Oct 5, 2013

Colours, Seasons, Beauty & Fun

OK, yes I know - I'm SO slow... Ha! I'm neglecting my blog, big time, and as for now, I'm not even sure how long it's been since I last made a post. But, here I am :)

Things are in change. Nature. Light, air, personal life, & the days. All for the benefit of good. It's fall. Oh, so beautiful this season is! It has always been my favorite time of the year, and even though I agree that we all need bright long days, sun and heat, it's something very special when the days grow shorter, the stars again sparkles above you during the late hours, and Mother Nature prepares for her sleep, by turning our world into a colourful sweetness, and shaking of her colour map to lay on the ground for us all to play in, and enjoy. The beautiful colours. Oh my... 

Things has past by in high tempo since I made my last post here. Our little and cosy town's annual fare (or market, if you'd like), has come and gone. Lot's of rides, sale tents, all kind of exciting and colourful food. People selling everything from crazy funny T-shirt's, to jewelry. You know, all kind of stands. Lot's of people. The whole downtown area closed for traffic, for the benefit of fun! So great :)

It's been fantastic weather, thus far (knock on wood)... Such beautiful fall weather, warm, sunny, fresh. No snow, yet :) Normally we would have had at least a couple of early a.m's with a white blanketed world outside our windows by now. But it can wait - No rush! I want to enjoy the colours a little longer, before the snow (all though it is amazingly cosy when it first arrives) puts the nature into hibernation for real. The days are good, and life is great :) 

Today is Saturday - so, with some pictures from the time that's gone by since my last post, I wish you all a beautiful & happy Saturday, and weekend! May it be as gorgeous in your part of the world, as it is right now, in my corner of it :)

Til Next Time :)

Sep 1, 2013

Summers' Gone

Yesterday, it suddenly came to my mind, that I haven't blogged in a very long time: And actually, it's a whole month since my last post! I apologize for that - it's just been a very busy month, and now as things are starting to again calm down, my other doings comes back to mind that I've been neglecting. But I'm still here and, hopefully I'll have more time to keep this place of mine updated. I am positive to that thought :)

Yesterday, as in August 31st, it was the last official summer day in Norway. According to our Calendar, it's now winter here. Ha! Well, of course, it's not winter - not yet anyway. But the time that are considered  officially summertime in this country, are now gone. It's fall, or autumn, if you'd like. But it's still many days of gorgeous crispy and sunny weather ahead, before snow comes. Colourful days, where the Norwegian nature will show it's best and most beautiful sides to it's people. 

So, as yesterday was the last day of summer, and I finally had a Saturday with much spare time, I went up in to the mountains. I walked around with my camera bag, and did a few shots before it all turns into a colourful show. The first (and then of course the oldest) National State Park in Norway is located about a thirty minute drive from where I live. The Rondane National Park (wiki-link). A huge formation of ten mountain peaks that rises over 7000 feet, forms a majestic view, almost immediately as the roads up there flattens out. It's the Rondane Mountains, that has given the name to the park. We have mountains, and beautiful nature all around us. It's just that it is too close. We always see it and, therefor it just isn't that special for us. It's too bad! All though I use the mountains and the nature around us here a lot as a "photo studio" and backdrop for my clients, I'm simply one of those that neglect it too much of the time. So, when I went up there this time, it just hit me how beautiful it is, and how much more I could spend time up there, without my clients, or outside a work related situation. Hopefully, I will, from now on.

So, I thought I'd share some of the pictures with you all. Until next time - I'm back Blogging, and I'm not going anywhere ;)

The Rondane Mountains. It's ten peaks rising over 6600ft, with the highest, "Rondane Castle" (wiki) rising above 7000ft.

This is my old "playground from when I was a kid. Every time my family went up to the mountains, we used to camp here. I have so many great childhood memories from time spent by this old and beautiful barn.
Two tourists are dropping their jaws, and food, as they suddenly witness a heard of cows being led right by them :)
Straight into the beautiful mountain sunset...
The last sun ray's, on the officially last day of summer.
And last, but not least, my tiny hometown in Norway, by day...
...and night :)
Have a great Sunday Ya'll :)

Til Next Time!

Jul 20, 2013

We Walked On The Moon

"The American astronaut Neil Armstrong, is standing, on the surface of the moon, on this July 20th, 1969"
              - Walter Cronkite, CBS

My mom remember these words so well. Walter Cronkite was reporting live from the studio at CBS, as the first man had crawled out of the lunar lander, and stepped out into the eerie, and silver gray, but oh so amazingly beautiful landscape of our moon. I'm pretty sure most of us over the age of eighteen know Neil Armstrong's words, as he took the first step's on our, until then, unreachable neighbour: 

"It's a small step for a man, but a giant leap, for mankind". 

 This was in 1969 - tonight, on July 20th. 2013, it's the 44th anniversary for the first moon landing. Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins, a three men strong crew, became the chosen ones to make history in a time where a "hero-mission" like this maybe was more necessary then we can imagine. The 1960's was a decade filled with strong conflicts. Not just in America, but all over the world. But it was also a decade filled with heroism, love and reunion. As the Lunar Module touched the surface of the moon on this night, millions around the world watched the black- white and blurry tv-broadcast being transmitted directly from the moon surface, and from the mission control in Houston, Texas. Holding their breath, excited for what this amazing adventure could bring, not to mention what could go through a young kids mind during something like this, Armstrong, and a few minutes later, Aldrin were bouncing around on the moon, while they still tried to give some good information to the mission control room back on Earth. I can imagine it wasn't too easy :)

Edwin Aldrin on the moon, July 20th, 1969.

