Friday, July 31

Friday night

With Venus in the south, we say goodnight to the blogger world.
Tomorrow the urban farmer is on the line again.

Sky Watching and Bandar Raja

"At Chitradurga in Karnataka, they call me 'Kothi Raju', meaning the Monkey King in English or 'Bandar Raja' in Hindi. I got this name when I started imitating maneuvers of monkeys while jumping and climbing up trees and walls," says Jyoti Raju.Maybe some of the other Sky Watchers this Friday would try to copy these watching positions shown on this Video.

Please visit Sky Watch Friday's own site for more.

Wednesday, July 29

Post of the Day, second time

Thanks, David, for your nomination of my Tuesday post about my World / girls / family. I am reading the post of your chosen winner and visiting the top contenders every day too.
Being on your list is an honor, and striving for the podium is a challenge. I know that many Norwegian blogs are good enough for nomination, but first they have to change their use of text language to English.
The blogging world is Global, and although English is only used by 4.68% (Mandarin 13,22%) of the world population, global text should be English.

David Mcmahon is a Melbourne-based journalist and internationally-published photographer. His first novel, Vegemite Vindaloo, was published in April 2006 by Penguin Books India and was on the bestseller lists from July to December.
David was born and educated in India, where he finished high school at St Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling and University at St Xavier's College, Calcutta.
He has lived in Australia for 20 years. Welcome to Dave's Outback Cafe, where the menu is different every day!
Visit his Blog Authorblog and become one of his daily visitors - as I am, and get easy access to some of the most interesting blogs world wide.

B is for Both

First Photo taken with my iPhone 3G.
Second Photo taken with my Canon Digital IXUS 960 IS.
ABC Wednesday = B has to accept Both.

But another important event took place on this day (july 29) here in Norway.
The Battle of Stiklestad in 1030 (called Olsok) is the most important day for the birth of Christianity in Norway.
B is for Battle of Stiklestad.
If you want more ABC Wednesday posts go to:ABCW Round 5 Year 3

Tuesday, July 28

Madonna and Michael (plus Trine and Rikke) on stage

Tonight Madonna is on stage here in Oslo. With her "Sticky & Sweet" tour she is performing for the first time in Oslo, and will through two shows entertain ab 80.000 fans. Welcome to Oslo.

On July 15. 1992 (17 years ago) Michael Jackson visited Oslo with his Dangerous World tour. On the photo (rightmost) you can see my eldest (then 13) daughter Trine dressed as a boy scout together with other children from Uranienborg School Choir.To the left, dressed as a Mexican girl, my youngest daughter Rikke (then 9) also participated in singing the Heal the World.

The children´s"performing art career" started five years earlier when the choir (Trine) participated in Sissel Kyrkjebø´s Christmas Album "Glade Jul". After that the children choir developed great under their conductor Charlotte Fongen and was invited to take part in a Randy Crawford and Lava concert. The impresario became so impressed by the voices so he invited them to participate in the Dangerous tour.

Later Trine also was on stage in Singapore with Paul Anka and singing friends from UWCSEA.
She played the melancholy Jaques in Shakespeare´s "As you like it" and performed the famous monologue All the world is a Stage while Rikke took part in UWCSEA´s production of the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill´s musical The Threepenny Opera.

Today the young girls have developed into grownup mothers with academic educations. We are proud of you kids.
Vsit Show your World

Monday, July 27

Cottage activity Monday morning

Monday morning. The weather forecast is: rain early afternoon. Garden working is prioritized. The grass at the lawn has to be cut and raked away. The red current has still a week or two to mature before harvesting.
An experience is performed. Blueberry heather picked up in the forrest close to the garden, is re-planted in the most harsh area of our flower beds. According to neighbours it is almost impossible to get blueberries when doing as we try, but if not trying nothing can be achieved.
While my wife is doing her "most beloved" summer activity, I am seizing canvas for my next six paintings.
Motives? Follow my blogging and you may find the results within the upcoming weeks.
Have a nice week whatever you are doing and blogging.

Sunday, July 26

Perennials or weeds

In my garden different plants occur to different times of the season. Some are coming up as tubers through the late spring snow like rhubarb and others are showing their flowers too late for the insects to get help in their reproduction process.

Still they are returning every year. We call them Weeds or are these plants Perennials.

The difference may be in the spreading. Weeds seam to move around in the garden making problems for all the other plants, while Perennials stay more or less at the same place every year.
During the blossom time most of these plants are beautiful like this one. For me no name, but an object worth a post in the Today´s Flower meme.

Thursday, July 23

Summer paintings in every weather

Weather forecast for tomorrow:
Southern breeze. Partly clouded with periods of sun. Local morning mist. From Friday afternoon local showers.
And my easel is ready for new canvas prepared for landscape paintings. A change in my usual motives?

