Jan 26, 2013

My Cutie Pie

Since I don't have any kids living with me, I find myself at times missing those cute moments, where I could 
grab my camera and shoot pictures of them. But, never the less, I have my little cutie pie Tasha. My friend in 
life, cosy companion, cutest, fluffy snuggle "girl, and my love - for now. (Yes, I know it sounds pathetic, ha ha!).

It's saturday night, and she's snuggling up to me 
on the couch and, just because I think she is so amazingly beautiful (for a dog), here are a few peeps.

                                                   So, without any further ado, meet Tasha - My little Cutie Pie.

                                                                Have a great weekend every one - til next time!

Jan 25, 2013

In Need Of A Space Suit

Not long ago, I wrote about how cold it is in Norway these days. And that it's been cold for way, 
WAY to long already. Well, it's still cold. Way to cold. I'm freezing my butt off! This time, I mean it..

Buzz Aldrin on the moon

too cold - still

As a dog owner, my spine clinches every time I see 
my little cutiepie of a dash missy starts to get stressed. 
It means I will be forced to walk outside in minus 16f, 
or colder, and I won't stop shaking of cold until I 
been under the covers for several hours. We 
dress for the cold, yes. But, come on, you will 
still be freezing. So, I did some research...  
I'm in need of a space suit! I know they are huge, 
heavy and I'm sure, not very easy to 
get in and out of. But, and here 
is why: They have their very own personal 
climate control! How neat isn't that? 
Ha! I can control my very own environment. 
Summer. Winter. I wonder if I can get fall, and 
spring as well. Ha ha! I
don't think there will be brown leaves
 blowing around inside of it, but temperature 
wise, I can't think of any better solution. So. The cost. 
Hmm. Well, I DO know, you can get high end replicas 
of real space suits. They are at least cheaper then the 
real ones. I can alter a replica, put in a few fan's, some 
heat threads, and more. And, they are not the weight 
                                                                                               of the real ones. It's possible. Right? I would think so. 
                                                                                                 I think...

you can buy high end replicas...

Then a scary thought came over me. What comes 
along with it? What are the downsides. I mean, you 
are in control of the climate. A scary thought. 
Even tho it's my own very little environment, a 
taste of the control, would that make me a dictator? 
Ha! Maybe a "taste of the power", would give me 
lust for more then I would ever want to even 
dream about. So, I did a quick calculation, of an 
eventually outcome, of my dog-walk-suit:

"Space suit equals environment control. 
Environment control equals climate control. 
Climate control equals world domination
World domination, and ME - Equals absolutely 
No Good!"

I let it be with the dream of it. The dream of 
a space-dog-walk-suit, that is ;) 
It's way too much power for one person to handle. 
Even tho it's just your very own, tiny little environment 
enclosed in a rough fabric, and helmet. I'll just layer up instead. 
Besides, with a huge coat, or two, it won't be foggy. That way, 
I'm sure I will be able to see the beauty of the cold winter nights 
much better, as I walk my little cutie pie :)

crispy, late night, non-foggy dogwalks in norway, can give spectacular views - like the northern lights

                                                                                             Til next time!

                                                                                                 (space-suit images by nasa.gov & space-replicas.com)

Jan 24, 2013

Oh, The Changes

I'm not pretending to be an amazing blogger, in fact, I think I may have 
problems putting together nice pages, or a blog post, that is easy enough, 
and interesting to read. I used to do this much more some years ago, and 
at that time, I was pretty much more confidant about my own style, vision
and layout.

Now, just let me say, as Natalie Portman often does, it's "unclear".

I received an email few days ago, where someone told me that:
"they like what I write about, but popping by my blog is aggravating, 
as almost every time, there is some kind of changes, in either my
 layout, fonts, or more".

I know. Ha! I also know how aggravating it can be. I used to be a journalist
and, am very aware of how confusing and aggravating it can be, reading and 
looking at pages, websites and more, where there is less then normal stability 
in it's layout, template and fonts, and where there are changes almost every time 
you go by them. So, please, bare with me. I am sure, I have soon found my
"voice" to share with you. Both in layout, and style in general :)

In the mean time, enjoy this amazing song! I am getting more and more the taste 
for Alicia Keys' music! I used to work as a traveling DJ for many, many years,
and by the time I stepped down from the DJ Booth, my personal taste in music 
was more or less shattered! Now, I'm slowly getting my own taste back, all tho
I have to admit, it's more about the "mood & feeling" in the song, and the 
music, that appeals to me, then the artists, quality and popularity of it in general. 
This song has it! The mood. The feeling.
It makes me want to scream out, and sing along! 