I won't talk too much about details from their mission - but, even though it was one of the most successfull missions NASA did, it wasn't all "glitch-free". They barely made the landing. As the Lunar Module (LM), touched down and Armstrong cut off the engine, they had only a few seconds time-window of fuel left. Being forced to land at a different area then planned, it was a near miss. But thankfully, they made it down, and as the Command Module pilot Michael Collins waited in orbit around the moon for his two friends to explore this magical satellite, they successfully spent twenty one and a half hours on the surface, before returning to Collins in the Command Module.

Neil Armstrong on the moon, July 20th, 1969.
"We have Lift Off!" The Saturn V rocket blasting off on July 16th, with the Apollo 11 crew.
The Lunar Module, call signed "Eagle", above the moon as it is  approaching the Command Module, "Columbia".

On July 24th, they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, safe and as planned. Brought home by the recovery ship, the "USS Hornet", they came back to their country as heroes. And so it was well deserved! What an amazing task they had been able to complete. They gave us the first steps to a bigger world, outside our own safety zone, and known planet. They were the start of several special others, that would follow them, and give us all new knowledge, and dreams about what we can do, and how far we can go. They gave us the knowledge, that the unreachable is reachable. I still actually look up at the moon from time to time, and start thinking about these men. How it must have been like for them, to see, walk on, and touch our mystical yellow piece of cheese up there. And how it must have been for them during the travel to, and from it, and back home. There are many kind of those who we will call heroes, for me, these are some of mine. 44 years ago, they went there. Can you imagine? The equipment they had, the technology. They did it, back then! With help of course from all those many thousand others, making and building it all, and following them through the journey. But still. It's amazing. It's honorable! It's bald. And it's brave. It's such an important anniversary in the modern history of us - the mankind! Hopefully, one day, we humans will go back up there. And we will pick up the thread, that those few left behind for us. And we will once again get the crawe to explore outside our world, and outside our comfort- and safe zone.

 Happy Anniversary Apollo 11! May your legacy never be forgotten.

"Earth Rise"

Have A Great Weekend!
Til Next Time

Jul 15, 2013

Sweeping Up The "Web Crumbs"

Oh my, how time flies. We have allready gone halfway through July. Coming up is August! Fair enough, August can be a very nice month, even here in Norway. Autumn, is one of my very favorite seasons. Still, winter isn't that far away and, that makes my smile cool down when thinking about it. But, for now, I live in the present. I still have a lot to enjoy, before it goes back to the cold and winter. Also, this time of year is the time for one of my annual Internet "sweep-up's"! For three years now, every year around these times, I go my round on the Internet-communities, facebook pages that are public and not my own, or other places where I've been active, with pressing "Likes", commenting, posting pictures, and more. Simply said, I'm sweeping up my web-crumbs. I'm sure most of us have heard the classic fairytale about "Hansel & Gretel". Leaving a trail of crumbs behind them in the dark deep woods, they found their way back to their home. Well, on the world wide web, a simple pressed "Like" on a facebook page that is public, and not your own, is a link for any person to trace it back to You. I'm not saying that this is anything to be concerned about, but, as a matter of fact, if the "wrong" person is looking for exactly a "crumb" like that, this little thing can be enough to start a "wrong-doing". I experienced this, personally! I mean, I wasn't the one person who had my pictures and information and much more, used by a person with an intent to impersonate the owner of the material, or more. But, I busted a person doing this, with another persons material, and even more serious, professional photography work! Let me tell you the story...

In 2009, I started conversing with a woman on an Internet-forum. I liked the pictures she had posted of her self, so I asked who the photographer was. She responded with gratefulness that I liked them, and told me they were "Selfies". - Great job! She then told me that she was very much into photography, and as I told her that this was my profession, we started "talking" more. Se seemed really cool, was down to earth and, she was fun. So, the conversations kept on going, and we found that we had many similar interests, and liked alot of the same stuff. We became "friends", as in how much you can be friends, only by conversing by phone, Internet, and texts. At least she was someone I could "talk" with about nothing, and everything. But, it didn't take long before I had the feeling that something didn't add up...

After a little while, she told me about her family. An older sister. Her husband, that she had lost many years ago, in an accident. Her ex-boyfriend, (also his name), and so on. Living in the US, she had relatives around the country, staying with them during part of the year. She always sent me pictures, up to date with time, and places too, telling me about her day, things she was doing, places where she were, and so on. After some months, things she had told me previously didn't add up with things she told me she was doing, and were she was, or would go. I played dumb. I said, "OK, have a good trip, and be safe", and such stuff. But I realized that she was either lying, or she wasn't the person she had always told me she was. I have almost a photographic memory. Not quite, but almost. It was easy for me to remember what she had previously told me, and details about it. So, I guess when she had been lying so much that she didn't remember her previous lies, she got caught in her own "web". Therefor, I decided to start looking around the Internet to see what I could find. She had several online profiles, facebook, Instagram, and much more, where she had contact with many other people than me. Her name, and pictures matched up what she had been telling me, but still, something was wrong.I knew she was lying alot, and that she was very dishonest. By this time, it had been four years we had been conversing, and been "friends". She had a little girl coming into their family life, that she had told me previously that was really her cousins daughter, but that this cousin was a drug addict, and that she had left the daughter to her family's care, and then disappeared. Sending me many pictures of this little girl, calling me "uncle" on the picture texts. Well, that's really sweet of course, but the story about how the girl came into her life, just didn't seem real. Then, I went by her "sister's" Instagram profile, and I found so many of MY pictures that I've sent her through the times, on her SISTER page. My pictures, that I sent to my "friend" by phone, e-mail and so on. Even picture of my sports-car, where she talked about how much she liked HER new convertible to other users, landscape pictures where she bragged about how she had taken them to people interested in them. So, when I saw all this, I knew something was absolutely wrong. Her older sister, had posted my pictures, that I had sent to my friend.  Then, as the investigating journalist I once was, I started to do more "detective" work online. I know very well how and where to look for things, and I'm not stupid. I knew this person wasn't real, in some way. I just had to find the one thing that could reveal it. And damn, did I find it...

