Friday, September 30, 2005

Animals and Children

As I walked to the shop today I saw a woman and a one-year old child. The child was trying to walk and I think he tried to say something, he was smiling and looking at me coming towards them and the woman looked up and smiled too. I had my ear plugs in so I didn't hear anything. As I walked past, the child kept looking at me, smiling a tiny little smile.

When I came out of the shop a few minutes later I walked past a car. The window was rolled down and a small boy was sitting inside. He said "Hello!" and smiled. I said "Hello!" back. There was a girl sitting by the other window and when she heard I'd answered she too called out "Hello!" and I said "Hello!" back to her too.

Yesterday, on the bridge, I saw the cutest little dog. A man was walking him and it was pouring down. The puppy was soaking wet and had the saddest little eyes... These past days, no matter where I go, children and animals look at me and smile. Well the animals don't smile, they just follow me with their little eyes.

That's gotta be good karma right?

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Too. Much. Garlic.
Tongue. On. Fire.

Need. Water!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Squeek Squeek Squeek

How to start a conversation:

apples: what's that?
Greg: me
apples: all of you or a part of you?
Greg: sorry, i forgot you don't like pics of dicks
apples: you usually send out pics of your dick like that?
Greg: just to people i like
apples: uhh...

Thursday, September 22, 2005


I've been upgraded. Hotmail upgraded me. Or my account. Again. Now I have 250mb. That's pretty neat.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Conversations and Conclusions

I had two separate conversations with two guys in their 20's today. I didn't have the chance to ask the first one if I could put this on here (I always ask) so it could be he's pretty pissed off right about now.

Both conversations were about love. The first guy had given up on it. The second was looking for his soul mate.

Conversation 1: The guy gave up on love after having his heart broken. He then wanted to sleep with a girl and was planning on saying "sorry" and walk away afterwards. Things got in the way and he didn't sleep with her.

Conversation 2: This guy is looking for his soul mate. He just wants a girl who is nice and has 'nice manners'. And she has to be beautiful. As the conversation progressed I found out the term nice meant she was honest, understanding and beautiful. After a while it was clear that the guy mostly wanted a beautiful girl who was nice (ie. beautiful). He also wanted smart and beautiful kids, and he couldn't have kids with an unattractive woman; then how were the kids supposed to be beautiful?

He admitted all people love their kids even if they aren't beautiful. But yes, if they were nicer he might perhaps "like them more".What if one was beautiful and one was less so (however uncomfortable I feel labeling kids that way), would he love one more than the other? Well, that he preferred not to answer.

Also, if the woman wasn't so nice, she would get jealous when he wasn't there, and she might dump him. He didn't want his kids to have a 'dumper mom'.

Both guys seemed nice. The first one... he was planning on, perhaps, breaking a girl's heart, sleeping with her knowing he was going to say bye right after. Guys do that all the time, don't they? What shocked me was how he'd just gone through a painful experience and now he was planning on knowingly causing that same pain he's experiencing.

My problem with the whole thing was not 'sleeping with a girl and leaving'. It wasn't the 'causing pain'. Although both horrible things to do, it was the not wanting this to happen to yourself, but still having no problem (or perhaps not seeing the problem in) doing the same thing to someone else.

As for the second guy... He was just very honest about something everyone thinks. I've always said can you can fall for someone you don't find immediately attractive, it's just harder. Not that you have to work on having feelings for someone non-super-model looking, just that you usually start talking to someone you find attractive. I'm sure we all realize, I hope, that it's more than what a person looks like that counts (for most of us anyway).

Sometimes you just gotta be... beautiful on the inside. But how do you show someone you're beautiful on the inside if they don't want to talk to you? Maybe we should all just go around talking to everyone. I'd like that. I never talk to anyone. I'm an oyster.

More conclusion: Do to others what you want other so do to you. And DO NOT do to others what you DO NOT want others to do to you. What goes around, comes around.

Whether it's on the inside or the outside, beauty conquers all. Right? I don't know, but I for one hope it's a little more complicated than that. We're all complicated. We're all messed up in our own little ways.

I'm gonna stop with the 'beautiful' thing now, I hate even talking about it - I feel like I'm offending anyone and everyone just writing these words. Everybody's beautiful in their own way. Nothing's gonna change that. Not even stupid (read: ignorant) people.

Sometimes chatting with me is more like an interrogation than a pleasant conversation. I'm sure some of you know that. I tend to dig and ask and demand you explain yourself until you're about read to tell me to take a hike. I don't think the guys I talked would read this. I'll tell them about it and give them a chance to comment. Hope they don't mind.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Computer lab part deux

I just printed a 42 page document. Then I had 15 sheets left to print a 14 page article. But it was somebody else's document and it wasn't just a little text, it was a full page of dark grey. Now I have 13 sheets left and 14 to print.

Oh and I found the thing where you can see who's in line for the printer. I cancelled mine from this computer but I don't have access to any of the others so I can't cancel those. Can do that from the printer itself though...

I need a white sheet...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wet 'n Wild

And wet it was...

