, she and my father had kind of been thinking, well ... And I said, you were thinking that he was actually a patient instead. OMG YES! :-D

Anyway, he stayed for what they felt was a little too long, but they finally got rid of him. The next day was a Friday, and they were having some electricians come over to fix the pretty shoddy electrical system in the house. They didn't know when in the day they would get there, so my father had given them his key. Turned out they got there early enough that my parents were still in. The guy with the key gave it back to my father. Now, he remembers getting the key back. The problem is he doesn't remember what he did with it afterwards. o_O

He thinks he may have tried the lock with it. The lock is kind of tricky, it doesn't work all that well, at least not with my mother's key, which was the only one they'd tried. He wanted to try his key too ... that's what he was planning to do. But he doesn't remember. Whatever he did, the key is now gone without a trace. Nobody remembers seeing it after he got it back. This is where it gets kind of crazy.

Friday afternoon my uncle and aunt arrived, and of course spent the night. Saturday morning they all went out to drive to Arvika, one of the closest towns. Actually a pretty charming place. (Coming up on my Youtube channel. ;-) When they got out to my father's car, they saw that a huge pile of dog shit had been left right outside the driver's side front door, and, get this, the mirror on that side was twisted all out of whack. I don't know anything about cars, but my father says that the way it was twisted is something that can't really happen by accident, like if you brush up against it ... you have to really grab it and twist it. So someone must have been there and done it on purpose ... someone with a dog. Sound like anyone we might know?

It's obvious where this is leading. My father thinks the possibly crazy neighbor came over again in the night, let his dog take a huge dump on our property, temporarily vandalized the car and stole the key that some irresponsible person left in the front door. Far be it from me to point fingers. But this is his theory. He admits that he probably screwed up, which is pretty rare. ;-) When we were there this weekend we looked for the key, but unfortunately couldn't find it. Alas. It would have been so fantastic if we had found it in his jacket pocket. >:-)

Now, my dear old dad may have messed up with the key - though we still don't know if he really did forget it in the door - but no one can say that he doesn't clean up his messes. When we arrived at the house (with proper warning ;-) we had to negotiate two booby traps ... one a snow shovel that fell out of the front door when we opened it, and one a thread strung across the front door that anyone entering would have snapped if they didn't know about it. It was not snapped. We also had a list with us with the details of the beer and liquor supply, which we had to check, to see that all of his beers were still there. They all were. I noticed he didn't bother to count my cans of cider. They were also still all there, but even so.

We spent a quiet and uneventful weekend, as far as visits from weirdo neighbors go, and upon leaving followed my father's instructions and rigged the thread and snow shovel booby trap again. :-D Next weekend - a week and a half from now - he's going there to, among other things, change the lock.

What do you wanna bet we find the missing key in about five days' time after that?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Luke 6:41

I know, you don't often find me quoting the bible on this blog. Or anywhere else, for that matter. But right now it says exactly what I want to say.

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Has anyone else been following the debate - if that's the word I want - on what to do about the recent assault rape epidemic here in Oslo? Fabian Stang, our mayor, said something sensible on the issue this weekend ... that maybe we should consider trying to get some kind of control of the asylum seekers (quite a few of them probably no longer asylum seekers, but illegal immigrants) who are committing an absolutely grotesque percentage of these criminal acts. Of course the PC brigade was immediately up in arms and frothing at the mouth, as per usual, over this hideously racist idea. :-(

The amazing thing is that these people really don't see the logs in their own eyes. They critize Stang for branding a whole group as criminals, and stigmatizing people by generalizing in this way. I disagree with that, I don't think Stang is stigmatizing these uncivilized barbarians, I think they manage that just fine on their own. But what I want to point out is how their argument then continues. It's pretty amazing.

Let me see if I can sum it up here. I've seen this argument, if that's the word I want, pop up a number of times in the past few days. This problem has to do with attitudes that men have. Rapes happen because men need an attitude adjustment. Here it's explained over eight paragraphs. Men are the problem.

Stigmatizing whole groups and overgeneralizing is a really bad thing, mmkay?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Books I've read in 2011 - October

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Det ufattelige var sant by Walter Laqueur
Motstand by Owen Sheers - AUDIO
Ravnene av Vidar Sundstøl - AUDIO
Den hellige liga, volume 3 by Alexandre Dumas
Norsk litteraturhistorie fritt etter hukommelsen
by Knut Nærum - AUDIO
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - AUDIO
Döda vita män by Johan Hakelius
Jane Austen. A Life by Claire Tomalin
Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith
Prosten og hans forunderlige tjener by Arto Paasilinna - AUDIO
On Beauty by Zadie Smith - AUDIO
Småtrollene og den store oversvømmelsen
by Tove Jansson - AUDIO
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
Gutten i graven ved siden av by Katarina Mazetti
Den tionde kretsen by Jodi Picoult

And happy birthday to Anne Ida!!! :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

A promise

If I survive this weekend, I will tell you a pretty crazy story. :-)

Have a good one!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Popcorn, anyone?