In the middle of all this, I was looking to find a photographer in a part of America that could be able to do a freelance-job for my company. Searching through several lists of photography companies, I suddenly came by a web page, that had pictures posted that I recognized! I froze up, as this was pictures my "friend" had sent me earlier, where she had told me about the stories behind them. As I checked out this web-page more, I found pictures of my "friend"! And her little girl too... I of course put two and two together, and realized this photographer (as this owner of the pictures was), would have to be the real person that my "friend" had used pictures of to portrait her self with, to me, and many others through the years. I went back to my "friend's" Instagram page, and looked through her friend-list, to see if there was a clue to this person there. Nothing. Then, I went to her older SISTER's Instagram profile, and looked through her friend's list. There it was! This same photographer that I had "zapped" in on, while looking for a photographer for the job I needed done. I recognized the picture of this person immediately! The subtext on the persons picture said a different name, but it also showed the picture of this little girl, my "friend" had told me she had taken custody of! CRAZY! And more: It said the little girls name (as my "friend" had told me she was called), but also, my "friends" ex-boyfriend name (as she had told me about) was mentioned in this other persons profile text! It was her HUSBAND! The girl was her DAUGHTER! It was just completely crazy, and I realized of course that I now had found the truth. A link to the persons blog was listed in her profile text, as was her web-adress to her online photography company where I allready had been looking in on, and when I went in on her blog, I think my mouth stayed wide open for five minutes. There, almost all of the pictures my "friend" had sent me through the years, were. Along with stories about her work, that my "friend" had been copying, and telling me about. The same fact was about her photo-company web page. I now knew I had the "smoking gun" to catch my so called "friend" with. Also, if it hadn't been anymore then me she had been lying to, and if she hadn't been using another persons pictures, of life, family and her self, I would just let it go, and never speak to her again, knowing what a liar she really was. But, when it was this extensive use, of a photographers professional work, and also her daughter, and family, I just couldn't let go the thought about how important it was to stop this person from doing this, and using this photographers work and life, to portray her self with, to all kind of people out on the web. 

I have a friend that almost had his photography business torn apart, just because of a case similar to this. A person had been saving his professional work, and using them to make contact with other people. In the end, a person who had been in contact with this "fake", suddenly came by my old friend's company web page. Then, by bad mouthing him around the web, because he thought that my friend was the person that had been "tricking" him with his pictures, the rumour alone led to my friend loosing most of his clients, and customers. Knowing this, I felt so bad about all what had been going on for all this time with this photographer, and woman, that I now was looking at on my computer-screen, that I, after a day of intense brainstorming, made the decision to make contact and alert her about the situation. So, well aware that doing so could just as well backfire on me, if the person either didn't believe me, or even so thought that I could be the one who actually was having a bad "agenda" doing this, I still wrote a short e-mail to her through her blogs listed e-mail address, and simply asked her honostly if she was the person I had been conversing with for the last almost five years. Thank the Maker, for how kind she was, answering me actually almost immediately after I sent her the e-mail, saying, "I'm sorry, but no, I am not the friend you have been talking to". Then, right away, I told my "friend", that I now had been in contact with person she had been steeling pictures from, and mentioned the real persons name. I told her I knew the truth about the little girl, and that her so called "ex-boyfriend" was the real woman's husband. I never heard from her again. That same day, only a few hours after I told her that I knew the truth, all the various web-pages and profiles she had, where she used the fake name and stolen pictures and so on, disappeared, one by one. She was cleaning up her trails... 

Then, I wrote the real person with more or less, (as good as I could at the time as my head was spinning because of all what had happened), the whole story, and what had been going on. I sent her pictures that this "friend" of mine had sent me, that were taken from her web-sites, trying to explain everything in a way that she hopefully would understand that it was all real, and that I only had made contact with her to make her aware of the situation, and to find out the truth. That way, at least she could make her own choice about how she would deal with it. Block the person from her web-sites (as I gave her the impersonators name, and different links to her web-pages etc.), or what she would find necessary to avoid it happening again. Then, as I again wrote her some time back, asking her if there was anything else she needed my help with, or if she had any more questions about the crazy matter, I didn't hear from her. I took that as a sign that she had now finally been able to deal with it in a matter that was good for her and her family, and that everything was OK. I myself, could then, finally delete all the info, pictures and more I had from this "friendship", and move on myself. 

It's like a classic tale of a horror show! Who knows how far it could have gone, if this fake and dishonest person would be able to keep on with what she did. She used this poor woman's pictures every where. On her fake facebook page. On her fake instagram page. She even used pictures that this photographer had done of clients, Boudoir etc, where the face wasn't visible, saying it was her! Nuts... And so, so very sad... I know "hate" is a very strong word, but honestly, I hate people doing things like this! I felt so bad for the woman that was the real person in the pictures, and how she unknowingly had become implicated in it all. It ate me so much, I had trouble sleeping for more than a month after I first told her about the crazy situation. I still think about it, today. 

The reason I couldn't find out sooner what was the truth, is because this person had a whole "piece of life" to pluck pictures from! As the real woman, and owner of this was a photographer, also by being on her friend-list, having access to her instagram pictures, she always could grab and steal pictures up to date with things that was happening, new stories, summer, fall, and the pictures never stopped. If she only had a very limited amount of pictures to use, she would have had a real problem, very soon. But, as she could just almost "grab a picture of the day" from this photographer's different web-sites, and use it as she liked, having no respect for other people's work, property or life, it was difficult, or even almost impossible to understand that it wasn't my "friend" who was in them, and that had shot them. This person had been using this "tactic" even before I started my conversation with her, back in 2009. 

