Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tastes Like Chicken

Last night was a night of firsts. Julian had his first baby sitter. We were invited to a dinner party, and hired the 12 year old neighbor to keep an eye on Julian. Actually, he should have been sleeping the entire time, so there really was no childcare involved. The dinner party was in walking distance, so we were not far from home. The only thing that struck me as odd was how little the sitter was. She seemed too young to be left home alone herself. We know her and her family quite well, since they literally live next door to us.

At the dinner party, we were served whale meat. I have never had it before. When asked by the host what American attitudes were about eating whale, I explained that it was just one step up from cannibalism, which evoked a hearty laugh from everyone. Actually, it is rather true: it is almost taboo in the US. Of course whaling minkes is legal in Norway, and you see it for sale in some stores.

Whale most definitely does not taste like chicken-- or fish. It is a very red meat. The best way I can describe it is that it tastes much like a bad cut of beef, although a little tougher and with a tighter grain. It also has a slight hint of tasting like an "organ meet" with a subtle hint of beef liver. It isn't bad, but it is a far cry from being a delicacy. I wouldn't go out of my way to kill a whale just so I could have another taste. But I would rather eat whale than another alleged Norwegian food: sheep's head. Maybe next dinner party they will serve spider monkey?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

17 Months

As a follow-up to earlier this year when a young woman who was fleeing the police struck and killed a cyclist commuting home from work, the driver was finally sentenced to 17 months in prison. I guess for Norway, that is a rather steep sentence-- and the courts actually treated her offense as a real crime. Still, it seems rather light to me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kvitsøy Revy...... 1977

NRK broadcast a 30 year old video of the Kvitsøy variety show. It is crazy seeing my wife's parents when they were so young. It also provides a nice look at the town back in the day (not that it has changed much).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Giant Slugs

There is nothing quite like the slugs around here. They are nasty, and are everywhere in the morning or after a rain. They eat their own dead. It doesn't get much worse than that.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Home Again

Just like that. I managed to sleep most of the flight from Detroit to Amsterdam. The more often I do these, the easier they are.

Friday, September 21, 2007

We have tornados

I turned on the TV--- all we have is tornado coverage. Makes me feel at home.


I am in Orlando. That is about all I have to say.

Actually, there is so much I could say, but I have my own terms regarding the scope of this blog to consider, and I would be violating my values to expound. It is good to be back in the US. It is quite warm here. On the other hand, it is surreal being at such an IT event. I have never seen such an assembly of misanthropes.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Excessive Consumption

I had to stop in the office this evening to do a little work. I am leaving for Florida on Tuesday, and I would prefer not to go anywhere near the office tomorrow. I noticed a little tin of mints on my desk-- a promotional item with our company logo on them. After wrestling to open it, I found myself devouring the entire stash. At that point I took a look at the label to see where they were made. They were made in the EU- nothing more specific than that. But more importantly, they came with a slight warning: "Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect."

I am not quite so sure this is a good corporate message.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


We arrived home from Kvitsøy where we spent the night to find out the son of our neighbors across the street died in a motorcycle accident this morning. He was 27 years old. We would see him in the neighborhood quite regularly, although we never really knew him. We know his parents, however. It is a complete tragedy that makes no sense at all.

From appearances, the accident involved no other vehicles. It occurred less than a kilometer from here-- on the main road. It occurred very early in the morning, when presumably there was little traffic. I won't speculate what happened, other than to point out that it occurred in a construction area where the lanes have been rerouted-- resulting in a rather sharp, off-camber turn.

At first glance, it seems like there are a disproportionately high number of tragedies and accidents here. But in thinking it through, I believe there is more of a sense of community here than living in a city in the US. When we lived in Minneapolis, we barely knew any of our neighbors. The news was filled with tragedies-- involving complete strangers.

Our thoughts are with the family across the street. We have seen them coming and going through our window. I cannot imagine what they must be going through. It is unbelievable.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Baby Swimming

006, originally uploaded by filtersweep.

What could be more fun than baby swimming? Maybe if we were not required to wear swim caps...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Company Party

Last night we had a company party at a boat house on Harfsfjord. There was much discussion about how people were getting to the party-- what mode of transportation. Much alcohol was expected. The party was scheduled to begin at 4pm and run late. I planned to arrive around 8pm after Julian was asleep. I had a vague notion of where the boathouse was located. It wasn't really on a street or road, since it was down by the water.

I left in rather cold weather as the sun was setting. I tried a shortcut down to the water in Madlasandnes. This took me to a treacherous narrow gravel path that teetered above the water. There was no way I would take this route home in the dark. At the point when I was concerned that my short cut may not have been a short cut at all, I spotted the CEO's car. I followed the trail another half kilometer. Thankful I had my bike- it would have been a long walk from the parking area. I found the house. I had arrived. As I entered the cabin, I was greeted with boos-- for I was wearing a blue and yellow jacket: Swedish colors.

I was quickly handed a beer and champagne. Nearly everyone from the company was present. The CEO made quite a fuss that I had biked. It really wasn't that far, and frankly, it was probably the most practical form of transportation considering the circumstances.

No company party would be complete without the potato cannon. Several Jackass-style stunts were attempted, such as trying to hit people at 100m, or shooting a potato straight up, wondering if it would come straight down on someone's head. Those are moments when it is generally ill-advised to look up.

As the night wore on, I decided it was best to head home. I am too old to stay up all night and be functional the next day. I grabbed my bike and headed toward the road. My mind fills with strange thoughts when I bike late at night- or early in the morning as the case may be. The streets are largely empty and the air cool. It felt like autumn was fast approaching. I had flashbacks to late night riding in Minneapolis, when the city had melted away. There is something incredibly peaceful about riding a silent fixed gear, in a narrow tunnel of light, with not a human in sight. By the time I made it to the hill near home, I was particularly appreciative of the easy gear ratio. I was finally home.