An interesting article in Aftenposten online today about movie theaters in Oslo and their development over the years. From movie theaters to popcorn machines. :-) Good reading and some interesting points raised. You should read it. :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A wonderful biography

Jane Austen is one of the most fascinating historical figures I know. Someone who lived such a limited life, and had such enormous creative power. Imagine what she could have achieved if she had lived in our time, and had all the options available to women now that were only flights of fancy - if that - in hers. Or ... ? Maybe she would have been distracted by all the myriad, well, distractions that are almost ubiquitous now ... the constant media barrage you can't get away from, the social and commercial pressures on women that I'm sure Austen would have chafed under, and so on. Maybe her creativity would have found easier outlet in our time, but maybe it would have dispersed to many little trickles rather than the great force it became while she lived. I really don't know.

Whatever she might have been, she really was a fascinating person. If you want to learn more about her and her time and society, and be hugely entertained too, then you should keep an eye out for this book. Wonderful. :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When I grow up ...

... I want to get a job in the equal rights factory. I just need to learn a little bit about the trade first, like what measurement unit is used for equal rights.

Is this guy trolling now, or what is this?

Our high percentage of women in the workplace is one of the most important reasons why our economy is so much better than in other countries. Srsly? It's not because of the oil?

This is why this nation is going to have an absolutely brutal awakening the day that very finite resource runs out. We don't have leaders, or politicians generally, that talk about what really needs doing and how we can get it done. What are we going to live on when the oil's all gone? Seriously? Sure, he's not saying that the oil isn't important. Just that equal rights are more important. o_O Having women work and pay taxes, and not just men, means a lot more resources being pumped into our economy. I get that that's what he's saying. But.

Isn't it the case right now that something like 75% of all Norwegian women above the age of 20 are actually already in the workforce? I think that in the age group 30-49 it's 80%, or maybe even closer to 85%. So how much exactly does Lysbakken think we have to go on? The overwhelming majority of Norwegian women already work. I despair at a leading figure in national politics actually thinking that that is the issue.

Then again, anyone who'd name their child 'Aurora' clearly has some kind of problem.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sukk

Når jeg leser sånt som dette skammer jeg meg over at jeg noengang har stemt på SV.

Audun Lysbakken, SVs sikreste vei rett under sperregrensa. Det er nok muligens like bra.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A funny story

Or maybe it isn't funny, maybe it's more kind of sad and pathetic. But here it is.

Yesterday at work O. and I were talking about the certain kind of helplessness that is typically found in a certain generation of men. Basically, our fathers' generation. :-) A customer got us to thinking about it. O.'s mother passed away when he was just in his early twenties, and he told me how he and his brother, who had both left home by then, were pretty frustrated by his father being extremely impractical with cooking and things like that which his wife had normally taken care of. This reminded me of a true story from my own life. My mother's still alive of course, so my father hasn't had to learn how to cook. >:-) But he can cook a few things. Like pancakes. Or so I thought.

Back when I lived with my parents, we used to always have pancakes one day a week, the day when my mother worked late. I would get home first and make the batter. It should sit for a while, so I used to leave it until my father got home ... then he would fry enough pancakes for the two of us and we'd eat together. My mother would get home a couple of hours later and fry up the rest of the batter for herself, so she'd get fresh pancakes too. It was a perfect scheme. :-) Then one day the following happened.

I was delayed one day on pancake day, so that I only got home almost an hour after my father did. I sent him a message about it, he said OK, so I figured that by the time I arrived he would have the pancakes ready and we could just eat. But no. Nothing was ready. He was just sitting in his easy chair reading the newspaper. I asked where dinner was, hadn't he made any pancakes? No, of course not. He couldn't. There wasn't any batter ...

So that was kind of messed up, IMO. But this afternoon at the grocery store, the guy ahead of me in line - he was about my father's age, what a coincidence - was buying ready made pancakes. Seriously. They were vacuum packed ... I'm not sure how many were in each package, looked like about ten, and he was getting three or four packages. OH MY FUCKING GOD. What is wrong with people???*

If this is where the bar is set my dad could become a chef in his old age. o_O



*What's wrong with people is that everybody complains that food is so expensive in this country, and then there is actually a market for ready made pancakes. Fuck you, my fellow Norwegians. You need professional help.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quote of the Week

APOSTATE, n.: A leech who, having penetrated the shell of a turtle only to find that the creature has long been dead, deems it expedient to form a new attachment to a fresh turtle.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vintage lizard!

Ooh, check it out ... ! Very cool postcard that I got from Daïre in Estonia on my birthday last week. Isn't it fantastic? Black and white works incredibly well in photographing reptiles sometimes ... it's to do with how it shows light and shadow on their bodies, I think. Kind of chiaroscuro, if that's the word I want. :-)

Pretty sure this is 'just' a regular bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps or some related species. But it's still wonderful. Hey, there's a reason why they're so popular.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I love dogs, but ...

