Friday, December 31

Goodbye two thousand ten, Welcome twenty eleven

To all blogfriends: Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 28

Back in Norway for New Year celebration

A lovely Christmas in Glamorgan is over, and in spite of the heavy traffic problems both in air (Heathrow) and on roads in South West England and Wales, seeing and playing with grandchildren is something to save in our hearts for the months to come.
Hedda Emilie is growing and experiences more or less the same health challenges as the two older siblings and other premature born children. She is however "stronger" at this age than the two others compared to their development.
Henrik is a nice and funny boy. Full of energy and always ready for a quarrel and fight with his older sister when they play together. He loves "male"-toys, and that is something new for us having only girls to compare a child´s development to.
Helene is almost seven and a half and reads books all the time. "Bestefar" gave her the Jostein Gaarder book Sophie´s World for Christmas.  The book is both a novel and a basic guide to philosophy. Hopefully her father will get many questions within his profession as a political philosopher, and I wait for the mails about the interpretation of different questions created based on the book. Helene´s great great grandmother´s name was also Sofie.
To the Cymru family, here busy with christmas gifts, thanks for this few days. Look forward to see you soon again. Hopefully in Norway.

Sunday, December 26

Boxing Day morning

Over the British Channel the sun is rising.

Saturday, December 25

British Christmas Day

The Local is open from 12 to 14. Then it is Christmas Dinner.

Thursday, December 23

Christmas Tree and Presents

Santa has already been on a visit. Will she (or he) return with more surprises in the days to come.

Tuesday, December 21

Winter solstice 2011 and Merry Christmas

Tonight at 22.38 CET Winter Solstice will take place. I take this opportunity to wish you all

GOD JUL and Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 19

Are your passwords secure enough

In these WikiLeaks times, an interesting blogpost to be read for the Sunday morning web-surfing is John P.´s article about weak passwords. I have extracted some sentences from his article, but take your time and read his statements yourself:
How id hack your weak passwords.
First: Do you as a password use:
1. Your partner, child, or pet’s name, possibly followed by a 0 or 1 (because they’re  always making you use a number, aren’t they?)
2. The last 4 digits of your social security number.
3. 123 or 1234 or 123456.
4. “password”
5. Your city, or college, football team name.
6. Date of birth – yours, your partner’s or your child’s.
7. “god”
8. “letmein”
9. “money”
10. “love”
Then you are in trouble.

Finally: Some proposal from John P for an improved password security:
Here are some password tips:

1. Randomly substitute numbers for letters that look similar. The letter ‘o’ becomes the number ’0′, or even better an ‘@’ or ‘*’. (i.e. – m0d3ltf0rd… like modelTford)
2. Randomly throw in capital letters (i.e. – Mod3lTF0rd)
3. Think of something you were attached to when you were younger, but DON’T CHOOSE A PERSON’S NAME! Every name plus every word in the dictionary will fail under a simple brute force attack.
4. Maybe a place you loved, or a specific car, an attraction from a vacation, or a favorite restaurant?
5. You really need to have different username / password combinations for everything. Remember, the technique is to break into anything you access just to figure out your standard password, then compromise everything else. This doesn’t work if you don’t use the same password everywhere.
6. Since it can be difficult to remember a ton of passwords, I recommend using Roboform for Windows users. It will store all of your passwords in an encrypted format and allow you to use just one master password to access all of them. It will also automatically fill in forms on Web pages, and you can even get versions that allow you to take your password list with you on your PDA, phone or a USB key. If you’d like to download it without having to navigate their web site here is the direct download link.
7. Mac users can use 1Password. It is essentially the same thing as Roboform, except for Mac, and they even have an iPhone application so you can take them with you too.
8. Once you’ve thought of a password, try Microsoft’s password strength tester to find out how secure it is.

Well, after reading the article, take security of your Passwords up for condideration, and follow WikiLeaks on Twitter Have a nice Sunday.

Friday, December 17

Memories from 1957 - Oslo boys on Class trip to Ålesund

Sometime you discover that the world is small, and even smaller when we talk about our own country.
One of my Pubmates at fru Burums: Tore Steen, told me some times ago that he and his classmates went on a visit to my birthplace, Ålesund, in February 1957.
Today I got some pages from his scrapbook almost 54 years ago.

