Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rebel without a warning sticker

Today was my final furniture assembly day as you can tell by the incredible mess I was creating. I made a couple of trips to Ikea this morning to get a table and 4 chairs, a little foot stool, a coffee table and some more pole thingies that go in the closet. There is basically a 3 to 1 rule with Ikea, in that you will spend 3 hours carrying in and assembling the stuff for every hour that you spent buying it.
My white chairs don't really go with the oak table but what the hell. I liked them better than the other chairs.
When I got around to building my little foot-stool, there was a warning sticker in the box with drawings of all of the horrible things that would happen to you if you stood on the top step. The last step of the instructions was to attach the warning sticker. Due to my background as an American rebel, I decided to leave the warning sticker off. That's right, I left it off and I don't care who knows about it. Someday I'll probably regret that but right now it feels good.

So after I finished and cleaned up all the cardboard and plastic it looks more like this now. Actually it looks exactly like this:

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Hi Merry Christmas everyone!

This picture is actually from the day after Christmas but that's close enough right?

I went for a nice ski trip today with Torstein, who is my manager at Nordic. We went on a trail into Bymarka, which is just west of the main part of Trondheim. There is still enough snow to ski on up there, although it was getting a bit icy in some spots. Torstein was quite patient to wait for me on the top of some of the hills, as I am still trying to remember exactly how cross country skis are supposed to work. We skied to a small hut about 3 or 4 kilometers from a parking area and had a snack, then we came back on a different route. I walked down a couple of the nastier hills, as I prefer to have both knees continue to bend in only one direction.

I had a small Christmas party with some of the other new people from work yesterday. We had Joel and his friend Mel who was visiting from Australia, Cletus, Vinayak and his wife who are all from India and me. We all brought some different food and prepared it together. I brought a frozen chocolate cake for Mel since she shared a birthday with baby Jesus. I tried to translate the instructions on the box for the cake by typing them into google translate, but basically I got "cook on full boil for 2 hours". I wisely ignored the instructions and just let it thaw out until it seemed edible.
Cletus was somewhat flummoxed by what to do with a can of corn but he was relieved to hear that you only had to open it and put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. I also showed him how to make coffee 2 different ways so I expect him to be a full-on caffiene addict in a few more weeks. Best wishes to Cletus' mother, who fell and broke her hip last week in India, and had to have an operation to put a new hip joint in.

That's all for my Christmas update,

best wishes for 2009,

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice! There is a small party planned tonight to celebrate the shortest day of the year. The daylight tomorrow is supposed to be 7 seconds longer, and we need every second here :)

We made a small group outing to central Norway yesterday to visit Røros.
Røros is a very old mining community about 2 hours east of Trondheim (by train). There was an operating copper mine there for over 300 years until it was finally shut down in the 1970's. Many of the buildings in the central part of town have been maintained in their historic appearance, and the original copper smelting building is now a large museum.
We all basically learned from the museum that being a miner really sucked unless you were the guy in charge. Isn't that the way it always works?

The train on the way from Trondheim was quite packed with people going on holiday, but on the way back we had a whole car to ourselves basically. We were joined by Leif's brother and his family from Paris, including young Madeline, who is only 6 months old but already has a French passport.

Joel and I were greatly interested in what seems to be the main form of transport in Røros, which is apparently kick sleds. Sorry I didn't get a picture of one, but it was basically a wooden sled with metal runners and handle bars that stick up. People stand up and push with one foot and zip around town on them, and if they have kids or groceries they just strap them on the front. Anyway that looked like great fun, especially going down the hills. We read in the tourist pamphlet that you can rent them, unfortunately we got to town right after the tourist office closed. Maybe next time.
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Some new photos

This is a photo I took on Saturday the 13th of Gamle Bybru (The old bridge). This is a very famous bridge in Trondheim. It was built in 1861 and is just used mainly for foot traffic today between the main part of the city and the old town.
The full size picture is in this group on my picasa page.

There are also some nice shots of the full moon over Trondheim on Saturday morning, and a few from the Christmas market place in the city center.

The days are really short now, the sun is coming up around 10:00 am and setting by 2:30.
You can see how low the sun is in these pictures even though most of them were from the middle of day.
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First XC ski trip

My first XC ski trip in 12 years I think. It has been quite some time since I last strapped on some skis in Oregon. Joel, Leif and I decided to buy some new skis on Friday at a shop near my apartment. I think we made Andreas the happiest young ski salesman in Norway by buying 3 identical sets. Then Joel made him even happier by coming back the next day and buying a set of downhill skis as well.

We took the bus today (Sunday) up towards Bymarka to test out the new equipment.
I'm sure that we looked a bit dorky getting on the bus with 3 identical sets of skis (some with the price stickers still on) but I didn't hear anyone laughing at us.

There is a nice loop around a small reservoir called Baklidammen. Here is a link to some additional photos from today:

It was a very nice day up there, maybe around 30F with just a little wind on the lake. There is a bit more snow up there than in the city, as you can see from some of the trees in the pictures. No major injuries were suffered in spite of our sometimes flailing around like giraffes on roller skates. I'm sure the Norwegians that went whizzing past us thought that we were suffering from some kind of advanced spastic muscle disease. I got a kick out of one little boy I saw who couldn't have been more than 3 years old. He went zipping down a hill in front of his mom, and then when he got to the bottom he waited and his mom pulled him up the hill by the hood on his jacket. He later wiped out in front of Joel, so he just layed there and when Joel went by he stuck up his hand, Joel helped him up, and off he went again...
I think all 3 of us will be nursing a few sore spots tomorrow but nothing too bad.
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Sunday, December 7, 2008


Yesterday Joel, Cletus, Vinayak and I took the bus from downtown to the ski jumping hill at Granåsen, which is just outside of Trondheim. There was a lot of snow up there, and the jumping arena looks very cool at night with the big lights on. They were having an FIS World Cup competition there so lots of very good jumpers were competing. It was about about 18 degrees F outside so after standing around for an hour and a half or so we were starting to get a bit cold ( well I was anyway). We had to wait about 30-40 minutes for a bus back down to town, and I think about half of the spectators from the meet all packed into the same bus. At least we were warm :)

Anyway here are some pictures from the competition:

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas party 2008

l-r, Joel, Cletus, Miles and Vinayak at Lian resturant in Bymarka

Me on the tram to Lian

We had our company Christmas party last Friday, here are a couple of photos of me and some of the other new software engineers.
A good time was had by all, especially when all the new guys had to get up and sing a special song, which was written in Norwegian of course. A couple of the new employees are Norwegians, so they pretty much carried the tune while the rest of us mangled the words.
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