It's important to protect your online activity, and property. Not everything is easy, or even possible to keep safe, but one can do much to at least try to prevent something like this from happening. Sweeping up your web-crumbs, is one way. I, for one, as it comes to my photo-company, don't have an online, public company web page. I only use a locked down, personal web-page, where my photography-clients receive a personal password they have to use, to even enter the page, and to see their pictures. When they become signed clients, the get the web-address, and two different password. One password is for the entry of the page. The other, for their picture-gallery. It works really well, and my clients are content and happy with it, and they are glad I go this far to protect their pictures. Now, my company is very small. I do not accept many clients, and that is exactly the way I want it to be. That being said, it's easier for me, to keep it completely locked down, without having to post pictures in a public online web-gallery. It's not this easy, for those who need more clients, and more work. 

Now, a year of likes and various comments are swept away. I'm cleaning. If more then a year goes by, it's difficult to do a good "sweep", it just gets too much to remember, and clean. A year is alot too, and maybe for many people impossible. That is where my good memory comes in - I'm lucky with it, in this way. I normally remember where I been active, and what places I been commenting, or posting personal content that I don't want to have floating around on the web for eternity. Cleaning is always a good thing! Also when it comes to the digital world. Protect your self - as far as you can. We all think that, "These thing's won't happen to me", but believe me, it can. I was thankfully able to stop the person from using this poor woman, and photographer's work and life. I didn't want anything else, but that. I'm not sure if the woman actually believed me or not, even though I tried my best to tell her everything, and even who I am, as honest and straight up as it was possible, through e-mail's. If she didn't believe me, it's actually OK. Because as I mentioned, all I wanted to do, was to stop the impersonator from doing what she was doing. And, I made it. That is more than good enough for me. Post your things with caution. Think twice before you post anything personal and private. At least on websites and pages that are open for public. I learned my lesson, even though it was not my property that was used. For me, it feel's bad enough to be one of those who been exposed to it, with a "bad agenda". 

 Oh, and WHO was the REAL person, which I thought was my "friend" for five years, that I conversed with every single day? It turned out that, the person never really existed by name. You remember I mentioned earlier, that she (my "friend"), told me about her older sister? Well, there never was a YOUNGER sister. The real person behind it all, was of course the person she had told me was her older sister. A grown woman. That had made up a younger sister, using this woman's pictures, and life stories to portray her self with. People are (or can be) truly crazy! And, the Internet can be so nuts...    

Stay Safe, And Have A Great Week :)

Til next time

Jul 6, 2013

WEEKEND - & A Strike Of Summer

First of all, I want to mention that I've been talking about my uncle's novel for the last two posts now. Unfortunately, I've found that the upcoming weeks, and even weekends will be so busy for me, that I will not be able to keep my promise about translating it, and posting a chapter here, on each Friday to come. I am very sorry for this, if you been reading my previous posts about this, and looked forward to it. But, it's better to postpone it, instead of doing those "publishments" spread out here and there, as I find time for it. Maybe it's a better project to aim for when fall time, and winter comes back. Then my company won't be so pressed with clients, projects and product-deadlines, and time will be more on my side for these kind of things. Summertime is always my busy time, business-wise - And I absolutely do NOT complain about that ;)

But now, it's Saturday! Yeeeey! Ha ha! How lovely it is when this kind of day knocks gently at your door. Also, when it brings the most beautiful of summer weather, it's like a little piece of heaven blessing us up here in the far north. I do know that many people around the world have had it's share of heat. I feel sorry for those who struggles with it and, for those of you who have been battling it for a longer period of time up until now. When it comes down to it all, cold is better then the heat. Of course, both of them are bad, in their own way. But, when it's a little chilly, you can at least make it better. Dress up for it, or heat up your house, or apartment a little more. The heat isn't that easy to get rid of. You can't really escape it that easy, and it's much more difficult to cool down your self, or your environment. So, it's better to be living in a cool place and be blessed with a little shorter period of real warm, sunny and hot weather, then having the heat constantly boiling down on you. That way, here, we are lucky - and blessed.

So now, we been at my favorite spot as it comes to swimming, and having fun in the heat. It's actually by one of our two surrounding rivers. But it's gorgeous there! Such green, clear water! White sand, just like a tiny beach. And we have been enjoying it, as much as we can. Both my friends, dog, and other family members. Also, me and my little dog enjoy playing in the fields down by my cosy little house. We live at a small farm place, just a 5minute walk outside of my town. Now, as the farmers has cut the fields, to use the grass for hay for it's livestock in the winter time, the fantastic, fresh smell of new cut grass is spread all over the area. It smells SUMMER! I really love it, and I really love Norway at this time of year. 

So, with a few pictures of our beautiful tiny spot at the lake, and of funny times in the fresh cut crop-fields, I want to wish you a beautiful weekend. I hope your celebration of the Fourth (IF you were one of those many who did), was a safe, fun, lovely and fantastic! Have a beauty of a weekend, and stay safe, in the heat, or where ever you will be enjoying it.

Happy Saturday Ya'll :)
Til Next Time!

Jul 4, 2013

Happy 4th Of July!