The event was covered in the local newspaper "Sunnmørsposten" and tells mainy that instead of going to Copenhagen, Denmark the seventh graders from Nordstrand School in Oslo, decided to experience the Herring fishing outside Ålesund. They had saved money from 4th grade and estimated that they would spend between 120 to 130 nok (20 $) during the trip. "This is the best way to use my savings" Tore told the newspaper in 1957, and still means the memories gave the best "return of investment"
The other boys on the faximile above is Jan Riise and Dag Edler.
In 1957 the road between Åndalsnes (train Station) and Ålesund was not good enough for bus-trafic, and the boys had to use a boat (Romsdal) on the voyage, The weather was not good, and the 23 kids from Oslo were green in their faces when arriving Ålesund.
However, we need strong experiences to make happenings worth to remember after 54 years. Maybe "Sunmørsposten" could arrange a reunion trip for the boys next year or in February 2012 when it is 55 years anivercity for the chioce of Ålesund instead of Copenhagen.
To see (and read) the old newspaper article and the photos from Tore´s scrapbook, click on the photos to ger them larger.

Thursday, December 16

From warm summer to frost and cold winter

Yesterday I posted photos of my paintings from the southern Europe and the warmth weather you can experience on the southern side of the Alps.
Today I give you a photo of the cold Norwegian winter at my cottage with animal tracks documenting  the only visitors since we closed down in the autumn and the snow arrived.

Wednesday, December 15

Quality improvement in painting too

This year I have almost not been painting at all. Mainly I find the reason for that in the fact that I have not been living at my cottage (normally very productive period) but also because the inspiration has been low. Writers talk about writing barriers, and I think the same barriers may occur for painters.

However, a few paintings has been signed and yesterday evening the last Acrylic on Canvas (50x75) painting was finished.
The obvious title must be Costa del Sol presenting lots of memories from our two stays in Andalusia during 2010. We will return in 2011.
I find this painting of higher quality than my absolutely first Acrylic on Paper from 2002 called Dame and Dogs, and with motive from Promenade d´Anglais in Nice.
Between these two paintings there has been almost 300 different paintings coming with my signature, and you may find them at My Gallery.

Tuesday, December 14

55.000 pills and still alive

Going through an operation for organ transplantation is a challenge itself. Living with medication the rest of your life is another challenge. Average life prolongation for Heart Transplants in Norway was in 2005 about 12 years. (increasing?)
I have now since the great day in 1998 when somebody, who´s life was not to save, decided to donate the heart and kidney to me, been totally dependent of drugs every morning and night to control the immune defense system against rejection of these allo-organs. I am thankful that both Heart and Kidney organs are using the same drugs for this protection.
In addition medication due to side-effects and recovery of other side-effects have resulted in daily 8 pills at breakfast and 4 pills in the evening, giving almost 55 thousands pills during this prolongation of my lifespan.

The alternative is of course not to mention, but sometimes I really feel tired of eating drugs. That is also one of the most dangerous feelings a transplanted can have. Believing that it is not so important any more has resulted in painful death for many. I know my duty to care for the gift given.

For me personally I have another challenge, the lifespan of batteries in my Pacemakers. Due to Total AV-block I am completely dependent of a dual-chamber artificial pacemaker. This type of device typically listens for a pulse from the SA node and sends a pulse to the AV node at an appropriate interval, essentially completing the connection between the two nodes. Mine are pulsing all the time.

So more pills will come and recharging of the power supply in my pacemaker (get the third in 2012?) will occur.
However the LIFE IS GREAT.

Friday, December 10

The Nobel Peace Prize 2010 - Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo should today receive the Nobel Peace Price 2010 in Oslo, Norway. However neither he nor his wife Liu Xia will be present to receive the prize due to their imprisonment and house arrest.

The Nobel Committee`s press release from October 8th tells:
For over two decades, Liu Xiaobo has been a strong spokesman for the application of fundamental human rights also in China. He took part in the Tiananmen protests in 1989; he was a leading author behind Charter 08, the manifesto of such rights in China which was published on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 10th of December 2008. The following year, Liu was sentenced to eleven years in prison and two years' deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power". Liu has consistently maintained that the sentence violates both China's own constitution and fundamental human rights.
The Nobel Peace Award comes as the last of many awards given to Liu Xiaobo
* Hellman-Hammett Grant (1990, 1996)
* Fondation de France Prize (2004): Award for Defending Freedom of Speech
* China Foundation on Democracy Education (2003): Outstanding Democratic Activist
* Hong Kong Human Rights Press Awards (2004, 2005, 2006)
* Excellent Award (2004) for an article Corrupted News is not News, published on Open  Magazine , January 2004 issue
* Grand Prize (2005) for an article Paradise of the Powerful, Hell of the Vulnerable on Open Magazine, September 2004 issue
* Excellent Award (2006) for The Causes and Ending of Shanwei Bloodshed on Open Magazine, January 2006
* Homo Homini Award (2009)
* PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award (2009)
* Hermann Kesten Award (2010)
As many others who have visited China many times since early 1995 and seen the progress of this huge country the last 15 years, I hope Article 35 of China's constitution which lays down that "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration" will be lived up to for every citizens in one of the world's oldest civilizations with nearly 4,000 years of continuous history.