My poor dog. Sensitive hearing. Maybe she will get used to it. Soon ;)

                                                Til next time!

Jan 23, 2013

A Difficult Conversation

I know I've written earlier, that this, my blog, is to be about Norway, and it's history, places and beyond. 
There are things we all say and agree should not be written, or discussed on blogs like this, as politics, 
war, peace, so on. But, this is my space, and I'm sure I will deviate from my own  boundaries sooner 
or  later anyhow. So, here goes: 

  "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
 but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein.

This quote makes me think of my grandfather. I'm not too sure why, but I guess it has to do with what 
he was, and where he came from. And what he did. 

I had a friend over a few days ago. While we were babbling along over a cup of joe, we came 
to bump into a difficult conversation subject. Difficult for me. People that know me well, are aware 
of my grandfather. I don't have many good, and real friends, but those few I have, are the real quality 
of friendship material. I don't feel it's difficult to talk about real personal matters with them, but this has 
never come up before. Until now. It was a long conversation, but, a little of it went something like this:

f: i feel sorry for you, because of your grandfather.
me: what? why?
f: well, i know what he was, and why he was here. can't be nice, right?
me: why not? i know he was a good man!
f: are you serious? he was with "them"! how can you say he was a good man?
me: how can you say he was not? i know the stories, local people knew him.
f: and that is good enough for you?
me: yes! 
f: it wouldn't be for me...
me: well, you are not the one who's had the situation in your life.
f: i guess so...

For some reason, this whole subject shocked me. I know I should be understanding about other peoples 
meanings, but when ignorance plays a part, my blood starts to boil. I cant help it. 


I'm part austrian. Just 1/3, but, that's enough. Or for some people it is. For me? I'm a history buff by 
nature. I'm interested, and curious. I never met my grandfather, I never even seen a picture of him. 
All information about him, is lost. Almost as it's been wiped out of history. My dad, well, I tried 
asking him. But he won't talk about it. It's understandable. Very much so. So I'm not asking anymore. 
At least not much.
But, that doesn't mean I haven't tried to find out some things tho. And believe me, I have. My grandfather. 
A good man! A person who was forced out of his country, to be a tiny ant in Hitler's war. A man with 
a good heart. A doctor. An "arzt". He wasn't a nazi. He wasn't one of those who believed in the war, 
and would give his life for their dictator's megalomaniac plans about world domination. He was a man 
who helped kids in my town, along with every other civilian, when they needed medication. Stitches. 
When they had stomach pains. Medical help in general. I remember one story particularly well. I was in 
my early teens when I was told this, but it's been stuck with me ever since. A young boy, that time, was 
run down by a car, as he was riding his brand new bicycle. (Bicycles were very hard to get in those early 
1940's). The first person who came running, that was my grandfather. He carried him in to his field-hospital, 
where he was stationed during his few years he was in my town. He took care of him, and then followed 
him home. That was my grandfather. Walter. That's what he was like. I'm proud. He helped people out, 
despite his strict orders not to. He gave the children candy, if they needed stitches, because there was no 
anesthetics. So they could have something else, and much better to pay attention to. 

My friend had no idea of how life was in Germany, and Austria in the years before the war broke out. 
He just assumed I was ashamed of my history. Just like that. It pisses me off! It's so ignorant. I told him to 
see a documentary show. Get some more knowledge, before he lashes out about things he actually don't 
have enough knowledge about. I know enough. I studied the history. Oh my, how many hours I have, with 
my nose stuck into a book about the german WW2 history. And, so many late nights, watching all kind of 
documentary shows on various channels, about the subject.
Germany, and Austria were in turmoil, and chaos. After Hitler came to power in 1933, he started 
straightening up the countries. And he managed it. He did it by collective brain washing. Destroying peoples 
personality. Their freedom of speech. By fear, and removing peoples basic rights, and far beyond. Slowly. 
But steadily. He managed it. People were under constant surveillance. No one could trust anyone. If you 
as much as said something wrong about the new leadership of their countries, you were most likely to be 
arrested that same day. If so, your friends, family, loved ones. They would never see you again...