Hopefully you still remember me? Ha ha! I been out of blogging for a while, and mostly other businesses that requires a computer. How awesome isn't technology when it works? But, when it decides to slam it's heel's down into what ever a digital product would set it's heels into, to prevent you from pulling it along your own needs, it's a little living hell on earth. As much as we are dependant on computers and technology at this era of time, we often get lost without it. Rightfully so. Too much are done today through the web, and so is this blogging, as you of course all know. When my computer gave away a little poof of a mushroom cloud last week, it was a sign of bad days to come for me. So, my blog has been untouched as I am in no way able to blog using my mobile phone. But now, I've been doing my purchase of a new shiny iMac - and life is better then ever ;)

Last post I made, I talked about my uncle's novel, and that I would, every Friday, (starting from the last one that was...) translate it and "publish" it here. Every Friday, a new chapter. I'm still positive about doing just that - but of course, now as my life has been computer-free, it will be delayed. At least til tomorrow, that is. I'll try and take back the thread of it then. 

Now, today - It's the FOURTH OF JULY! Happy Fourth to all of you who are celebrating it, and that live and thrive in the USA, or where ever you are, following the Star Spangled Banner's traditions on this glory day of Independence :)
May you all have a wonderful celebration, with all of those who you love and cherish, and may you stay safe through out the night with amazing fireworks, BBQ'ing and what else of traditions you have made for your self, and your loved ones and family on this day. I'll finish this post with a clip that is both hilarious and, in very best Muppet's tradition, patriotic ;)

Have An Amazing Fourth Of July Everyone - Celebrating It, Or Not!

Here comes the Muppet's, "Stars & Stripes Forever" - Enjoy ;)

Til Next Time!

Jun 22, 2013

Happy Saturday, & Weekend!

My kind of Summer Bliss
It's here y'all! The long awaited Saturday and, (DrrrrumRollll) - The Weekend :)

It's time to slam your feet up on your coffee-table (if your significant other allow it), and pull out that delisch food from your fridge that you been waiting for all week, while working your self through happy, and not so happy hours. For my part, it's time for family bonding and, my dog! Ha ha! Yes, it is ;) 

Mostly all chores I been able to do during the week, so now, I'm all off - more or less. Sunday I have a little photo shoot, but that is only something that I look forward to do. It's a joyful work and, I love it. 

It's summer, and I hope, where ever you are, that your weekend will be able to give you the chance to pursue your favorite summer activities - if it is the beach, sitting up late, around a cosy bonfire, bbq'ing or hiking. Alone, or with someone. Right now, as I write this, it's raining in my world - but it's warm and, this kind of rain, just makes me want to dance in it! Yes, I am pretty much young at heart and soul. Long live the "Peter Pan Syndrome" - it's real and existing, I tell yah :)
I want to share this tune below with you - I'm sure you've heard it before, but if not, it's well overdue. This song makes me happy. It is truly a happy song and, it screams summer! It almost makes me want to howl out, and run in circles. Ha ha! No but seriously, except from the running in circles-thing, it's such a great summer song. It's light. It's easy, it has such a happy melody - and, it is about LOVE! 

So, with out any further due, enjoy the Lumineers, and their song "Ho Hey" - and, most of all, your weekend!

Happy Summer, & Weekend Every One :)
Til Next Time!

Jun 17, 2013

When A Man Cries...

I've always been told that I am too kind a person. That I'm a man who has a too soft heart for my own good and, that my kindness for others sometimes brakes boundaries, that puts me in a bad personal position. Ok, fair enough. I KNOW I'm soft at heart. That I sometimes am too kind & soft for my own good. Sometimes, people try to take advantage of it. The thing they don't realize though, is that I'm also a person who "reads" people like open books! If they try to take advantage of my kindness, it will blow back on them. I'm not easily fooled, or "tricked" and, if they go there, it's no turning back. They've lost me - and my friendship...

People often say that when a man cries, he's a cliche. That it doesn't gain the man who does it, in good ways. I do tend to cry, or tear up at times. I'm actually very sensitive, and I guess it has to do with my childhood. I learned the hard way, that people are not nice to those who have a little more of special needs then others. I grew up having both ADD and Tourette Syndrome.
Needless to say, one of them is bad enough, but with the two combined, I can't even tell you how much of a bully victim, and "nutcase" I was in others eyes. Not just for those at my own age. Also adults!  Ok, when I grew up, the general knowledge of ADD and Tourette wasn't really too good. Today, Thank The Maker, it's more publicly known what the conditions are about. Still, people should be able to understand that "not being normal" is a condition. Not a choice. I don't have much education. I've learned my proffesion through practical work. Schools didn't manage to build a proper system for me, and they really didn't care, and realize enough that it was needed. Today, I do know that I could have sued my high school for six numbered figures, because of this. It says alot! But still, the treatment I got from other people was the worst. I mentioned it before: Without my mother, who NEVER gave up on me, I wouldn't be where I am today. I am also one of the lucky ones - I grew off me both the ADD and the Tourette. I haven't used medicine for the last 14 years and, I don't have much symptoms of any of the two anymore. They say that a very tiny percent of those who have either condition, will grow it off as time and years goes by. I'm one of the very few fortunate ones...
So, what makes me cry, as a man, doesn't have anything to do with movies and such (all though I can shed a tear in the theatre too). I find myself tearing up, or crying, if innocent children and people are treated in ways that are terribly unfair, and degrades them. Sometimes, those who are treated this way, doesn't really notice it so much them selves. Either because they are used to be treated this way, or because they are too happy at heart to see it. But those who are close to them, or have experienced some things of the same them selves, will. That just makes my heart brake even harder - the fact that they them selves, are too happy at heart, or are used to it so much, that they won't notice it. It then comes to us, we who see it from the "sideline", to make other people aware of it and, make things right...

