Monday, March 31

Monday Odd Shots

Breaking News:
The Gas fire at Ålesund seems to be under control and may be the evacuated citizens can move back to their homes within short. (almost a week now having to find shelters at friends and family).

Coming back from the winter and a fantastic weekend with old friends, blog-reading and updating is a challenge. For some of you not receiving any comments the last days I know you understand that there are important things and important things in the world.
I will however thank Leslie for the nomination of having a blog rated E for Excellent, and may be if forgotten I also will thank others for previous nominations as seen in the sidebar.

Katney has the rules at her site, and is also the originator to Odd Shots Monday. My contribution to this Canon today is connected to my last Sky Watch Friday photo from the mountain farm.

When arriving we saw the dimensions and volume of the snow at Bjorli. The house is almost buried by snow and the kitchen window ( to the right above) is just a stripe in the whiteness.Since this weekend was the last gathering at Morken Farm at Bjorli due to changes in ownership, I will thank Kirsti, Astrid, Erik and Helge for all the hospitality and fun we have had here the last ten years. We´ll meet again at other locations.

Friday, March 28

Sky Watch Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Light a candle for the victims at Ålesund tonight.

This Friday we are heading for a weekend with old friends from Ålesund, Sykkylven and Trondhjem. We gather at Bjorli where the Outdoor Bar will be open when Helge is playing Bebop and the sun hopefully will be nice to all. Trusting Kirsti´s games will be arranged and played just for fun and fellowship. The winner takes it all.Yesterday I once more had to have a Photo-Dynamic Therapy (PDT) at the National Hospital to hold my Skin Cancer under control. My head without hair is sun damaged due to the immunosuppressive medication necessary to avoid transplanted organ rejection. In the days to come I will most possibly look like a pirate.
Have a nice weekend. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Thursday, March 27

Thursday facts and Breaking News

4.3 million deaths in Europe
caused by
cardiovascular disease - CVD

On Tuesday I posted facts about my former employer. Today I continue this fact distribution with the summary from 2008 European cardiovascular disease statistics . For my Norwegian speaking friends they can also find the most important highlights at

The complete report can be downloaded as pdf from European CVD 2008

Instead of making some personal priorities based on my own feelings, I post the complete summery as described:
■ Each year cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes over 4.3 million deaths in Europe and over 2.0 million deaths in the European Union (EU).
■ CVD causes nearly half of all deaths in Europe (48%) and in the EU (42%).
■ CVD is the main cause of death in women in all countries of Europe and is the main cause of death in men in all countries except France, the Netherlands and Spain.
■ CVD is the main cause of the disease burden (illness and death) in Europe (23% of all the disease burden) and the second main cause of the disease burden in those EU countries with very low child and adult mortality (17%).
■ Death rates from CHD are generally higher in Central and Eastern Europe than in Northern, Southern and Western Europe.
■ Death rates from stroke are higher in Central and Eastern Europe than in Northern, Southern and Western Europe.
■ CVD mortality, incidence and case fatality are falling in most Northern, Southern and Western European Countries but either not falling as fast or rising in Central and Eastern European countries.
■ Each year smoking kills over 1.2 million people in Europe (450,000 from CVD) and about 650,000 people in the EU (185,000 from CVD). The numbers dying in Europe from CVD due to smoking rose by 13% between 1990 and 2000.
■ Smoking has been declining in many European countries but the rate of decline is now slowing. Women are now smoking nearly as much as men in many European countries and girls often smoke more than boys.
■ Dietary patterns across Europe - once very different - are now converging.
■ Diets are generally improving in Northern and Western European countries but deteriorating in Southern, Central and Eastern European countries.
■ Levels of physical inactivity are high in many European countries.
■ Levels of obesity are increasing across Europe in both adults and children.
■ Over 48 million adults in Europe and 23 million adults in the EU have diabetes and the prevalence is increasing.
■ Overall CVD is estimated to cost the EU economy €192 billion a year.
■ Of the total cost of CVD in the EU, around 57% is due to health care costs, 21% due to productivity losses and 22% due to informal care of people with CVD.
While planning for this post yesterday a shocking Breaking News occurred from the Jugend City Ålesund. (see yesterday blog) About 2000 - 3000 cubic meter of the city mountain break loose in a landslide at 0337 am cet. A house with 20 residents at sleep were hit and the modern house from 2003/04 partly collapsed. A Gas tank is on fire and can explode.