... I really wouldn't want this one. Ick. Who wants that in their house? I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. And that thing would probably be standing at the foot of the bed staring at me.

Make sure to check out the alternative captions, there are some really good ones. Free puppy - the assassinations cost extra.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Do you know ...

... what people who work in emergency rooms call people like Keanu Reeves?

Donorcyclists.

Yeah, I know, he wears a helmet when he rides in California. (Which I assume was in fact the body that passed the helmet law, and not the city of L.A.) But he'd rather not. That's pretty pathetic. To borrow the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld: a brain so stupid it doesn't even try to prevent the cracking of the skull that it's in.

Weird, because Keanu is mostly a really smart guy. But even smart people can be really really dumb sometimes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quote of the Week

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Saturday, October 15, 2011

'Rockeulven'

So, we went to see it last night, and I gotta tell you, it is FANTASTIC. We all agreed that it exceeded our very high expectations. Everything was fabulous. There was really nothing I could put my finger on and say that this was a weak point. Totally and absolutely fantastic. You must see it. :-)

The plot has been changed a bit from the movie (and when I say the movie, I'm talking about the English language version which is the only one I have seen - I know that the Russian and Romanian ones have different storylines, but I've never had the chance to see them), there are fewer characters and they've sort of thrown the music about a bit. The same songs pop up several times in different scenes. That actually works really well. Since it's partly for children (there were a LOT of adults in the audience ;-) I'm sure it's a good choice to keep familiar things coming back like that. The music is so fantastic that hearing it over again is never annoying, only wonderful. :-)

The costumes are just to die for ... they are all so well done, emphasising the exact right traits to make each of the characters convincing as whatever animal they are supposed to be, as well as keeping the 70s look just right for the movie fans. The costume department must have had soo much fun making them. :-) Hair and makeup are all great too. I really loved the white hair on the Hens. :-)

The scenography is brilliant, fantastically well done ... very simple, the stage is kept almost bare, but soo suggestive, you never wonder what it is you're seeing, even when there's hardly anything there. I'm pretty sure that would have been the same even if we hadn't seen the movie. The few set pieces there are are extremely evocative and really brings the scenes to life, even as simple as they are. Absolutely wonderful. Of course I expect that, it's the National Theater, but even so I was impressed.

What really made this so perfect though was the cast. O.M.G. I hardly know what to say. Absolutely everyone was absolutely fantastic. :-) Not a single person could have been better. That is extra impressive because there are children playing some roles ... the Lamb, the Piglet and the Chicken are played by adults, but for obvious reasons the three kid goats have to be played by real children. (If I tell you why that's obvious, I'd be revealing too much of the plot, so sorry, you'll just have to go see for yourselves. ;-) And they were pretty young children - one of them, the littlest goat, can't have been more than five, six at most. She was still really really good. She didn't just say the lines that she'd been taught, as most children that age will do (even in legitimate theater), she really acted her part. A very talented girl. Although if the one we saw was Elsa Døvigen-Ousdal (there are three children for each of these three parts) she clearly has acting talent in her genes. ;-)

Since it's the National Theater, you expect some big names ... but in a play like this, maybe not so much. Well, they're here, though. Quite a few big names, some very big. Lasse Lindtner, Anne Marie Ottersen, Anne Krigsvoll, Mari Maurstad, Kjersti Elvik, Finn Schau, Anne Marit Jacobsen ... the latter in one of the best roles of her career. She plays the Chicken. She is beyond fantastic. I'd go so far as to say that she's perfect.

All the actors do a marvellous job, really showing the species characteristics of each animal that we need to recognize them. The four Hens are really wonderful. Lena Kristin Ellingsen and Øystein Røger are fantastic as the Goat and the Wolf. But the one I have to really point out is someone I can't say I am familiar with at all - Tor Ivar Hagen, who I never heard of but suspect may be on loan from Trøndelag Theater, where this play was first produced, and where he also played the same role. He is totally and completely amazing as the Donkey. He IS the Donkey. His costume and hair is one of the absolute best in the entire production, so of course that helps a lot, but it's also his face, his delivery and first and foremost his body language that just makes him be this character. He totally blew me away. This production is almost worth seeing for him alone. o_O

I have to apologize that this post is so laden with superlatives, but I can't help it ... this thing really deserves every last one of them. And more. I'm tempted to use the a-word. If you love musical theater and you have any chance whatsoever of getting to Oslo, you MUST see this. Seriously. You must see it. You can buy tickets at the theater's website, here. GO AND BUY YOUR TICKET!!

Don't forget that half an hour before showtime they sell whatever tickets are left at half price. ;-)

A tiny glimpse from the show here - the Goat teaching the kids the secret song:



Just outside, in the background, you can see the Donkey as he listens and relays the lyrics to the Lynx and the Wolverine, as part of their nefarious scheme to help the Wolf gain access to the Goat's house and eat the innocent little kids. :-D

Fullscreen here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

An episode

An episode which happened to me at work today, with a customer who I think maybe had an episode. :-D

This guy comes in pretty often, he's in charge of purchases for a division of one of our biggest customers. I've talked to him a hundred times and of course I know his name. And he knows that I know it. So this was kind of weird.