People tend to forget that there is more then one story behind most situations. Not every one wanted to 
be a part of an occupying force. Not then. Not now. Sometimes, people don't have too much of a 
choice. In this case, it was the worst scenario. Mostly, at least. Jail, (which in turn meant death), or 
execution. It was duty, for a cause not all believed in, or being stripped of what remained of your life at 
home. Some took the quick way out. Most, did their so called duty. 
It's easy to think how one could have refused to become a part of this history. Also, I am sure, my 
grandfather had to do, and did, things no man should ever do. But I know now, that he was a good man. 
A good man, who tried to do a little good, in a desperate situation. He didn't just stand there, watching. 
It's so easy to judge. Not all of them were those we have horror stories about. Many were normal men. 
Afraid. Far away from their homes. Young. Kids. Almost. I've heard stories about soldiers bursting out 
in tears, because kids didn't want to be lifted up by them. Or when kids ran away from them, screaming, 
into their parents arms. Those crying soldiers were young fathers. To kids of the same age as these scared 
ones. Back home. Tough soldiers. They broke down in tears. Because they missed them. That much...


I'm not trying to make them seem good. They were not good. Or, the cause they came for, wasn't. 
But, people can't take all for the same. Some are different. Always. We can't understand the situation 
they were in. No one that was not there, can. But we can at least say, that not every person was 
the same. That is important.
My grandfather disappeared on the eastern front. As several hundred thousands of others did. 
My dad has told me one thing tho. He told me he remembers sitting on his dad lap. While his dad 
was singing for him. As far as I know, that is one of the only real, and clear memories my dad has 
of him. Before he was transferred to Russia. My grandmother did not get notified about his 
disappearance there until after the war. They were not told what happened. Killed, prisoner of war. 
We don't know. No one does. All they were told, was that he was "missing". 
My dad grew up, and to be honest, I don't think he had the worst childhood, compared to other children 
in other cities, that had fathers who had been in the german forces. But, he still payed for it. My dad is 
amazing in chemistry. Pharmacy. And so much more with in medic. As I guess his own father was. He 
wanted to go to a good school, educate him self to become a doctor. He wasn't allowed. Because of 
his father, he wasn't allowed to go to universities. Colleges. Or to get an education. That was only one 
thing. I could mention many more. He was punished, because a good man, was forced out of his country, 
to do bad things for a maniac. Many had to do the same thing. They were scared too. They missed 
their homes. Their families. They were young men, trying to survive. And trying to keep their families safe, 
back home. My ignorant friend was "schooled" by my mouth, as I was almost spitting words at him non 
stop. When I said, "ok, I'm done", I could see he was aware that he didn't know enough about the subject, 
to say what he did in the first place. I told him it's ok. 
"People assume all the time they were all bad". 
And that was it. We spent the rest of the evening watching movies. 

This is sore subject for people to talk about. It's a difficult conversation. At least for those who are personal 
affected by it. And of course it is. How can it not be? I may make some people upset by this, maybe even 
angry. But these are my thoughts about it. MY thoughts. My reality. And so, maybe now it's soon time to start 
talking about it. No matter how difficult it is, it's important for other people to understand, that they were 
people like us. Young men, that had a much worse evil to choose from then what we had. For me, 
no matter how difficult these conversations are, I'm glad people bring them up. For me, a whole generation 
is lost. There is a huge gap. I wish at least I had a picture. My grandfather. Walter. That's all I know 
about his name. Nothing more. I know he was a good man. Doing what he did, to help every one, 
as long as he could. Until he was sent away, and disappeared. I somehow can picture him in my thoughts. 
I don't know why. But, I was told about a picture my oldest brother had found of him, long ago. 
He was sitting on a horse. Handsome. Brown skin. White, bright smile. Happy. Austrian. Field doctor for 
the german army. A good man, doomed from the start. That's why difficult conversations are important 
at times. To bring out the good in the bad. There are always two sides of a story. 
And this time, it was about my grandfather... 