Today, I read this story. A little boy, that has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (source) was so excited for School Picture Day. He has been wheelchair bound since he was just about a year old. He will never be able to walk. When his mother received his second class portrait in the mail, she opened the envelope with great excitement - it broke her heart. And, she showed it right back into the envelope again. Her son's class, all together in the class portrait. Her son so happy, and smiling a sparkling smile, he is completely beaming in the portrait, so excited for the photo shoot. Craning his neck as hard as he can, to try his best to reach inside what he must have thought was the frame of the picture. Positioned by the photographer, all the way to the side, away from all his friends, and his teacher :( It's heart wrenching, and I can't help but tear up as I write this, and think about it. This will haunt me for a long time, no doubt...

Image via Don Ambridge, used in the original story, & published with permission.
I can't understand that they could do this photograph without minding this. I would, (if I was the photographer) thrown away all templates and put him in the middle, with every one else around him! I feel that as the most natural thing to do. It is clearly mentioned in the story, that the photographer didn't do this on purpose, but that he just didn't think of it as an issue. The photographer also, eventually, tried to right the wrongs. Also, the boy's school has reacted very passionately when they were confronted with it. His dad said in the story that, "(It's a) general lack of understanding". It's well said. It's important that the society, children, school's and people understand how important it is to treat all of us the same way. It's a case of awareness. As our children grow up, we all try to teach them to be kind, empathic and good to each other. Awareness of, that being treated differently because of a condition we can't control our selves is wrong, is the first step. And when things like this still happens, it's obvious that it will never stop being important to spread awareness about it. It truly has to change...

When they did the photo shoot again, (yes, they did), the boy was lifted out of his wheelchair, and, having a caregiver by his side that helped him keeping his balance, he sat in the middle of all his friends from the class. Again he was beaming, as the new class portrait was taken :)

A friend of mine, has always been a "rocker", and a "party guy". Long hair, used to drink a lot (all though he has calmed down with that now), hanging out with his click of friends that was more or less the "scary type" for me when I was younger. Guys with tattoo's, listening to Black Metal music, well, you get my point, I'm sure. As surprised as I became, as well was his friends, when he took a real good education, and became a male nurse, to dedicate his life working with those who has more special needs than most of us have. I wasn't even aware that he took that education, and when he told me, I was so surprised, because it just seemed like he was so not that type of man, who would do that kind of work. And then he told me the reason, and the story about WHY he did it. He told me that, once he was in a park, during a really hot summer day, he sat on the grass beside a family. Mom, dad, and three kids. Two of the kids, and their parents, were all enjoying each their really good ice cream. The third kid, a boy, did not. He was strapped in a wheel chair. Sitting there in the baking sun, crying, watching his siblings and parents slurping up their goodies, my friend could see how badly this last boy also wanted an ice cream, and how incredibly sad and hurt he was for not having one too. And why hadn't his parent's bought him an ice cream as well? The reason breaks my heart so bad, that, even though I always will remember what my friend told me, I always try not to think about it: The boy had Down Syndrome. And, my friend heard his parents say they didn't give him ice cream because, as they said, "You just make too much of a mess with it"! 

My friend said it was completely heart braking to watch. Because of this incident, he swore to him self that, he would never let that happen, ever again. He then decided to take an education, where he could work with, and help, kids with the same condition. He INSTANTLY became my HERO... And he still is...

It's important to spread awareness of these cases - and try to prevent it from happening again. One time is too many. We should let our children that has some more special needs then normal, grow up, without almost being able to notice that they have them. When we arrive there, when those who has more special needs then most of us grow up, being able to go to sleep every night with out feeling sad of just one incident during their day, then we reached the goal that we all should thrive for. But sadly, it's a long way ahead. Hopefully, when peoples heart chatters over these kind of stories, it will make a difference. Awareness is important. Action is too. I'm glad I'm able to cry and tear up uncontrollably over these kind of matters. It's the way I am. And I am SO glad I am that way! May I never change...

Have a great week, and take care of each other!
Til next time

Jun 14, 2013

Lovely Days

Hi! Yes, I'm still here. Ha ha! 

It's been a little while since I made a new post and, the reason for it is simply that days are flying by. Business is busy and, we are now struck with beautiful summer weather. It's important for me to really enjoy the days with the best weather, since my soul and mind will be able to thrive happily during days when it's not so nice. Simply said, I'm building up reserves ;)
The summer-sky is never a boring sight.

All though the days are flying by, these days are beautiful and, I don't mind that time seems to run ahead of me. Except from my work, and business schedules, I do what I'm able to do, when I can do it. Hang out with friends. Both at day and night time. Eating (or, slurping, if you'd like), ice cream in one of our many cosy downtown park- and green areas. Spending time with my family. (I love my family and, all though I know it may sound like a cliche, I love my MOM! She has done SO much for me, always - I grew up having both ADD, & Tourett Syndrome. Thanks to my mom, who NEVER gave up on me, I'm where I am today). Slumbering by the cooling and quiet riverside, being bombarded by the sun ray's. Fly Fishing! Staying up late at night, being outside lying on the ground, and being amazed of how bright the night is. It's just like a normal afternoon. It never goes dark at these times of year. Playing around with my little dog! I LOVE HER! My little long haired, chestnut brown dachshund. She's almost seven years old now. But she still acts like a pup. So playful! So cuddly. A lot of beautiful soul, in a tiny body.
Playing around in the fields.

Close encounter of the "Sheep-Kind" - Non were really too interested :)

This year, I decided to be careful with the tanning. Every year, the last five ones or so, I truly overdid it! Looking like a fresh boiled lobster, isn't exactly too healthy. Last summer was really bad! I used to own an old firetruck - yes a firetruck, ha ha! It was an old Willy's 1969-model, converted into the kind of firetrucks that were stationed at small military bases and so on. Having an aluminium water tank on the back part of it, working as a gigantic reflector, last year during the wonderful start of the summer, I climbed on top of it, lay down and fell asleep. Of course... Let me just say, I'm more careful now. I don't want to be fried that way, anymore. 