He came in to pick up some stuff and buy a few things, and also to bring in a power tool that needed repairs. Whenever I get anything in for repair I fill out a form on it, with info on what is wrong and the customer's contact information and so on. So I wrote down the company name and the guy's last name. Let's call him John Smith. So we're looking at the paper where I've just written 'Smith,' - he's seeing it upside down of course, but still, it's his own name. Then the following was said:

Me: So, your phone number, what's that again?
Customer: Smith!
Me: No, I already have your name, I meant your phone number.
Customer: John!
Me: ... Still need the phone number.
Customer: Oh, right. Let's see [tells me the number, which I write down].

He had a younger colleague with him, to help carry I guess; he was really laughing, he even asked the guy, Did you just have a stroke or something? :-) Sure, we shouldn't be laughing at stroke patients, but on the other hand, if you can't laugh, what can you do? (Take up politics, perhaps.) And it was pretty funny at the time. This is such a crazy busy week that I don't have time to blog about anything serious. :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Miss Austen, WTF?

So, I'm rereading Pride & Prejudice. An audio version this time, that I got over at emusic. It's the sixth or seventh time I've read it. One of the hallmarks of great literature is supposedly that no matter how many times you read it, there's always something new to discover. And this time, I actually did notice something in the story that I've never picked up on before. It's so weird that I think I must have misheard. One of you other Austen fans, help me out here.

Right, so, after the shit hits the fan with the Bingleys, a few weeks later it's Christmas, right? The Gardiners come up from London for the holidays. Jane is feeling blue and Elizabeth and Mrs Gardiner decide that she should go stay with them in town for a while. So after Christmas they take her back to London with them. Then nothing much happens in January and February, but in March, Lizzie's going with William and Maria Lucas to visit Charlotte. On the way they spend one day and night in London, and of course they stay the night in Gracechurch Street. The Gardiner kids are excited about the guests arriving, especially Lizzie because she's such a favorite. But they're still a little shy with her at first, because, and this is what I think I must have misheard, they haven't seen her for like a year. WTF?

Is Austen really saying that Mr and Mrs Gardiner went off at Christmas to spend the holidays with their favorite relatives and have fun in the countryside, and left their children at home?

I always read them as really good parents, but now I have to reconsider. o_O

Monday, October 10, 2011

Samurai ... !!

Keanu with a fan on set of 47 Ronin. I'm really looking forward to seeing that movie. :-)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Quote of the Week

Nothing amuses me more than the easy manner with which everybody settles the abundance of those who have a great deal less than themselves.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mmm, mias!!

Hvem liker vel ikke mias??

Mais derimot er ikke jeg så kjempefan av, men hver sin smak.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

WHY can't there be a rule ...

... that says that before you can write about something in the newspapers, you have to show that you actually understand what you're talking about?

This happens all the time, I've ranted about it before too, maybe not in so many words, but it's part of what I mean when I talk about how debates are skewed because we focus on the wrong things. We can't discuss matters properly when the starting point is wrong; we end up talking about the wrong things. Here's a good example. Inger Anne Olsen, who I usually never agree with, writes about children produced through surrogacy and the difficult legal situation surrounding them.

Information for foreigners: Surrogacy is illegal in Norway, which means that this difficult situation is created by the parents who use surrogacy - it's legal in a number of US states, it's legal in India, so they blithely assume that Norwegian authorities will just accept the fait accompli when they show up with their babies. Fortunately it's not quite that easy.

Because of a few high profile cases, there was quite a bit of debate of this issue earlier this year. Feelings ran high, of course. Didn't make the debate any better; rather the opposite. There were a lot of assumptions made that either were blatantly wrong or didn't make sense, which, as you can imagine, drove me up the wall sometimes. :-) One of the wrongheaded assumptions that keep popping up is about the fact that the rules about who is the mother of a child, and who the father, are supposedly so rigid in this country. (Although they're the same rules as almost everywhere else, AFAIK.) The woman who gives birth to the child is its mother; her husband is its father, unless some other man should actively dispute this. This is, according to the surrogacy advocates, so incredibly old-fashioned and behind the times. How is it possible for a woman whose DNA is in a baby to not be the mother? How dares the state deny her her rights!!1 o_O

This is what so many people don't get, and it seriously annoys the shit out of me. Olsen doesn't get it either. She really takes it a step further though - she writes, get this:

The rule about the mother has its roots in simple biological conditions. The rules about who the father is cement monogamy as the ideal, preserves male control over the woman's offspring and her body, and also preserves society's need for system and order.

WTF??? I consider myself a feminist, but seriously, Olsen needs to get her head out of her ass.