Thursday, December 9

“There is nothing so strong … as the simple truth.”

After 1300 blogposts since the start almost 6 years ago, a qoute by Dickens is my blogpost heading this afternoon.

I have copied it from the press release by Daniel Ellsberg´s Website. Daniel Ellsberg was the man that leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret government history of the Vietnam War to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971. The Vietnam War changed my political life.
If you now also are thinking of the present war going on for making WikiLeaks silent, you are just at the moment of truth.

The links below will give you some of the reactions from people and media around the world standing up for the Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Speech.
Freedom of Expression is a cornerstone of democratic rights and freedoms.

Freedom of expression is essential in enabling democracy to work and public participation in decision-making. Citizens cannot exercise their right to vote effectively or take part in public decision-making if they do not have free access to information and ideas and are not able to express their views freely. Freedom of expression is thus not only important for individual dignity but also to participation, accountability and democracy. Violations of freedom of expression often go hand in hand with other violations, in particular the right to freedom of association and assembly.
The right to Freedom of Speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR recognizes the right to freedom of speech as "the right to hold opinions without interference. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression." Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in European, inter-American and African regional human rights law.
Interesting links:
The Guardian
Cablegate Chronicles
WikiLeaks live Updates
What is WikiLeaks (BBC)
Operation Payback and Internet activists (Ref Wasp =  Lisbeth Salander)
WikiLeaks on Twitter
Mark Klein
Twitter Blog

Christmas in Sweden

We have been in Sweden. Not because we only want to save money before Christmas but because we normally take this trip over the border once a month for good wine, excellent food and other supplies to almost 50 % of the costs in Norway. The currency itself gives us more than 10% and when a bottle of Brolio Chianti Classico costs 115 sek in Strømstad compared to 155 nok here, your savings can be large. But be aware of continuous toll control at the Svinesund border.
However, the Christmas trees at Nordby was not what we expected. But maybe the Swedes have taken allergy challenges and forest savings seriously, removed all pine-bugs from the air-con systems and renewed the season decorations like they have done at Tjuvholmen here i Oslo.

We drop the Chr-tree this year completely.

Tuesday, December 7

Christmas, same procedure as every year

Day after day the Christmas time is evolving as last year and the years before that. The ikons related to the season holiday find their traditional places in our home, and this evening we will put the dry sheep-ribs into water for the pre-christmas "Pinnekjøtt"-dinner on Friday. A small test of what to expect on Christmas eve. Seventeen days to go.

Sunday, December 5

Art, Aker Brygge, Lunch and Jazz

 Gunnar S Composition can be yours for 350.000 nok at Kaare Berntsen this Christmas.
The modern Christmas tree at Tjuvholmen shows the way to Aker Brygge where an excellent lunch at Cafe Sorgenfri was waiting for us.
A glass of Gløgg at Hannibals Hybel provided by Johan the bartender only a few days before he has to go through a surgery on his shoulder. Good luck Johan.
Another bartender, Yvonne at fru Burums, showed another side of herself yesterday evening. Using her excellent voice together with the Jazz musicians. Brilliant.

Saturday, December 4

Burums jazz


Christmas Exhibition, Lunch and Jazz

This Saturday we are going to follow a predesigned plan for a lot of activities.
First shopping and preparing our home for Christmas.
Second participating in the opening at Gallery Kaare Berntsen´s Christmas Exhibition in Munkedamsveien 62A. This event has been a nice gathering for many years. When the gallery is decorated for Christmas and cultural activities are performed, art lovers greets each-other Merry Christmas among spectacular paintings and farmers antiques, we all feel that the season celebration has begun. Tomorrow it is 2nd Sunday in Advent.
Third we have to eat, and although the buffet table probably is not opened any more at Cafe Sorgenfri, the taste of Christmas is reinforced with season food, beer and some Old Opland.
In the Afternoon the drummy Gunnar S. invites to Christmas Jazz at fru Burums. Another tradition that has to be followed up together with other old and new Burum friends.
Was there anybody that believed pensioneers questioned what to fill into the days? Hang on, the life is still swinging.