Soon I will (hopefully) go for a hike in the mountains, me and my little dog. Packing down my tent and sleeping bag, and travel up there to relax, and enjoy the silence and the beautiful nature that is surrounding me at all times. I'm looking forward to it. 

All in all it's a great life! It's summer. And even though the days feel like they are flying by too fast, I love them all. I enjoy the days to the max.  The Lovely Days :)

Have A Beautiful Weekend!

Til next time!

Jun 3, 2013

The Mystical Reality Of Folklore Creatures

Today I saw a link a face book-friend of mine posted about the mystical creatures of the Scandinavian folklore. That reminded me that I for some time now, wanted to write a post about these strange phenomenons. Norway has a long list of various creatures. Trolls, of course (the wally where I live in Norway, is the very place with the surrounding mountains, where the stories about trolls origin from), "Nökken" (Wiki-link), a scary creature living mainly in deep ponds, and waters, that comes up to the surface only to lure humans into it, and so drown them. "Nisser" (Wiki-link), which is the same word we use for Santa Claus. But, these are not the classic Santa. They are more like "Goblins". We often call them "Lender's". It's because they live in our barns, our attics. Under the surface where your home is built, or inside the mountain rocks, where you have built your mountain cabin on top of. They are said to protect, and look after your place, and home. Or, if you live at an old farm place, like I do when I'm in Norway, they look after, and take care of the animals. The horses, sheep's, lambs, cows. But, there is a catch about these protectors, and their service. You also need to take care of them. They tend to "borrow" your things. The strangest things. It can be your most precious and finest tool. Or a bowl. A lamp, or even a rack sack. Maybe your knife. If something disappears, let it do so. Let them borrow it. Suddenly, it will turn up again, most times, at the very same place you left it before it disappeared. If you start looking for it too much after it goes away, you will hurt the goblins' feelings. And, if you try to look for those who borrows your things, and you disturb them, it will be worse. Then they won't be taking care of you, and your place anymore. You will hurt their pride, and feelings. If you do, unfortunate things will surly happen...

An illustration of a goblin, or "Nisse". In Scandinavian folklore, a "household spirit" responsible for the care and prosperity of a farm.

Another of the maybe most famous, and discussed creatures to this day, that is in Norwegian Folklore, is "Huldra", or the "Hulder" (Wiki-link). It doesn't happen too often, but it's not many years ago, that Norway's largest and most trusted newspaper VG, had a whole page on a close encounter with this mystical being. And, it doesn't stop there. Still today, people tell stories about encounters with this female creature, having no doubt it was a Hulder they saw. My dad is one of those persons. All though my dad is farly reserved about these things, he still has no doubt about it. Also, by seeing ghosts (if you prefer that word) several times, makes him "used" to strange encounters over the years. I believe him. He hasn't lied once to me, as far as I know. Anyway, the Hulder is a creature that has a legend going back in time as far as to the bible, and Adam and Eve. It is said that Eve had many children, and that some of them was banned from "Paradise", because Eve held some of her children hidden from a visit by God. As she lied to Him directly, when He asked her if those children she had with her during His visit was all of them, he out casted the rest of them to stay where they were hidden, for all eternity. Eve, had hidden her other children under the ground in a cave. 

It is said that the Hulder is a beautiful woman. A beautiful woman, who are after those who cheat on their wife's, or women. She turns up in the strangest places, and most often in the mountains, or deep woods, and forests. She will try to court you, and if you are one of those who doesn't stay faithful, as they say the Hulder will know, she will bring you to her cave. Once inside it, she will reveal her true self - which, according to legend, isn't really anything beautiful. And you, you are by that time, already doomed...

She normally wears a long dress. And, the one and most distinct thing that can reveal her true identity, is what she hides under it on her back. A cow-like tale! No, it's not even a joke. That tale, is the true sign of what you really are dealing with. It's the one and only thing she can not remove, or hide, in any other way then keeping it under her clothes and out of sight. When the newspaper VG had it's story, it was about two young women and their children camping out in the mountains in an old cabin, during mid-winter. It was 25below freezing, lots of snow, and it was late at night. Just as the women were sending their kids to their bunks, one of the women saw another young woman outside, sitting in the snow. Wearing only a white dress, and barefoot, she sat outside the entrance of the cabin. Dark, long hair. The woman shouted to her friend to come to the window and have a look. That someone that seemed to be hurt was sitting outside in the freezing snow. Because that was what she thought at first. That it was someone who needed help. But, as they all stood there looking at her, the young woman in the snow outside, smiled at them. As it at this point certainly became more scary then strange, one of the women inside the cabin went carefully out on the porch, while trying to keep a distance. She asked the woman if she was OK. No answer. She then asked her if she needed help, or if she wanted to come inside, so they cold help her get warmed up, and help her  at least with some real clothes for the cold. No answer. Then, as the other woman in the cabin came out on the porch too, she had opened the door behind her more widely. The light hit the woman sitting in the snow in the face. As the smiling woman got the light from inside the cabin in the face, her eyes revealed her true nature. The most scary, evil eyes they could imagine. Dark. Not dark, as like in dark brown of colour, but black. The site made the women tumble back words into the cabin again, and lock the doors. As they went to the window again, the woman in the snow stood up. She smiled at them, as she turned around. And, as she on light feet stepped back into the dark forest surrounding the cabin, she was wawing her tale at them! Standing out from underneath her dress, the tale was wawing as she disappeared into the darkness. There was even a picture with the story, clearly showing the woman walking back into the forest in the snow, having the tale behind her. One of the women managed to get her camera and take a picture before she disappeared...