Last night the police was calling the situation 'hopeless', water rushing into houses, cars being filled up above the steering wheel and basements being flooded. It was about to get worse.

Roads have been closed all over the city, all over the county. Two main roads down the street from here were closed during the morning. People were told to stay at home. Houses have water reaching 1.5 meters (5 feet) up the walls, people are leaving their cars and using boats to get away.

A mall is in danger of collapsing. The river has dug its way under the building; leading to one of the pillars holding it up sinking half a meter (2 feet) into the ground. One of the shops is almost completely under water.

At 2am a mountain side collapsed and destroyed five apartments. 10 people were buried as rocks, mud and water came rushing into their houses when they were sleeping. Nine people; four children and five adults, were brought to hospital. A four year old girl is critically injured and her condition is unstable. One woman was found dead early this morning.

The city already had rescue workers in the area and 75 people were evacuated. Around 100 took refuge in five houses; it's not possible to get them out yet. The 'Sivil Defence' and the National Guard were called in last night and they have managed to get food in to those who are trapped. They're not in danger any more and the police has got helicopters helping secure the area.

One woman told of hearing shouting, then jumping out of the second floor windows with her family as the rocks and water broke down the front door. Another woman was riding her bike, the water reaching above the seat.

Bergen also broke its September record for rain during 24 hours, as was predicted. We were expected to get around 100mm (4 inches) but this morning we were told the new record was 156.5mm - 6.1 inches. The last record from 30 years ago was passed a few hours - and 40 mm (1.6 inches)- ago.

Apart from a few closed roads and a lot of wet clothes, most of us got away from hurricane Maria without a scratch. Now we just have to boil our water again. They've installed a cleaning system to get rid of the Giardia parasite from a year ago, but the flooding knocked out the system and we're asked to boil our water until they can fix it.

This city is used to rain.
Bergen knows rain.
But this was some rain...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

"Extreme rain and flooding"

It's raining. They're saying the gates of the heavens will open 3pm and it'll only get worse during evening until midnight. Heavy rain all night until around lunch time tomorrow when it'll go back to rain showes.

Do you see Bergen?

We're getting the leftovers of tropical hurricanes Maria and Nate. They didn't hit land in America and now they've blown their way across the ocean. They won't be too strong when they hit and they won't be as much hurricanes as extreme-record-breaking-rain-and-wind.

The Norwegian Water Resource and Energy Directorate has issued warnings for four counties, that doesn't happen often. They're saying flooding will be more likely in urban areas.

In the city they've stopped work in the streets. The workers are saying this is just what autumn in Bergen is like, but it was a little hard to keep going; the concrete was too wet and the tiles were floating away, taking on a life of their own.

I was out a while ago, had a lecture at 12:15 but no professor ever showed up. It really is pretty wet out there. I wish we'd have thunder and lightning too, that's so much fun!

Hold on to your hats people, this is gonna be a bumpy ride!

The next day

The red finally beat the blue, the score ending 88-81. The red left side in Norwegian politics will have 7 more representatives in the parliment the next four years than the blue right side.

We'll have a new prime minister before long, three red parties are joining up to form the new government and we'll just see where it takes us. Things have been changing all the time the past few elections. A few years ago, the party now 'in charge' decided kids in high school shouldn't have to buy all their books, and they gave high schools money to buy some of the books and let students borrow them, providing they pay a small deposit.

That only lasted a year, when the Christian party came into the government they stopped that and, for reasons I have yet to understand, the high schools didn't let the students borrow the books any longer, they sold them to them. I understand the money for books from the state was stopped but they could still let people borrow those they had already bought. Right? Or maybe they weren't allowed to do that.

The news reporters said what we were seeing last night was a typical Norwegian thing. Every election the opposition wins and things change. I assume we'll be unhappy in a couple years and start complaining again.

The Norway Post has just a few little numbers.

Anyway, the priest's out of the house. Focus now will be on, among other things, schools, human rights, helping others, helping our own who need it and the environment. As one of the three forming government said; Focus will on the social aspects, not on cutting taxes. The "rich people's party" Right went down all over, even in the cities where they're usually big. They still hold 20% of the votes in Oslo but they're down almost 8%. The small party Left, focusing more on farmers and the districs went up and are secured a few representatives.

The Progress party got more votes than anyone expected. I'm not quite sure what to say about them... As a guy I went to high school with said "Karl I. Hagen is our best politician. If only we could change most of his opinions, that would be great!" This is a party that wants to close the doors, so to speak, keeping everyone who's not Norwegian out. "Norway for Norwegians" is the unspoken chorus. This is a party whose voters buy houses in Spain and when reporters come to talk to them, they say it's horrible how so many non-Norwegian come to Norway and take our jobs. These are people who have moved to Spain, who see nothing wrong with themselves invading another country (and it does count as invading when they have whole towns speaking Scandinavian), but could not for the life of them allow foreigners to live in Norway.

