Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lorem Ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Sed ligula velit, vulputate tincidunt, suscipit bibendum, blandit sed, massa. Mauris eleifend. Morbi turpis magna, ornare at, tincidunt quis, sollicitudin sed, nunc. Mauris egestas euismod quam. Mauris pretium. Donec ultrices. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam ut risus pharetra lectus elementum rutrum. Fusce congue dignissim tortor. Etiam pharetra. Donec non nibh. Nam ullamcorper. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Nulla vestibulum sem blandit augue. Sed posuere erat sed nisi. Praesent venenatis. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Aenean sapien risus, fringilla pulvinar, bibendum a, tempus vel, purus.

Morbi aliquam, sem ut pellentesque malesuada, tortor pede semper erat, et bibendum elit mauris eget nisl. Aliquam tincidunt faucibus nisi. Aenean vulputate quam quis libero. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. Duis eleifend. Integer tristique. Phasellus nulla erat, lacinia in, molestie quis, blandit eget, dolor. Donec at tellus ac odio congue lobortis. Duis sit amet arcu. Fusce hendrerit turpis non libero. Pellentesque eleifend, diam malesuada accumsan fermentum, neque lacus rhoncus justo, ut facilisis diam sapien sit amet turpis. Fusce eu mauris.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

We've Got Norway.

Want to rot your brain instantly? I am probably the last person on the planet to stumble across this.

Snow and Ice

Winter is here-- for a few days. We had snow last night. This morning I quickly threw on the extra wheels with the studded tires and bundled up. My cold weather gear consists of my autumn riding gear with windpants over the biking tights and snowboarding gloves rather than regular full finger gloves. I was more than warm enough on my ride in, despite the wicked wind. The ride home was a bit dicey with all the rutted refreeze on the bike paths. The roads were fine. The snow didn't seem to deter any of the other bike commuters. There were tire tracks everywhere-- and maybe a few ski tracks. All things considered, this is mild stuff. Nothing like Minnesota winter.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

So Big

IMG_3367, originally uploaded by filtersweep.

His grandmother on the Norwegian side taught him the "so big" thing på norsk, which became of great concern to me-- so I quickly taught him the English version. Now he performs right on cue in either language.

It is scary how much he understands at less than a year old. This morning he crawled over the the coffee table, pulled himself up, grabbed the TV remote, turned on the TV (knew exactly which was the power button). He then crawled over to the cable box and turned that on and started watching TV (well, sort of). I don't know how he does it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fun with AT&T

When I travel in the US, I use a "pay as you go" cell plan and an antique American cell phone. These plans are perfect for drug dealers--- they can be purchased completely anonymously. I also have a few Vonage accounts for work, so I just roll over my 800 numbers to my cell phone. It is a great way for people to be able to call me when I am on the road, and it is cheaper to call out than using international roaming on my Norwegian cell phone.

By now, you realize there is a catch to all this IP and cell phone goodness. My credit card statement arrived, showing the expense from recharging the account when I was recently in the US. I went online to download my invoice so the accountant wouldn't have a fit. My default PIN number should be the last four digits of my cell number. Sounds good so far--- except that is only a temporary PIN. To actually access the account, AT&T sends a PIN via SMS (text message). Of course there is no way I have coverage in Norway--- so I cannot access my text messages to be able to access my online account to be able to print out my invoice.

So I make the mistake of calling the AT&T--as I was directed to by their website. They do everything in their power to discourage calling them. I was trapped in a labyrinth of automated voice directories. There was no hope of getting anywhere, since my request didn't fit anything remotely normal. I spoke with several customer service people who had nothing to do with my services. Apparently, the pay as you go customers are completely marginalized, likely because most service users are likely drug dealers, pimps, and illegal aliens. Eventually I managed to speak with someone who confirmed my worst fears. There is no way to generate a PIN than through text message.