Wednesday, July 22

Tuscany as Nature and Culture

Tuscany is without doubt one of those wine regions that give some of the most important reds in the world. The most common autochthon Tuscan grape varieties can be found listed here in alphabetical order.
I do not know which grape was in the field of this winemaker, but I know that the taste was according to the pleassure of my sophisticated palate. The wine cellar was absolutely worth a visit and here we found the evidence of how traditional processes transform nature into culture.A little bit to the north west from the farm the interesting Montecatini Alto can be found at the top of the hill behind the famous Terme. Nature is beautiful and my painting (cultural expression) is another example of how nature and culture are interlinked and not necessary contradictories.
I made a version of this motive last summer, but was not satisfied with the result. With some "boring free time" in the rainy weather, I changed part of the painting, and now I think it is better.
Round 5 Year 3 of the ABC Wednesday has started and
A for Art or
A for Alter
Nature into Culture
can be my contribution.
See more by visiting Mrs Nesbitt´s Place"

Monday, July 20


Today it it 40 years since the American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon, and could look up and see the Earth from another object in our Universe.I was in participating in a sailing competition at the time (and looked like this) but in the evening we were gathering at Alexandra Hotel, Molde where we could through bad TV-screen pictures participate in this historical event. I remember we were much more interested in having fun with other sailing friends, but spent some "minutes" and a few beers in front of the TV in the restaurant.

The development of the World, as we usually call our planet, is visualized on the next photo. From the start (4.5 billion years ago) there are many things we do not know, but some of the present facts are:
Area: total: 510.072 million sq km
land: 148.94 million sq km
water: 361.132 million sq km
note: 70.9% of the world's surface is water, 29.1% is land
Population: 6,790,062,216 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.2% (male 950,127,898/female 894,359,186)
15-64 years: 65.2% (male 2,235,114,476/female 2,192,071,874)
65 years and over: 7.6% (male 227,748,114/female 290,640,668) (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 66.26 years
male: 64.3 years
female: 68.35 years (2008 est.)
Religions: Christians 33.32% (of which Roman Catholics 16.99%, Protestants 5.78%, Orthodox 3.53%, Anglicans 1.25%), Muslims 21.01%, Hindus 13.26%, Buddhists 5.84%, Sikhs 0.35%, Jews 0.23%, Baha'is 0.12%, other religions 11.78%, non-religious 11.77%, atheists 2.32% (2007 est.)

Languages: Mandarin Chinese 13.22%, Spanish 4.88%, English 4.68%, Arabic 3.12%, Hindi 2.74%, Portuguese 2.69%, Bengali 2.59%, Russian 2.2%, Japanese 1.85%, Standard German 1.44%, French 1.2% (2005 est.) note: percents are for "first language" speakers only
Labor force: 3.167 billion (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 40%
industry: 20.6%
services: 39.4% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate: 30% combined unemployment and underemployment in many non-industrialized countries; developed countries typically 4%-12% unemployment (2007 est.)
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Bentley Subglacial Trench -2,540 m
note: in the oceanic realm, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is the lowest point, lying -10,924 m below the surface of the Pacific Ocean
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
Future challenges: Many people are very concerned about climate changes, and that is ok for short term worries if you hunt for depressions, but what about the anticipated Armageddon? Are you worried about that? The law of relative distance is always here for you.

Saturday, July 18

Harvesting is on

This morning we launched the Harvesting season. Raspberries first out, but in a few weeks the red and black current are due for the freezer. Later the plums and hopefully not to much apples will have to leave their trees.
The taste of the raspberry is fabulous and the volume seems acceptable this year.

Friday, July 17

Garden weekend

Finished my newest painting last night. "Garden picnic" or just tanning. Seeing the model sitting at the lawn, dreaming and waiting for a glass of Gewurztraminer Reserve-Henny from Alsace. The warm sun gives her a perfect golden-brown shade and a lot of Vitamin D3 through the skin exposed to the sunlight. The model loves the sun.

However, because of medication linked to my organ transplantation, I am myself very careful when sitting in the sun. Overexposure to UV-radiation can cause skin cancer either via the direct DNA damage or via the indirect DNA damage mechanism. UVA & UVB have both been implicated in causing DNA damage resulting in cancer. Sun exposure between 10AM and 4PM is most intense and therefore most harmful.

That is why I go for painting based upon photos at the balcony instead of placing my easel at the ground. Maybe that is why the colors also differ from an ordinary or natural photo. Culture is reinventing nature through brain-twisting.
The flowers at the balcony are still beautiful and give me the feeling of Magenta paint-tubes while the orange roses still look lovely and are not very much affected by the heavy rain last week.
These birds are coming to our lawn every morning and I believe they are Stock Pigeons (skogsduer).
I let them live, but previously these birds where hunted and taste almost like Lagopus Here you have a recipe:

Stock pigeons with forest mushrooms and potato purée
Here you get the pure taste of meat.
There is no complex preparation, just salt and pepper and a touch port. Mushrooms and potatoes are what takes most time, but it is not particularly difficult. A properly stock with mustard makes the sauce.