She's vaguely right about the last point, but not for the reason she thinks. And she's right about the first point too - but again, for a different reason than she thinks. Here's the deal, and I don't know how it's possible to not understand this:

Parents don't have rights. Children have rights - parents only have duties. Any child has the right to parents, but no parent has any rights to a child. Not in this country. That's why we call the Child and Parent Act simply the Child Act for short - because it regulates the rights of the child and the duties of the parents, and the former are the most important. Since Norwegian children have various rights, first and foremost the right to have parents and to receive proper care from them, the state, whose duty it is to maintain these rights, must have some way of enforcing them. In other words, legal parents must be provided - eg, the state must know where to place the paternal responsibility, it must know whose these duties will be in the eyes of the law. Therefore, pater est. Because the law really only cares about the law. The state gives the child legal parents - people who are legally obliged to provide the care the child needs. What more is the law supposed to do?

The surrogacy advocates seem to be struggling with the misapprehension that the law can regulate biological parenthood. What can I say, they're wrong. The law is what we have for the legal stuff. And if you're a parent, it doesn't give you any rights. I have to say I think it's pretty incredible that someone can be so involved in this debate, and so much a part of it, that they actually go all the way to producing a child via a surrogate mother, and they still don't understand this basic point.

Kinda makes you wonder about some people.

In other news, I'm curious to see who will be named for this year's Nobel Peace Prize tomorrow. Thorbjørn Jagland was on the Daily Review tonight talking about how living up to the Will is such a big priority for the Committee. So I'm fully expecting their choice to be something seriously fucked up. :-D

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cutest thing on TV

At least right now, because of course there are many adorable things on TV. :-)

If you're interested in dogs, or puppies, or cute animal babies in general, and you're in Norway, I'm sure you're already watching The Litter. Aren't you?? OMG, you've got to watch it!! Tonight was the second episode (second of eight) but you can see both episodes so far on NRK online, here. There'll be reruns of tonight's episode as well, two, I think. At least one on Saturday. You should definitely watch it, it's totally adorable. :-)

It's a reality show, I guess you have to call it, but there's no competition element. Basically a dog has a litter of puppies and they all go to new homes, where their new families have to adjust to having them around. Which in my experience is a little challenging, but a lot of fun. :-) The show is a little special for me because the dogs are English cocker spaniels, and that's the breed my dog was. Some of the puppies even seem to be the same color she was, blue roan. That's when they have black fur in patches interspersed with patches of white, and the white patches have black hairs in them as well. It looks kind of grey at a distance, but it isn't really. :-) I say they seem to be blue roan because it's hard to tell when they're babies; the black hairs in the white grow out over time, they start out black and plain white. So we'll see. But seeing those little critters run around and play and squabble really takes me back. And even if you don't have any nostalgic feelings like that, puppies are still adorable. So you should check out this show. I'm loving it. :-)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hmm, TIFF

Now that's someplace I'd really like to go. Well, not so much a place as an event. But still. Looks like 2009 might have been a good year.

I was away over the weekend, at our summer house in Sweden ... had an absolutely lovely time there, I love that place already. :-) And it's not really a summer house even, it has electricity and plumbing and everything, you could live there all year if you wanted. Which we don't. But still. I like it. :-)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Books I've read in 2011 - September

Battle by Sara Villius
Gud og hver mann by Eva Lundgren
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Luftslottet som sprengtes by Stieg Larsson - AUDIO
Den lukkede bok by Jette A Kaarsbøl - AUDIO
The Sooterkin by Tom Gilling
Mordet i Eiffeltornet by Claude Izner
Den hellige liga, volume 2 by Alexandre Dumas
Bønn til månen by Fatima Elayoubi
Cleopatra - A Life by Stacy Schiff - AUDIO
Arsenikktårnet by Anne B Ragde - AUDIO
Barnegråten ingen hørte by Gitta Sereny
En lykkelig mann by Arto Paasilinna - AUDIO

Ungdom by J M Coetzee

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quote of the Week

From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other. But when books are opened you discover that you have wings.
Helen Hayes

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Måtte pesten ramme dem

Jeg er som (muligens) kjent ikke registrert på Facebook. Har aldri vært det, vil aldri bli det, savner det ikke. Dette er hovedsakelig fordi jeg ikke gidder å surre meg borti enda noe mer vås på nett som jeg kommer til å kaste bort altfor mye tid på. Selv om de nok har en del suspekte ting for seg er jeg ikke i utgangspunktet anti-Facebook.

Dét er det dog andre som er. Sjekk denne fantastiske kommentaren fra kommentarfeltet på en artikkel i Dagbla' i dag om at Facebook spionerer på dere alle sammen. !!!1! Signaturen svidd har skrevet dette. LIKE.

At etteretningsorganisasjonen Facebook gjør dette burde bare overraske eremitter som lever i skogen uten avis,radio, pc eller tv.