(images from "otta history union archive" -  they are all from my town) 


The Hulder Dance

 someone i know made this video - camilla is an amazing talent as it comes to digital film making, and i just love this.
as this blog has a lot to do about the classic norway, it's mystique and folk tales, i just had to put this on, and let all of you see how amazing this video is. it truly gives you an idea (all tho this video is just a short teaser for a later-to-come music video), of how easy it could have been to believe in the "dark forces from the underworld", for people living here some hundred years ago. the mood in this clip, says it all. 
camilla wolf bodin is the person behind this video. She is an actor, and she also has her own documentary and movie company. the "hulder" is marie kl├ąpbakken.    
 this is "the hulderdance".

Jan 22, 2013

It's O' So Cold

it's winter. check. it's norway. check. it's so, SO COLD! (check?).

we are more or less used to the cold weather, or as used to it as anyone can force them selves to become. still, i had such a huge hope, that this winter, we would dodge the coldest weather. it started out so nicely! til the beginning of january, we had just a few degrees below freezing. then- BAHM! it's now almost end of january, and the digital quicksilver has been flashing digits at me showing just about steady minus 16! MINUS 16 fahrenheit! which is, on the celsius scale, about minus 27 degrees.

 needless to say, i am freezing my butt off! at least, if it had been possible... so, what do we do? nothing! we survive it, that's all. we get thru it, somehow. we try taking it easy, sit indoors, in front of the heaters, under fluffy blankets, letting our dog lay over our thies, warming us. ha! my dog is a dash, so it's ok.
everything we normally do during our days, gets hard. tougher. a real effort is needed just to get dressed to go downtown shopping. as a dog owner, i'm used to dressing up to michelin-man size! or astronaut-suit size! two coats, two pair of jeans (and long johns). two pair of socks, mountain boots. two of everything. double the layers, or more, and you will at least be able to walk outside for more then ten minutes, before you are trembling with cold. 

 and that, people, is how we do it! that's how we get by, and survive the icy cold winters we have. we dress for the weather, not the "code". we have stocks of hot drinks and beverages ready to pour into a huge mug by the second we get indoors, or when ever we need to warm up our bones. besides, it's gorgeous outside, when it is this cold! it's bright, white, blue. and the stars sparkles! the moon gives a mix of a blue, silver light, which is so bright you don't need a flashlight, if you need to be outside where there is no other light source. it's all so pretty. frosty. it's norway! and as long as we have the ability to dress right, and we can stay outside as long as we selves feel comfortable with, we can handle it. at least for a short month, each year. also, winter, and snow, means fun time.
for us, and our belowed pets ;) it's all good. we manage. so far, at least...
 til next time! (hopefully it's warmer by then)

Jan 21, 2013

Over The Mountain & Thru The Walley

i live in the very heart of norway. the valley where the danish author h.c. andersen found the background for many of his amazing tales, where asbjornsen & moe found inspiration for many, or most of their stories. in the mountains, and the waste land of forests around me, the trolls ruled. long ago. but, if you hike around in the area, it is easy to find and see the reasons, for why this was such a big reality for people living, and traveling here, a century ago.

my town is small. to be honest, it's boring at times. but it's quiet. it's safe. it's a perfect place in the country, and the world, to raise your children, to find your inner peace and settle down. if you find it necessary, you can travel where ever you want to, when you need to refresh your view of the world, or experience a different paste in your life. right? but here, it's beautiful. if i leave my town for a while, i always long back to it, and the area, after just a short while away. how quiet it is, and how pretty it is. all you have to do is look, and listen. enjoy the silence. enjoy the world. enjoy your home. my town, and my part of this long country, is perfect. at least most of the time. 

i made this videoclip some time ago. quality isn't the best, but it will give you an idea of what is all around me. but just a tiny bit. you won't see it, smell it, or feel it, before you been here. but still, without further ado, here is a tiny glimpse of gudbrandsdalen. over the mountain, and thru the valley. 

til next time!