Between 500 and 1000 persons are evacuated around the catastrophic area including my sister and my brother in law. They are well but the Law of relative Distance makes the feelings about the disaster more intense. 5 persons are missing/killed in the collapsed building. Death has always a reason.

Wednesday, March 26

ABC Wednesday - J

First of all, this Wednesday you HAVE TO go to Mrs Nebitts Place and make comments according to the changed rules for ABC Wednesday. Mr. Linky is out of function for the time being in this fellowship.

In the beginning I thought the letter J was difficult. May be it had to do with the pronouncement of the letter in Norwegian and or English. However, I managed to find, as far as I can see, acceptable variations although I had to bend the rules (?) a little.
Therefore I start with a German word which in English is an interpretation in French.

J is for Jugendstil (Jugendstil |ˈyoōgəntˌ sh tēl|noun German term for Art Nouveau) as in the Jugendcity Ålesund, Norway.My second photo is from Dublin where my wife after reading and loving Ulysses by James Joyce had to do her Bloomsday walk and meet with the author at North Earl Street.
J is for James Joyce.In Verona, Italy there is a famous place where tourists are going to recall one of the romantic drama by William Shakespeare , Romeo and Juliet. We visited Arena di Verona when seeing the Opera AIDA by Verdi in 2003. The photo is taken before going to see the Opera.
J is for Juliet´s Balcony

My Painting this week is accompanied by 2 YouTube videos.

First a Video clip from the musical Chicago where Mrs. Zeta-Jones performs All that Jazz
Second the famous cello player Jacqueline du Pre who has been given the title of the painting.

J is for all that Jazz, zeta-Jones and Jacqueline.

As i said it started difficult, but ends up rather satisfactory.

Since it is still winter around here and also in most of the ABCW blogger´s local areas, I was ready to present photos from January.

However, now it´s time to look ahead, and within a few months we can see the summer months coming. Photos from the apple blossom in June and raspberries at my cottage in July may hopefully help you with the present depression.

J is for June and July.

Tuesday, March 25

Tuesday facts and some memories

Sometimes I feel that my blogfriends need some facts.
Today facts are about my employer for 30 years, the Managing Risk Company and present disability pension cashier:
Det norske Veritas.

Last year´s financial results ended with an operating profit at 873 MNOK, and profit after tax at 536 MNOK (USD 91 million)
Hopefully this will give us an extra increase in annual pensions so the banana hunting in Singapore still can be something we do on vacations.DNV is a global company with 300 offices in 100 countries. It has approximately 8,000 employees, but only 2,300 working in Norway. Its head office is at Høvik outside Oslo.

I have had a great time and personal development in this Company. At my start in 1968 I had the opportunity to take part in the EDP - IT - ITC start-up in Norway and DNV, and I worked twelve years within this area.
Later when my responsibility was more concerned with Human Resources, Management and Leadership Development, I also got the fantastic experience and memories for life connected to live in Singapore and work in Asia Pacific for some years.
I still have many friends serving the company around the world, and believe some of them still remember me although it is more than 11 years since I had to leave the company due to heart and kidney failure and combined transplantation thereafter.

Later this spring I will together with almost 70 pensioners from DNV experience the Algarve coast and Lisbon in Portugal for a week. Many colleagues and friends from my duty will join too.
Facts about that journey will come in due time.

Monday, March 24

Monday Odd Shot

Easter is over and preparation for the Ascension 39 days from today may begin. In a garden in Brussels we found this tool, not documented as useful for leaving ground, but we bring it out to you all as the Monday Odd Shot this week.
Hopefully all the mountain climbers have returned home to their broadbands and computers and will update the web with nice easter memories the days ahead. If your return is set later today, drive carefully.
Visit Kathney for more Odd shots.
If you want to see an ODD VIDEO please visit Anna-Lys and have a good laugh.

Sunday, March 23

Happy Easter ?

The Resurrection appearances of Jesus some years ago, has no influence of my morning mood this sunday. The right foot out of bed, and my Easter Egg was again decorated by my wife and the morning procedure went on as usual.