Facebook har vist forrakt for eiendomsrett, privatliv,mennesker,samfunn lover og regler samt folks siden starten men fremdeles fortsetter folk å frivillig raportere om alle bevegelser, omgangskrets og alle hendelser i sitt liv til disse kriminelle svina.
Det trenger ikke svare for lover og regler for de er for mektige til at noen får gjort noe med dem.
Når man ser på selskapets etikk så bør man kunne forvente at de før eller siden bruker allt de har på deg , mot deg om de kan oppnå noe med dem.
Man får ikke gjort noe med dem og ingen kan stille dem til ansvar så slutt å gi bort livet deres til facebook det er ingen som trenger liveoppdateringer om farge og kosistens vær gang dere driter.

Slutt å bruk facebook for dere gjør oss alle til slaver når dere akksepterer ALLT .
Lurer på om facebook er noe populært i tidligere stalinistiske land..tidligere DRR f.eks.?
Regner med de setter litt mer pris på å ikke bli holdt øye med av fremmede til enn vær tid?
Måtte pest ramme ledelsen i både google og facebook


[sic]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Snake in the sand

Check out this fantastic postcard that I got from Switzerland a few weeks ago. Isn't it wonderful? May be my favorite postcard this month. I had to look twice before I realized what it was exactly. :-) I love it. More snakes on postcards!!

I really don't understand how anyone could see this and think that reptiles are horrible monsters or totally uninteresting. These creatures are marvels of the natural world. :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wangari Maathai 1940-2011

Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking.

She died yesterday. What a life she had ... and what a great thing she achieved. Billions of trees ... and so many good thoughts spread to so many people.

I think I want to plant a tree.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Congratulations to Catalonia

September 25th, 2011 - a day to remember. Today the hopefully last ever bullfight was fought in Barcelona. Catalonia has made a great stride for animal rights in Spain, when they decided a little over a year ago to ban this repulsive tradition as the first region in the mainland kingdom (the Canary Islands had the foresight to do so twenty years ago). Good for them, but first and foremost good for these poor animals that will no longer have to suffer a confusing and agonizing death as entertainment for a bunch of bloodthirsty degenerates.

This latter group will actually benefit from this also, since while emotionally stunted people may find it amusing to watch animals being tortured, doing so contributes to their moral corruption and general mental decline. In the long run it'll be better for them, even if they don't have the brains to comprehend this themselves.

It is possible that this good news is premature, since the pro-animal torture camp are looking to prevent the law taking effect (as it is intended to do on January 1st, 2012) by gathering a certain number of signatures in favor of continued torture. So let's all hope that Catalonian lawmakers have cool heads and some sense of empathy.

If they don't, and this grotesque tradition continues, let us hope that all future fights will end like this.

On a personal note, I was in Barcelona earlier this year, as you may remember. We drove by the bullfighting arena a couple of times, and I was ... impressed, if that's the word I want, by the size of it. It's a very large place, I remember thinking it must seat a hell of a lot of people. Now it says in the papers here that the arena was sold out for this last fight, and that this means an audience of 18.000. Well, the story was also on the Daily Review, and they of course had pictures ... moving pictures even ... that I got the impression were from tonight's fight. Did anyone else see that? Because seriously, that place was not sold out. Far from it. It was more than half empty. If that was tonight, then one may have reason to hope that even the Spanish aren't an entirely lost cause.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quote of the Week

My thinking tends to be libertarian. That is, I oppose intrusions of the state into the private realm -- as in abortion, sodomy, prostitution, pornography, drug use, or suicide, all of which I would strongly defend as matters of free choice in a representative democracy.
Camille Paglia

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Free Bård Hoksrud

Yes, I know the headline is flippant - he hasn't been imprisoned and of course he won't be, either. But it's my blog and I'll be flippant if I want to.

Brief recap: Progress Party MP Bård Hoksrud was in Riga recently and made the mistake of visiting a brothel, where he paid an employee for sex. I call it a mistake because he is married, and had not agreed on this visit with his wife beforehand. The visit to the brothel, not to Riga. ;-) I feel really bad for his wife, this must be so upsetting for her.

But for the media, it's a goldmine. Because, get this, here in Norway it's illegal to pay for sex. It's legal to sell it, just not to buy it. Screwy, I know. But it's even crazier than it sounds - it's even illegal for Norwegian citizens to pay for sex in countries where it's legal to pay for sex. You know, like in Latvia, say. So now that Hoksrud has been busted for this, he has committed a crime ... it will go on his criminal record and he has to pay a fine of 25,000 crowns. And he will go down in history as the first Norwegian ever to be sentenced for this crime. Poor guy.

How did he get busted, you ask? Well, he went on this trip not as an MP or as a party representative, but as a private citizen. Yet he traveled with two, or was it three, members of the party's youth organization. Not sure what's up with that, but he's relatively young, 38, so I guess they're his friends. Ahead of the trip, someone tipped off our biggest commercial TV channel, TV2, that Hoksrud was going to be using prostitutes while in Riga, so these damn hyenas sent over a camera crew that filmed the man with a concealed camera. They interviewed the prostitute and I don't know what all. Now they pretend to be proud of themselves. Scum.