Wednesday, December 1

Renovation completed

We are living in a city house from 1892. Maintenance is a continuous process. Sometimes we have to do major repairs. Other times we perform minor changes or want to do image-improvements, create a new make-up, etc.
This November we decided to repaint the colors on walls, ceilings and stucco in addition to replace the wall-to-wall carpets on floors with new parquet. After two weeks the renovation of our apartment is now completed.
Furnitures that we had problems moving to other rooms became protected by plastics and the floor in our living room was filled up with materials the first week.
The environment in our dining room Wednesday last week was like a carpentry workshop or "atelier de menuiserie" as Tullen would have said at her French-course.
Recalling old competence in the  Romance language that is spoken as a first language by around 136 million people worldwide, is her autumn activity. French speaking communities are present in 56 countries and territories.  I am "more" educated in Spanish.
Today my "office"-corner with the MacBook Pro at the desktop looks like this.
An antique Persian Hamadan on the dark oak floor, and a Johanne Marie Hansen-Krone painting on the white wall.

Christmas is 23 days away but we are well prepared for the celebration due to an excellent job performed by Krzysztof Zych and his team. Well done.

Thursday, November 25

The Philosophy of Software

My son-in-law David is out with hist last book The Philosophy of Software.
Probably not the first choice as Christmas gift to most book buyers in Norway, but if interested the book is now available at
This is David´s third book. The first was Libre Culture: Meditations on Free Culture, with Giles Moss, and in 2008 he launched Copy, Rip, Burn: The politics of Open Source.

Next year his book: Understanding Digital Humanities: The Computational Turn and New Technology. will be published, and in 2012: Coding Creativity: Invention, Innovation and Digital Media.

Congratulation David and Trine who has been proof-reading book texts month after month this year.
More about David can be found Here .

Wednesday, November 24

Advent competition at Petunia´s blog

Petunia has once more given Norwegians a competition to join before Christmas.
However there is nothing in her blogtext that exclude bloggers outside Norway to join and hope for the big surprise in the early Advent times.
Her rules (in Norwegian) is:
Ved å legge igjen en kommentar her hos meg (=see link above), gir jeg deg ett lodd i dette gavedrysset. Hvis du besøker min mor sin blogg (= Nelly), og legger igjen en hilsen der også, får du enda et lodd. For alle som på sin egen blogg, forteller om dette gavedrysset, gir jeg to lodd (husk å gi meg beskjed om du gjør det.) Du kan altså få tilsammen fire lodd og øke dine vinnersjanser betraktelig. Jeg trekker ut to vinnere onsdag 1. desember!!
I found her blogpost this morning after returning from my Fitness Center using the back sack I won earlier in one of Petunia´s competitions.
Enter her blog and be a winner.

Monday, November 22

Bambi on Ice and at Inger´s home

One of the returning Christmas Movies on TV here in Norway is Bambi on Ice.
The Disney Classic cartoon has been on the favorite list probably not for our family alone, and more than 360.000 persons have watched the YouTube versions in Norwegian and English.
This morning Bambi visited the home of some friends, and with camera, email and some YouTube searches we ended up with a nice blogpost to share with you and eventually your families.

Then it it only to wait for springtime when Bambi and friends Hit PubertyHave a nice week up to the first Sunday in Advent 2010.

Saturday, November 20

Tips for a happy marriage

In the debate about time-squeeze, freedom to choose what is best for each families, etc. maybe these "good" advices (extracted from a "heimkunnskapsbok" from the 50's) will help females to understand their position in the marriage, partnership or relationship.
If right- or left-wing feminists think I am attacking them,
Read and learn:

Get your work done
Plan your tasks carefully and keep an eye on the clock. Get ready an hour before he is expected home. The man does not feel that heat flows toward him when he hears you break out "Are you home already?".

Have dinner ready
Plan a delicious meal at home the night before. When you show that you care about him and his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.Prepare yourself
Use fifteen minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Then you are also glad to see him, instead of being too tired to bother. Forget all the worries you may have, and be eternally grateful that you have the man who will soon come in the door. While you rest, you think about contracts and things you can do to give him spiritual uplifting. When you stand up, take care of your appearance. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little more fun and interesting than usual. He may need a lift after the long workday.
Clear away the clutter
Make one last trip through the house before he arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. in a bucket or wastebasket and put them in the bedroom for sorting later. Then you go over the tables with a duster. Your husband will feel he has come to a place of peace and order, and it will also make you feel more relaxed. Having the house in order is another way to show him that you really care about his homecoming.

