Monday, December 28, 2009


I went to the key shop at the mall today to get some little spikes for my running shoes. The top picture is $45 worth of tiny metal screws. I would like to know what the markup on that is. Of course they did include the fancy little tool on the left for screwing them in with a power drill. Maybe the tool is worth $42 and the other $3 was for the screws. Add that to the $200 I paid for the shoes here in the first place and these are turning into one expensive pair of Mizuno's.

I did my first XC ski outing of the year on Sunday. I stopped by Torstein's house and we went up to Skistua outside of Trondheim. There is just barely enough snow to ski on, so I'm glad I have cheap skis. It looked like they had groomed the trail at least once, but there were quite a few spots where the dirt was sort of sneaking through into the snow, and the downhills were basically a big sheet of ice as soon as everyone had snowplowed all the loose stuff off to the side. I did well for the first time out, at least for the first trip to the food cabin. After we got back to the car I realized I had left my little belt pack at the cabin. So Torstein said "well, looks like we're not done skiing yet". So we skied all the way back to the cabin a 2nd time and got my bag back. By the time we got back the 2nd time it was getting dark and I was getting a bit tired. OK, really tired. My little stick arms aren't used to pushing on ski poles for 3 hours yet. My legs felt fine though so after I got back home I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill. Then I was actually really really tired....

It's snowing a bit more today, I hope there will be enough soon to try my new skating skis but I don't want to ski on rocks and sticks with brand new skis so I won't take them up there until I'm sure the trails are clean.
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ah December

I took this boring picture today when I left the gym. At noon. 12:06 to be precise. You can see that old Sol is struggling a bit these days in Norge.
Thank god tomorrow is the winter solstice. Hurray for longer days!
Leif's brother Axel is in town with his girlfriend Elisa , so yesterday we had a few drinks at Leif's apartment. We wanted to go fly the Cessna today but were forced to postpone it due to the winds. The runway at Værnes runs east/west but we had strong south winds today which would have been going straight across the runway. Makes for a somewhat difficult time in a small aircraft so we decided to wait for a better chance.

I have been training hard for the Polar nights 10k race in Tromsø in January. I entered the 10k because a half-marathon is too far for me even in the summer. Not to mention it will be cold, dark and there will certainly be snow and ice on the road. I just have to keep from injuring myself for 2 more weeks on the treadmill and I'll be ready to roll.

I nearly got squashed earlier today by a police car. I'm not sure what it is about the police and me in Trondheim, but I think it's only a matter of time before we rumble.
I just wanted to take a quick drive up to Skistua where the XC ski trails are to see how much snow was up there. So on my way through town I see some flashing lights behind me, and a cop car goes careening past pulling some kind of giant aluminum trailer. I have no idea what the trailer is for but he nearly clobbered me with it trying to get through the traffic. So then I continue my way across town and up into the hills. There is some snow up there but not enough really to ski on yet. When I was almost to the top of the road, there is a small parking lot where you can access the trails. I slowed down a bit when I got close to it because often there are cars going in and out of it. So sure enough, when I'm right by the entrance I see my buddy the police car with the trailer, getting ready to pull out of the lot. Great. He doesn't have his blue lights on, nor does he have a turn signal to show me which way he's turning out. So I slowly go past the entrance, and surprise! He comes ROARING out of the lot onto the icy road with all blue lights blazing right behind me. So I pull over, trying not to get my front wheel into the ditch in the process. I look up into the rear view mirror and here comes the cop car and the trailer going sideways in the road directly behind me. I closed my eyes, waiting for the crunch, while thinking "somehow, I'm going to get blamed for this"...
By some miracle the idiot managed to miss me by 2 feet and keep himself out of the ditch. He got his stupid trailer back behind the car and blasted off up the hill. Thanks for the heart attack there Barney Fife.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

The border

Today was my first visit to Sweden in 29 years. That will make you feel old. I went to Sweden (Stockholm) to visit a friend in 1980, before I was a senior in High School. So actually today barely counts, as I only went about 5 miles over the border. Norway is quite narrow in the region where Trondheim is located, I don't think it took even 2 hours to drive to Storlien from Trondheim. There isn't much there except a small village and some ski runs which weren't open yet. There actually is a strip of bare ground in the woods where the border goes through, which is sort of funny. I ended up going to a Coop store in Storlien, which is probably 90% full of Norwegians driving across the border to buy cheaper groceries. They were quite cheap too compared to Trondheim prices. You gain about 20% from the exchange rate right now so even if the price is the same in kroner it's really 20% cheaper than in Norway. I bought a bottle of glögg (spiced wine) for about 25 Swedish kroner, which is basically what you would pay for a 1/2 liter of Coke in some stores here. I saw a Norwegian bus driver outside the store honking his horn to get the shopping grannies to finish up inside so they could get back to Trondheim. The sun came out for 10 minutes on the way back home, but it's so weak now you don't even have to use sun glasses anymore. You can just stare at it like an old light bulb. Hei hei sun! where ya been?

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