So, talk about questionable tactics ... and for something so irrelevant to the general public. Not that I had a lot of respect for TV2, or the media in general, before this, but now it's definitely dropped several notches. If only they would be honest and admit that they do it for the ratings ... but no, it's for the public good. Gag me with a spoon.

One of the most annoying things about this is that pretty much every reporter you can find says that it's total BS what the Progress Party is saying that the media is out to get them and is giving them a much harder time than everyone else. Of course not, it's because they really are worse people than others, so they bring it on themselves. And then on the Daily Review tonight - this Hoksrud thing was the lead story - there's another piece of news about a mayor somewhere in ... Oppland county, I think? ... who's being charged with the sexual abuse of a minor. Supposedly he's been having sex with a girl who was only 13 when it started. Bad and wrong, totally. But was he named? No. Was the town named? No. Was his party affiliation given? No. Remind me again, how many hours did it take before Trond Birkedal's name was splashed all over the front pages ... ?

Anyway. This post is basically to say that I think TV2's methods are completely beyond the pale and that I think it's horrible how Hoksrud has been put in the metaphorical stocks after this happened. The law against buying sex is ridiculous, and it's absolutely idiotic that it supposedly applies in other countries too. Yes, I do get the argument that those who make the law should also follow the law. But some laws are just wrong. I wish I could say that I think that as a principle, I think the law should be obeyed, regardless of what it is ... that this is essential to the functioning of a civilized society ... but I don't really have any principles, and I break another law every day with a clear conscience and never a second thought. It's a bad law, it should be broken. And I can certainly not accept that Norwegian law should trump the laws of other sovereign states in the territories of those states.

Hoksrud was against the law from the start, is still against it and voted against it when it was passed in Parliament. As, IMO, every sensible MP ought to have done. (And maybe did ... >:-) I am absolutely not a Progress Party fan, but I am totally with them on this one. Would our politicians really accept this in reverse? In Spain, for instance, the age of consent is 13. Here in Norway, it's 16. Is it OK for a Spanish citizen to come to Norway and have sex with 14-year-olds? If not, why? That's the law in his country, after all. But no, it wouldn't be OK, because Norwegian law applies in Norway ... just like Latvian law applies in Latvia, and under Latvian law it's perfectly legal to pay for sex. So that this is even an issue is ridiculous.

What should be the case under discussion here, and what TV2 should be looking into, is who tipped them off and why. Does someone want to get Hoksrud out of politics, and if so, why? Someone clearly has a grudge against the guy ... and it's someone pretty close to him too, obviously. Now that's something I find interesting. But obviously that doesn't sell as well as a sex scandal. >:-(

A pundit was on the Daily Review tonight too, discussing the whole thing with some talking head from TV2 ... he said that the problem here is the techniques the reporters used, and that even though 'no one condones what Hoksrud has done' they totally crossed the line by following him like they did. Which, yes, was a gross invasion of his privacy and they should be prosecuted for it. But I want to say that I for one do condone what Hoksrud did. I have no problem with it. It should be legal. Yes, it was wrong of him to hurt his wife's feelings as he has no doubt done ... but that is the only thing he has done that any of us can condemn him for. But just paying for sex? I personally would never be a prostitute and my instinct is that it must be a pretty shitty job (but I know I'm wrong in some cases), but if one party is willing to pay and the other party is willing to sell, then I really don't see the problem.

Hoksrud was on the news too, and he was interviewed by some NRK reporter who stuck a microphone in his face while he said all the usual things about how he was so sorry and it was a crazy mistake and he's never done such a thing before. The reporter actually had the gall to ask, 'Can you say with your hand on your heart that you have never paid for sex before?'

Hoksrud was all contrite and said he totally accepted culpability, etc. But what he should have said was, IMO:

That's none of your fucking business, bitch!!

It's none of any of our business. This is between Hoksrud and his wife. I don't know what political life in this country is coming to if this is seriously as big a deal as all that. The guy is human, OMG, stop the press! >:-( Aside from the fact that I would never vote for his party, if I was in his constituency, I would seriously consider voting for him now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finally!

I've been waiting many years to be able to say this, and I wasn't sure I ever would get the chance to, but finally, at long last, it's happened. I saw my doctor yesterday and asked about a referral to an ear/nose/throat specialist to see if anything can be done about my throat, which just will not ever clear up ... it's starting to really drive me up the wall and I'm sure it's even more annoying to those around me. O. says he's gotten so used to it though, he'll miss the sound of me constantly clearing my throat if I do get it cleared up. He won't know where I am if I go all quiet like that. :-D But seriously ... it's annoying and probably not healthy, and it's pretty close to something my father has been having trouble with since forever, so it's probably smart to have it looked into as soon as possible.