Prepare your children
Take a few minutes to wash children's hands and faces (if they are small) comb their hair and change clothes if they are dirty. They are little treasures, and they should look like this.

Minimize all noise.
Especially note if your husband has run in rush hour traffic. After his arrival eliminate all noise from the washing machine (of course if this is on). Encourage children to be quiet when he arrives. Let them be a little noisy beforehand to get it out of their system.

Be glad to see him
Greet him with a warm smile and be happy. Say that it's good to have him home. This can provide additional value to his day. He needs all the romance he can get from you.
Do not greet him with problems or complaints. Solve problems before he comes home, if not, wait with them until evening comes. Also, do not complain if he comes home late for dinner. Count this as a minor problem compared to what he may have gone through that day. Do not allow children to rush at him with problems or requirements. Just leave them to briefly greet their father.

Be nice mod him
Give him the chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Be happy to massage his feet, but do not insist on this. Speak to him with a soft and relaxing voice. Let him relax.

Listen to him
You might have a dozen things to tell him, but his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first, then he better at what you have to tell him later.
Let the night be his
Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or the theater. Try to understand his stressful job and his need to stay home and relax. Is he sour and irritating not turn back, understand his stressful world.

The goal
Try to make your home a haven of peace and in order where your husband can refresh himself in body and spirit. Doing this he will rather be with you than anywhere else in the world and he will spend all their time on you and your children. Try to live by these rules for homecoming and see what happens. This is the right way to get a man home to you, not to complain and be in irritation.

Have a nice weekend

Thanks to Eldar Tandstad [] and Asbjørn for letting me know.

Friday, November 19

Staying home or searching for other environments

The pre-Christmas renovation of our 128 years old apartment is progressing.
The living room has gone through smaller repairs in stuccos and fireplace, and the 134 inches high walls are repainted white by professional handymen.
A new parquet (Oak Country Brown Woodloc) is covering the floor waiting for the Tabriz rug and Chesterfield furniture.
At the moment we are surfing the internet about cleaning and maintenance of parquets by wet or/and dry mopping.
The question is therefore how long we shall stay in this working place, or asap run out for a more relaxed environment at a restaurant or pub. The Christmas time has already been launched at "fru Burum´s" so we know where to go.
It´s Friday and week end start.

Sorry, all photos have been deleted

Thursday, November 18

A Darwinian theory of beauty - Denis Dutton (2010)

TED has done it again.Take a look at this fascinating video when collaborates with animator Andrew Park to illustrate Denis Dutton's provocative theory on beauty -- that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply "in the eye of the beholder," are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.Have an interesting 15 minutes and experience where Dennis Dutton suggests that humans are hard-wired to seek beauty.

Wednesday, November 17

The Beatles 1963 - 1970 downloaded

My wife has her favorite: Eugene Onegin and I have mine The Beatles.

The 1879 opera Eugene Onegin, by Tchaikovsky, based on the book / novel in verse written by Alexander Pushkin, is a classic in Russian literature. It was published in serial form between 1825 and 1832, and the first complete edition was published in 1833. The currently accepted version being based on the 1837 publication, is part of the standard operatic repertoire; there are various recordings of it, and it is regularly performed.

The complete works by The Beatles was yesterday available at iTunes and some minutes after the launching my MacBook Pro and iPhone have all the music ready for listening.
In 1964 the Beatles arrived in USA as seen on the first photo. I cannot get my 1964 hair back, but all the memories and activities linked to these four Liverpoolians will forever be part of my mental and emotional development; first during the sixties but also in the remaining part of last century.
Take some minutes and listen to one of my favorites from Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Tuesday, November 16

Development in 45 years, then and now

Sometimes I wonder if times are changing faster now than before, or if people became older in a shorter time half a century ago compared to our times.
Times are running more or less in the same intervals (or the SI base unit) = seconds

The official SI definition of the second is as follows:

The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.

Just for your information.

When looking at images of myself taken with an interval of 45 Julian years (aprox. 1 420 092 000 seconds) I certainly see the diference,but are the changes like those you may see on my grandparents photo from 1920 (top) to 1965 (below) different when we talk about age-changing. Do they look younger or older after 45 years compared to me.
Was life harder then, do we keep up with camouflaging the age process better or worse today, is outfits, fashion or make-ups part of how we think of age-changing, is time-squeezing an old or modern process, etc. Or it it only how we see ourselves compared to others and others see us.

I don´t know, but it gave me an opportunity to make a blogpost presenting some old photos of my mother´s parents, and that was the main objective.