It's truly an amazing story! Of course you can't think other then that it has to be a hoax. But, the paper it self is known for it's authenticity. It never prints lies. It's just not one of those papers. It's just all a very strange story...

 Illustrations of "Huldra".

My dad. Well, let me say that when he was younger, he used to go hunting. He love the outdoors and the mountains, and used to hike them a lot. Especially the higher parts, or the deep woods. Once as he was in the higher parts of one of our mountains, he was hiking over a rocky path, that lead down into a mountain pass, and a grass plain. This is a beautiful tiny spot, hidden behind steep mountain walls, and the only way to get in, or out of there, is more or less climbing. He wanted to go there to cook some food, and relax for a while, before he continued further down into the area. As he came to the rig of the pass, he saw something he says he will never forget. Cows! Beautiful, well fed, big cows. They were gathered together at the grass plain, walking around feeding. The problem is only, that in this "pot", there is no way it is possible to lead a flock of cows. It's difficult for us humans to get into the area. And, my dad, that grew up in a family that had  mountain farm where they lived all summer every year when he was young, with cows, goats and sheep's, know life stock well. And he saw, that these big and beautiful cows, were no ordinary life stock. As he climbed down to the plains, he tried to see if there were anyone around that was with these animals. As he turned around, he suddenly saw straight into the eyes of a young lady. How she could turn up there just like that, is still to this day a mystery for him. As he was struggling out a "hello" , the woman smiled at him and said Hi! The conversation went something like this:

L: Are you a local?
D: Yes... Are these your cows?
L: Yes. Beautiful, aren't they?
D: Yes...
L: So, what are you doing here?
D: I wanted to come down here to relax, and get something to eat, before I hike down to the wally again.
L: Maybe you want some coffee?
D: No thank you, that's OK... I didn't know anyone was here.
L: You can stay, if you'd like?
D: No thank you, I think I will keep on going. 
L: Are you sure?
D: Yes, I think so. How did you get your cows down here?
L: Well, you know...

After the last sentence, she smiled at him again, and asked him if he was married. My dad answered, "happily so", and said that he had three boys. The young lady answered, according to my dad, that "she  wouldn't tell on anyone". My dad backed up, and said to her that he was flattered, but was happy with his life as it was. The young lady then replied, "I'm glad to hear that", and then they said goodbye, and my dad turned around to climb over the pass again. As he was at the start of his "climb", he turned around to see what the lady was doing. There she stood, in the middle of the hoard of cows, waving and smiling at him. Then she turned around, and as she was happily jumping ahead and went behind a part of huge bolder rocks, she was wawing her tale. My dad says that, even though he didn't believe his own eyes, he saw it as clearly as everything else he sees every single day. When he had gathered his mind, he continued to climb over the edge of the pass, and down to the path on the other side. As he still couldn't even believe him self, and what he had seen, after a little while, he decided to go back up, and get down into the pot again. When he came up to the ridge of the pass, and was able to look down into the pot, he was stunned. There was nothing there. No cows. No life stock. And no lady. It is said that the Hulder has a life stock traveling with her. They are beautiful milking cows, extremely well fed and healthy, and she lets them grass at places that are naturally impossible for life stock animals to get to. They can be there one minute, and the next they can be gone, without a trace. It's just strange, and should be impossible. But my dad aren't alone having these encounters, neither as it comes to life stock, or the Hulder her self. Another man my mom knows, has seen these animals too. Well fed, beautiful milking cows. Life stock. Grassing at an impossible place. Then, as he returned to the same place a little later, they were all gone - with out a trace...

 All though as stunning as she is, be aware of her true nature...

Me? You remember I mentioned those goblins? Or "Nisser" as we call them. One time, years ago, I was visiting a friend at her cabin. It was an old place, built by her great-grand father, on sturdy rocky ground. I was sleeping in a little cabin, secluded from the main building, that used to be a place where they cooked food, made candles and those sort of things. A very little, but amazingly cosy place. I slept so well there, in that little bed, until I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night. Facing the timber log wall, I felt something wasn't right in the cabin, so I turned my head around so I could see out into the room. If you believe this or not, I'm in no doubt of what I saw. In the middle of the floor, a small, thick little fellow, with long gray beard, rack sack and a pointy hat was looking at me. Wearing clothes made out of rough, gray fabric, leather shoe like things on his feet, with cords twinned around his legs. From the early dawn light coming in to the cabin from it's small window, I saw busty eyebrows, and an old wrinkled face. I think I looked at him closely for maybe thirty seconds. Then I remember I smiled at him, and I turned my head back facing the wall, and went back to sleep. He was there checking on me, I'm sure of it. He would protect me, as long as I didn't do him, or the place any harm. 

In the morning, I went back to the main building for breakfast. As we were talking as we always do, I wasn't sure if I wanted to mention my "visitor" to my friend, but, I did. I asked my friend carefully, if she ever had experienced any "supernatural" while staying there. And then I added, "or what about goblins?"
Her eyes turned big, and she stopped drinking her milk. What she then told me, surprised even me:

"My grandfather told me, that when he was young, his father taught him how to keep the place in symbiont with the goblins living in the rock and the mountains where the cabin is built. They always left food, and lockers and things inside the cabin open for them, so they could borrow, and use it as well as take care of it. My grandfather told me once that he had seen a goblin, that woke him up in the middle of the night when he was a child. What is it that you have seen, Sindre?..."  

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Have a great week!
Til Next time :)