Jan 20, 2013

SVALBARD - where the polar bears rule

17.may,   norways national day, here with svalbards governor,& the mining music corps

oh my... svalbard! what to tell, and what to not tell. i wish i could fill up hundreds of pages about this rugged, arctic desert island, positioned 78degrees north. an island, where no human really are ment to be, live or settle. the land where the sun either is a constant ball of light in the sky 24/7, or never rises up above the horizon. the land where the polar bear rule, and is king - or queen.

snowmobiles are more common then cars

svalbard is a land of grey zones. it's no ones property! every one can go there. taxes are flat rated, alcohol, and most else is cheap. immigration laws are blurry. which has consequently resulted in a diversity you will only find in a big city. cultural blooming. and the people... oh, those fantastic and lovely people! they stick together, no matter! they only have them selves, it's a society of about three thousand citizens, closed up from the rest of the world, only having airplanes (it's a three hour flight from the mainland to svalbard), and ships as a connection to the rest of the world. it's bound to be a close "relationship" among the few.

and few they are... longyear (city) is a mining society. rich on coal, the mining industry is more or less the only reason for the settlement, and the reason why the small town longyear was built. it is an arctic desert! it has permafrost in the ground, which means it never thaws completely. pipes and sewer lines are built above the ground. temperatures can drop as low as minus 85 fahrenheit in mid-winter, if the wind picks up. i been out in that weather, i felt it. and it really, really hurts! but the people don't mind it. those who have settled down there, for maybe a short year, or maybe 20 years, are used to it. they know how to survive it, and how to do the best out of any situation. by the way, the bigger, and thicker coat you have there, the cooler you are. ha!


svalbard does not have a prime minister, or king (as norway has). it has a governor, or in norwegian, "sysselmann". norway was only given the task of ruling, and the island is split in a russian part, "barentsburg", also called "the pyramid" (wiki-link), and the norwegian part. as the russian settlement also was built for mining purposes, it is now almost abandoned. it would prove to costly to bring out the coal. still, local guides and travel agencies offer travels to barentsburg, and as it is now more or less a ghost town, it is a place worth seeing if you ever get the chance. time there has more or less frozen, just as the world around it is...

svalbard, & russian barentsburg' common house, with lenin (wiki image share)

the polar bears! i never saw one. or, at least a live one. i'm actually glad i never did. but we had a few of them that came a little too close to the city settlement, luckily they were able to scare them away, in stead of putting them down. svalbard, and longyear, is the polar bears kingdom! they rule it. it's their natural habitat, along with some few other rough animals. animals that are made thru times of evolution, to be able to survive, and live in the arctic. still, even tho they rarely come too close, polarbears are always a natural enemy for humans (or vica versa). everyone who is traveling outside the settlements of longyear, are legally enforced to carry arms! heavy weapons, strong, and powerful enough, to stop a ton of angry muscles, coming at you in a speed of 30miles an hour. school teachers, kinder gardens, they all have armed guards with them, when ever they are outside in the school yard, or are any where else then inside the main school building. it's necessary. very much so...  i wish i had a picture of it, but i don't. but a local very well known phenomenon is the "mommy mafia". young mothers, that, during a few days of each week, gathers together to walk their sweet toddlers in their strollers along the main road, that runs from the airport, to the towns center. long lines with colourful strollers, and mommy's, carrying rifles on their back, and magnum revolvers on their hips. ha ha! that is also necessary. and it is a sight you will never forget, if you once are so lucky to experience it!

svalbard isn't like any town

svalbard! aah! i miss it! so. so. much! and the people. so happy! so social, so friendly. you go to a bar, you will be in a conversation in a second. you go to a restaurant, and they ask you if you will join their table. you go out for a drink, and you won't be back in your own bed before the stores open the next morning. you are at this persons after party, where you are having the time of your life with amazing people...

this time, drinks are on the house

cold weather, many dangers, no newspapers in days (if the plane gets canceled because of bad weather, as happens frequently during winter time), a closed society, that are the last stop on earth with a settlement, if you are going to the north pole. a place, where the sun is not showing a single beam of light from october, til april. or where it never sets, from may til july... it's all worth it - so much! it is all so different then you imagine it will be. it's the most northern point in the world, where people live. and it has everything you can imagine, and so much more. i'll be back, soon...

longyear city, a late january month, during mid-day

warning! polarbears

an entrance to an old, closed mine

the bar where i worked

inside the "peoples common house" - cinema, and concert hall

downtown longyear city, svalbard

pigged mountains surrounds the town

spring time

a huge walrus, enjoying the warm spring sun

morning coffee outside in minus 10 degrees
good, dark shades are necessary

two bff polar foxes, following me around

svalbard, and longyear during the summer

at longyear airport

very windy

"svalbard airport, inaugurated by His Majesty the King Olav V, sept. 2nd, 1975"

russian departure

i'm going home. til next time!