However, the temperature in the kitchen was down to 13.4 deg C due to a very cold night down to minus 10.1 C outside the walls.
An open door in the apartment above us the last six days has helped a lot to decrease the heat, and we got aware that it may be is not the best to live in a house 125 years old when rehabilitation is going on.

Nevertheless blogging is a must and even if my fingers almost need gloves to write this post, I once again wish you all a Happy Easter.

Saturday, March 22

Saturday urban life and Bullshit (pisspreik)

I had planned to save my Manneken Pis from Brussels till ABC Wednesday M, but after seeing this video from a Shopping Center i Portugal, he just had to be presented today.

Click on Urban Toilet Art and see the European creativity.

May be this could be a replacement for all the "Graffiti" or Tagging we see ruin these emergency areas. Even Manneken Pis on many occasions is dressed in a costume. His wardrobe now consists of several hundred different costumes, and as in the Shopping Center Toilet there is a possibility for the opposite sex in Jeanneke Pis

For those of you being at your cottage with
Outhouses the decorations are possible portraits of royal families around the world. At least that is the fact at my cottage. Have a "cold" but peaceful weekend.

Friday, March 21

Sky Watch Friday on Good Friday

How long was Adam in Paradise?
Where has all the flowers gone?
Did someone talk about Spring?

The winter is back!!

Thank heaven I finish the washing of my 45 (x2) windows yesterday.
Today the white snow is covering cars and streets.
My wife went down to the basement for more wood, and set fire to the kitchen fireplace before breakfast. It was like being at a mountain cottage, but we are still in the middle of Oslo.

It is Sky Watch Friday and also the most holy day in the year for someone. The white flakes coming from above cover everything. May be someone will call it a sign. For me it is only troubling. I am sick of winter and want spring to return asap. It has also made my SWF blogpost different than planned for.

Because yesterday afternoon I received a mail from British Airways saying:
Dear Mr A,
With 27 March fast approaching, the opening of our new home at Heathrow is getting closer than ever. So I'd like to tell you a bit more about what you can expect when you fly from Terminal 5.
Until I have been at Heathrow T5 you have to be satisfied with other airports around the world, and I start up the ASWF photos with Portela Airport Lisbon in the midle of the city to where this airplane is on her way.In many of the airport photos I has focused on my wife. This is from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on her way to Singapore and the former Westin Plaza HotelIn China she is leaving Asia for this time at Pudong Airport Shanghai where we earlier on the vacation last May could see The Bund shot from 350 meters up in the sky at Pearl Tower.Snow or Airports what so ever, since it is Easter and a lot of Norwegians are up in the mountain skiing, I here present a picture of Rondane from the so called Solberg place. Today these mountains are covered with snow, but as I started in this post, you don´t need to go far for using your skis today.Just had to add a photo from Aftenposten taken by Thorbjørn Leidal this morning to show you that winter is really back:Probably no BBQ of the Easter Lamb at their place.

Thursday, March 20

City Easter with daffodils

Today the Easter Holiday starts in Norway.

Yellow Daffodils at the breakfast table. Painted eggs and tomato herrings, brie cheese and ham together with tea and apple juice.
Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the day for the Last Supper. I want my supper later today not to be the last, and have no intention to wash my wife´s feet. The shower takes care of that, and regarding the gathering I let da Vinci have his code by himself.

It is still almost zero degrees here. Cold nights and the sun is only making the temperature to increase a few numbers. But as long as it is not raining or snowing we have all the possibility to have a good and peaceful Easter in the City. Our Local is closing at 1 am today and tomorrow, but at that time we normally are well hidden under the quilt with eyes closed.
There is no traffic in the streets this morning. Almost no cars parked outside and the church bells are still silent. I am blogging and feel fine. No stress for skiing.
If somebody believe this "man" is out exercising, click on the picture and have a look. The beer garden is not yet open. If the sun makes it possible lots of people will turn into Lektern later.
May be we too will stroll down to Aker Brygge later, but most probably we will visit the cottage just for the fun of it. Due to the cold there is nothing to do in the garden at this time.