Anyway. I asked about this, and we also talked about the headaches I get sometimes for no apparent reason. She thinks these two things may be connected ... something to do with my sinuses. It's going to be looked into - I'm going to get an MR scan to see if there's anything visible there that can explain this. So, I am very happy to say that finally, I am going to get my head examined!! :-D

I'm sure many of you reading this will agree that this is long overdue.

Ooh, and happy 30th to Findabair!! :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Turtle from above

I took this picture of Raphael on Saturday. I really like it, because it shows his 'turtleneck' so well ... the fold of skin around a turtle's neck that appears and disappears when they retract and extend their heads. It's as soft as velvet ... which you can actually kind of tell from this photo. :-) It also shows the long claws on his front feet, which look like enormous monster claws in this picture. I like that. :-D

You can also tell very easily from this picture why these animals have some issues with depth perception.

Aw, his little face. :-) Look at his precious little squishy nose. :-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't be too sure

Well-known Keanuquote:
I used to have nightmares that they would put 'He played Ted' on my tombstone.

'Used to', you say ...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Noe å huske

Et interessant innlegg i Aftenposten har gitt opphav til en ganske interessant debatt. Der har en av deltakerne skrevet en kommentar som jeg synes er så bra at jeg ikke bare vil huske den for fremtiden, men jeg vil gjerne dele den med verden også. :-)

Før du leser videre nedover, husk at:

å ikke samle frimerker er ikke en hobby,
å overleve er ikke en måte å dø på,
AV er ikke en TV-kanal,

å ikke spille fotball er ikke en sport,
tomrom er ikke en planet i bane rundt Sola,
fred er ikke en form for krigføring,
og ateisme er ikke en religion.

Så hvorfor identifiserer ateister seg da som ateister?

Fordi ateisme er som å ikke samle frimerker i en verden der nesten alle samler på frimerker; der nesten alle studerer sine samlinger for å finne ut hva som er rett og galt og hvilke lover man trenger; der de starter kriger med hverandre over hvor på et brev frimerkene skal sitte og hvilke kanter de burde ha; og hvor nesten alle tror at Posten skapte universet.

I en slik verden ville nok afilatelister fått en identitet ganske fort.

Les absolutt debattinnlegget også, det er verdt det.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Stop forwarding that crap to me

I'm sure everyone who reads this has at some point or another - overwhelmingly likely more than once - received forwarded emails that are nothing but worthless crap. 'Warnings' about viruses supposedly going around or scams being worked, that anyone would know was bogus after three minutes on Snopes. Really badly done 'illustrated poetry'. Chain mail. Just BS that takes up space in your inbox and wastes your time. We've all been there. So of course, Weird Al has made a song about it.

Please note that I am not particularly bothered by such emails myself ... I have mostly sensible friends, the few people that forward crap to me don't read this blog AFAIK. So don't be upset, this is probably not directed at you. ;-) But the song is soo cool and the video so well made that I just have to post it. You'll like it. And if you like Jim Steinman, you'll love it. :-)



Widescreen here.

I like Jim Steinman.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Farmers' market FTW

We started our cultural explorations tonight at Matstreif, the farmers' market, and we ended up spending like three times as much time there as we had expected we would. It was fantastic, best farmers' market I've ever been to, absolutely wonderful. Biggest Matstreif ever, I suspect, and really an experience. Don't miss it. :-) It's on tomorrow too, ten till six on Saturday. You should definitely go there if you have the chance. Lots of free samples of yummy foods from all over the country, and endless shopping opportunities for things you don't find in stores. :-)

Don't miss Masstua and their amazing jellies (especially the raspberry and redcurrant one, it's to die for) and Romstad Farm with the best butter EVAR. Seriously, you'll never believe how good it is. And that's just two of soo many. :-)

Ooh, and here is that raspberry and cheese ice cream cone. So creative, I love it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What a weekend!!

Seriously, if you're in Oslo this weekend, you won't know what to do with yourself. There's SO much going on, almost too much IMO. Would have been better spread out over two weekends. But what are you gonna do. Try not to miss the best parts, I guess. :-)

Tomorrow night, Friday, is this year's Culture Night. All over town. There are so many cool events and places to go, I can't even begin to list them. The program is here, check it out. If you can't find anything to interest you, you must be the most boring person on earth. Oh, and all the events are totally free. :-)

Also tomorrow, plus Saturday, is Matstreif, which is basically a farmers' market, usually really good. It's open till eight tomorrow and ... five or something on Saturday. It's in City Hall Square. Will probably be hard to miss if you're in the area. :-) They have had the coolest ads around town this past week, I love the one with the cheese and raspberry that look like an ice cream cone. :-D

And finally, the whole weekend, Friday through Sunday, is this year's Bookfest. It's in a bunch of different venues - there's a lot of stuff going on at the Opera House, there's things at the various publishing houses, I hardly know where it all is. The program's here somewhere. Not as good as last year, I don't think, but still stuff worth seeing. Ooh, and free movie screenings on the Opera roof. Anything is cool on the Opera roof. :-)

Have fun!!