The accountant will have to take my word for it--- supported by some scribbles on a napkin. Or wait until the next time I am in the US. What a ridiculous business process--- it simply cannot be overridden. Rule number one in business process management has been violated. The demise of the entire telecom industry as we know is eminent. Death is at its door. I just wrapped up a video call with my parents--- using MSN chat-- which is primitive technology-- and free of charge. I will be getting a new Windows phone in a week or two that also has WIFI, MSN chat, Skype, and all sorts of communications tools, in addition to cellular service. Soon all phone appliances will be built as mult-modal communications devices. You will never have to speak to customer service again.

Singing Toy

Julian received this crazy creature that sings and speaks in Norwegian. This song is dedicated to my Norwegian teacher in Minneapolis who insisted we sing this song at the beginning of class week after week-- much to my dread. This is for you, Hillary.

Underwater Baby

Originally uploaded by filtersweep
A few weeks ago a photographer took underwater photos of all the kids at baby swimming. Julian has his eyes wide open--- he seems to be enjoying it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Joys of Cold Weather

I believe today is my last day on the fixed gear. I awoke to clear weather, so I opted for the fenderless fixie. A minute before leaving, I checked the temperature-- 1C. There was a very thick layer of frost on the road, and ice everywhere. I took it easy. I don't need studded tires yet--- although they are mounted on my extra wheels. It seemed my fellow commuters were running studs at a rate of one out of four riders. Knobbies should be fine this time of year.

The best thing about this cold weather is that it cuts the commuters in half. This means no long lines for the showers, and stinky guy isn't in the changing area. It isn't even a difficult commute yet--- it could be this cold and raining--- or snowing. At least it is dry.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nothing is Safe

IMG_3241, originally uploaded by filtersweep.

Our whole world has changed--- he is all over the place and standing. Nothing is kid proof anymore.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Adventures in Travel

There was a time and place when I hated the "class system" in travel, and "elite status." Those smarmy travelers always have the short lines. I didn't seem right--- that is, until I received Elite status. My card was waiting for me at my parents' house. My whole life has changed. Yesterday when I left Minneapolis for Norway, it took literally five minutes to make it from the curb to the gate. But allow me to digress.

Thursday evening I flew on Air Canada from San Francisco to Vancouver. I was staying in San Francisco at the Fairmont hotel-- likely the nicest hotel I have ever stayed. I took the shuttle to SFO-- along with a few other hotel patrons. We had the most interesting discussing a group of random strangers could have. My Air Canada flight was nice. I arrived late in Vancouver. Fortunately the car rental area was right at the airport--- no shuttle necessary. Alamo screwed up my reservation, so I ended up in a black Crown Victoria. Fortunately, they aren't used by Canadian law enforcement, otherwise I would have slowed traffic down wherever I drove. It literally looked like an unmarked car. I settled in to my hotel by midnight-- with a 10am meeting the next morning and a 2pm flight to Minneapolis. I checked google maps to ensure I would have enough time to make it from the meeting location to the airport. If the meeting ran long, it could mean trouble.

The meeting could not have gone better. It lasted less than an hour. I made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I flew United and ended up sitting next to someone who was a higher up on the Olympic committee for Vancouver. We had a very interesting discussion. The flight had a connection in Denver--- a short connection that was miraculously at the neighboring gate. While waiting, my name was announced at the gate. I was offered a free upgrade to first class. I later noticed that they gave my original row in economy to an enormous man-- the entire row.

On a different note, I am only 11K miles away from Elite Gold. It would almost be worth it just to take a round trip to the middle of nowhere to pad my miles.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

San Francisco...

...again. I see more of the US now that I live abroad than I ever did when I lived here. I am back in San Francisco-- a very cool city. I have a great hotel room with a view. Apologies for the phone photos.

I seem to know my way around better than most places I have been. Tomorrow I head to Vancouver, B.C. This week has been flying by.

Monday, November 05, 2007


No, I am not back on Kvitsøy. I am in Iowa, at my parents, listening to 50 mph gusts of wind blasting outside-- wondering if this will affect my flight to San Francisco today. At this rate, it might even affect the drive up to Minneapolis.

So far this trip has been excellent. I couldn't ask for more--- except to maybe have the rest of the family here.