Wednesday, March 19

ABC Wednesday I

It is Easter, It is ABC Wednesday and what else can be more symbolic than DiegoVelasquez painting Christ Crucified from 1632 as we saw at the Prado Museum in Madrid in 2004.
I is for INRI.Next shot is from Aker Brygge, Oslo taken yesterday. Reflections in the windows of the Investment and Insurance company Storebrand, and the sculpture by Marit Wiklund ”Utferdstrang” in the Old Dock close to the bridge over to Tjuvholmen, (the new renovated Industrial area)
I is for Images
My own painting this ABCW is Inferno in Red, accompanied with the fantastic music by Igor Stravinsky. See the You Tube video Igor Stravinsky Firebird Infernal dance (Ildfuglen Norwegian, Le Sacre du printemps French)
is for Inferno, Igor and Infernal Dance

At the end the sculpture utside the Ibsen Museumand the warm Summer day in 2006 at Ischia Italy where Ibsen worked out major parts of Peer Gynt
I is for Ibsen at Ischia
For more ABC Photos go to MrsNeisbittsplace

Tuesday, March 18

Easter and system problems

I am busy today. Got some hard disk system problems yesterday evening, had to call Apple Support, and am up and going this morning. However, even if my last week photos are gone in my iPhoto library, the blogger posts and iWeb Gallery are still intact. The Opera and Arne Ekeland can still be watched together with my other photo albums.

I still have some work to do. Uploading Aperture 2 and Office:mac 2008, but it´s Easter and very good weather (blue sky and a little cold wind) so in addition to window washing, we have to visit the summer residence for more season preparations.
The photo today shows the gardener 4 years ago in the beginning of February. We have had climate variations before as well.

Sunday, March 16

Monday Odd Shots and a little more

First I want to make my contribution to the Monday Odd Shots; The roots of trees at Høvik and the Veritas Garden.
This recreation area became open for the public after DNV took over the area mid 70s and build the great Veritas Center as the company´s Head Quarter. In addition we made a previously closed park available for people by making paths in the forest and small walking roads close to the sea. Yesterday thousands of people was strolling along the beach, licking sunshine and looking at the spring flower - Blue Anemone (blåveis)At Høvikodden and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter we can now see an exhibition of The Norwegian painter Arne Ekeland.
Ekeland´s works has for many years been my very most unobtainable. Prices far above my no Lotto winning wallet. I fell in love with Arne Ekelands art at a visit to Trondhjems Kunstforening in 1984 and hardly regret that his art only after his death in 1994 has got the place it should have had many years ago. His clear political view may be one of the problems. This is also expressed through his paintings.
I really hope the plans for a permanent museum for his art can be realized and end up with more than his studio at Bøn in Eidsvoll.

In the mean time and until until May 18 his monumental works can be seen at the walls of the Haaken Room. If it is not possible to go there, take a lokk at My photos of Ekeland from the gallery. I have added two here.
The Ammunition Beltand the Divorce

Saturday City walk, photos and Palm Sunday blog – The new Opera House in Oslo

Have you wondered why Easter comes on the day it does?

In Wikipedia you can find the formula saying that Easter day is the first Sunday after the 14th day of the lunar month (the nominal full moon) that falls on or after 21 March (nominally the day of the vernal equinox).
A week earlier (Today) we have the Palm Sunday.

Yesterday (Palm Saturday) we took a trip to the new Opera House in Oslo
Click on the link and join us on a tour at the new Opera House photos.
Palm Saturday is also the starting day of the OUTdoor Beer drinking season. Truly have some Cafes already put some chairs and tables at the pavement, but the volume is announced through the restaurant Lektern´s Opening. Spring is here to stay.

Saturday, March 15

Urban Saturday Coverage

In the week before Easter I shot some photos that cover an ordinary story from city challenges. Maintenance of the old water pipe systems in the underground. Since we had sky watching on Friday, I feel it´s ok to look to earth today.

This Saturday Urban coverage is my experience concerning the repair of Water Pipe Leakage in our own city street.

First the digging and uncovering of the broken pipes and destroyed joint to the right. The man has to stay at the grab head to avoid drowning.

Second the preparation of the new joint by a plumber. He was very proud of the color and the material. He told that this the joint would last for more than 40 years. (The old one was from before the war.) Third the new joint for ramifying water distribution at the crossroad is connected to the system and we could open the tap in our house again.Forth the ramification is protected by a concrete bowlFifth the bowl is supported by peppleSixth the excavator is filling up gravel around the manholeSeventh and last surfacing of the road with asphalt makes the process come to an end.
Now everything is ready for Easter and the Bunnies are coming in their yellow dresses.