For 2 persons:

4 breast of pigeon
2 tablespoons port
2 teaspoons mustard
a little fresh thyme
3 potatoes
100 grams of forest mushrooms
10 grams of dried boletus edulis mushrooms, if you obtain
50 grams butter

Cut potatoes into large pieces and just boil them in light salted water for softening. Press potatoes through a potato press. Cut mushrooms in small pieces and roast them. Add salt and pepper. Smash the dried mushrooms with your hands. Mix fried and dried mushrooms and butter into the mashed potatos. Taste with some herbs, if you prefer.

Roast the meat with salt, pepper and butter in an iron pan, about 1 minute on each side. Put the pan aside, add the port and the thyme and let the meat fry gently till the heat has left the pan. Turn the breasts a couple of times. It takes 4 to 5 minutes.
Use your fingers to feel if the Breasts are done. Add mustard to the dish, and blend it into the stock. Taste. Maybe you need a little more butter ?? probably not.

Have a nice meal, and "Kurre, kurre"

Thursday, July 16

Maja´s first summer

Oslo has a great variations in weather conditions this summer. Yesterday it all started with heavy rain, but at noon the sun decided to take command and a short city stroll was possible. My walk was around the city flower market at "Stortorvet".
But that was only a u-turn on my way to meet Maja at Hannibal´s Hybel. The communication between "Mormor" and the 9 weeks old girl is already in progress.

Wednesday, July 15

Grumpy Old Man - The Process

Some of my friends ask me often HOW I work when making paintings. Especially are they interested in my use a live model, or what, when working out my "nude" paintings.
My use of colors are also part of their interest, and they sometimes feel that my way of putting colors together seems intriguing, but nothing for their own living-room walls.

I have therefor tried to describe THE PROCESS in working out my last painting, called "Grumpy Old Man" It all started when my wife shot a photo of me and said that I looked like a grumpy old man sitting at the bench with a beer.
You are free to agree with her.

Looking at the photo and already prepared to start working with a new painting, I saw the possibility to use the photo as a self-portrait. I have painted my face earlier, and also used it as a more or less hidden element in my body-paintings. Now I wanted to use it as part of an idea I had based upon Edward Munch´s painting of the Bohemian writer Hans Jæger.
I therefor made a charcoal sketch on the canvas. As you can see, I am no drawer but the sketch is good enough to position the figure and make the body with my face in an interesting environment.
Last step of the Process is to fill acrylic colors (Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Prussian Blue, SAP Green, Magenta, Black and White) into the figure in a way that gives a PAINTING and not a PHOTO copy as the result. When finished, I am satisfied and have put the painting on my cottage wall.
Grumpy or not, take care of the opportunities you can interpret out of a specific daily happening. At least that makes me feel great.

Tuesday, July 14

A Trillion Dollars ???

Sometimes you hear or read a word or a number that you have only an artificial relation to. For example the statement "For a few dollars more". What then if you hear: "A Trillion Dollars".
In you can find out more of how one TRILLION dollars look like.
Go to the site and follow the volume of notes from one $ 100 to $1 000 000 000 000 However, If you have another currency (i.e. European), this US trillion dollar notes may be called a Billion (bi meaning two) and has twice as many zeros as a million (1 000 000) A trillion (tri meaning three) has three times as many zeros as a million.

This volume represent the budget deficit of USA, and I am glad my budgets have not reached these volumes although an increase in capital (by winning the Lotto?) would be fully acceptable.

Billions or Trillions and currency equivalents have also caused problems for the Norwegian TV2. There you can see that one (Norwegian) Billion Dollar has ended in a Headline saying 65 000 000 000 000 NOK, but as a comment say: You have never needed Math to be a journalist.

Monday, July 13

6 years old

Happy Birthday Helene

6 years have gone between these two photos. The first taken at Helene´s birth 15 weeks too early, and the second yesterday night when she helped mom to make raspberry jam.
Although her premature entrance to this world, and her tough first years, Helene has developed into a very nice and smart six years old schoolgirl.


We look forward to seeing you in Norway next month.

Sunday, July 12

Contrasts at Solvang

According to the meteorologist´s forecasts for Oslo we can expect a great fluctuation and uncertainty regarding the day to day, hour to hour weather situation this July. The weather(wo)men seams to have done well with their analysis, and the changing sky makes everything extraordinary during a couple of hours. From a sunny morning the sky went from grey to dark blue, and over the eastern sky we could see a complete shape of the earth through the rainbow spectrum
Soon thereafter raindrops fell on my bold head and the parasol became spotted.
Without a warning volumes of water poured down from an open sky. Do not ask if we became wet before we could hide under the balcony roof.
But it is summer, July and great variations in weather conditions. Rain stopped, clouds moved away, the sun reappeared and we could once more spend a few hours licking sun before the clouds again made us move inside.
Now it is only to hope the weather forecast for Sunday will be more precise.