Of course not all Progress voters live in Spain, and not all Norwegians living in Spain vote for the Progress party, but the fact that it's even possible to think that way strikes me as.. silly. The way we first heard about it was when Karl I. Hagen, Progress party leader, went to Spain to meet the Norwegians living there. This is a guy who wants nothing more than to kick all foreigners out, yet sees no problem with having thousands of Norwegians buying houses on the Spanish Costa del Sol. Because they're old. And they like the sun. Spain is Norway's Florida, and that's fine by him. But God forbid the Spainiards come here!

No you're right, I don't particularly like that party...

Too bad I didn't make a bet though, I would have won this time...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Norwegian Election Day IV

One channel said
Red 85 - 84 Blue

While the other said
Red 89 - 80 Blue

Now they seem to have compromised on
Red 86 - 83 Blue

Norwegian Election Day III

Wait... the other channel is saying;

Red left 87 - 82 Blue right


Norwegian Election Day II

Oh no...

Red left 84 - 85 Blue right

It's tipping the wrong way...

Norwegian Election Day

Ten months ago I was up watching CNN and the US election. At 8am I went to bed after realizing the Americans (at least those who got to vote) had re-elected their president and Bush be around for another four years. And there was nothing I could do about it.

We might have a new prime minister in a few hours and this time I did help.

First a little something about elections in Norway. Apart from the dirt slinging we saw a year ago on the other side of the Atlantic, the most obvious difference is probably the number of parties. Rather than two big ones (and a few small no one seems to care about), we have plenty. I think there are about 16, but half of them are so small the news usually show 8+others, the 8 parties included in 'others' being about as large as the smallest of the other 8.

Just like in the US, it's not necessarily the person who gets the most votes who become boss. We don't even vote for people. For the first time there are two big sides, four parties on each side have become friends this year, bunching up as the socialists and the non-socialists.

The party I voted for is called something like Socialist Left and they're doing worse than last time.

The Labour party is becoming the big winner with 30,4% of the votes at the moment.

The parties on the left are red.
The parties on the right are blue.

There are 169 representatives.
Right now it's 85-84 in favour of the red.

One year ago I was hoping for blue (democrats) while now I'm hoping red (socialists). It's just as close as back then though, no one knows what's gonna happen yet. I'm thinking I should make a bet with someone - I lost last time but, looking back, paying up afterwards was one of the most pleasant experiences I've ever had.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Simo from Morocco mentioned he'd like to be famous. Why?

"well i dont have a good reason
i think to be famous is better but i have
never try that to see if that s right or not"

Do we all have a secret desire to be famous? Something most of us don't really want to admit to ourselves and couldn't tell anyone else? Something that's fun when you're a kid but when you grow older you're supposed to... grow out of it?

Would you be happier if you were recognized when you were walking down the street? If everybody wanted to talk to you and take your picture. If you were invited to all the great parties and knew the coolest people?

Maybe people would know you because you did something good. Maybe you've written a book, or been in a movie. Could be you're standing up for things you believe in and people admire you. Or you signed up for a reality show and they all know your face.

Happiness comes in all shapes and sizes. Just like people do. Some think of fame as having your face on tv, others as something that may come when you've worked hard and made a difference. Some like it, some don't. Some have it, some want it. Some wish they'd never tried it.

We all want to matter, to make a difference. But do you want to matter to the whole world or to the people who really know you? Do you want people to know you because they know who you are and what you've done, or because they've seen your face before?

One thing most of us do have in common though. Whether it means fame or family, friends or fans, chances are you are happiest where everybody knows your name...

Do not stop

Drunk driving in Bergen

Borrowing stuff

Somebody drank all my milk.
Or, I strongly suspect, one of my roommates used it to make porridge.
I mean... you think you can use a carton of milk, then put it on the counter and no one will notice? I'm perfectly ok with them all to borrow my stuff and then replace it. But;

1) ask
2) if you can't ask, tell the person you borrowed from about it afterwards, leave a note or something of the kind
3) don't use it all when it's something like milk, not on a Sunday when the shops are closed
4) replace as quickly as possible

A few months ago I had that problem, but the other way round. I'd buy milk, or something else, then not remember if it was mine or not so I had to ask the others before I used it. Then I put a red marker in the kitchen drawer so I could put a dot underneath things. Not to make the others not use it (doubt if they'd see it), but so I'd know if it was mine or not. I haven't done that since I came back after summer but I was going to a couple days ago cuz I'd started forgetting what was mine again.

But the red marker's gone too.

What on earth....?

Via Norwegian newspaper

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A tree

There's this gorgeous tree I walk past every day. It's pretty big and half of it has turned bright and shining yellow. It's in the university gardens and I'm gonna have to try and take a picture of it next time I walk past. Autumn has come people. Autumn has come...


I was asked if I thought this little clipart thingy from Microsoft Office's clipart (yes, I nicked it) should be included in the cliparts and what it reminded me of.

Oh I know what it reminds me of alright...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A beautiful day

I'm in love... It happened as I was walking to my Middle East class today. Not quite one in a million, more like one in a thousand ninety seven. It was The Zephyr Song and it was the one my mp3 player randomly selected for me to listen to.

I liked it so much I dug through the album lists looking for Red Hot Chili Peppers' By The Way, assuming that there must be more songs from that album I really like. But nothing is like The Zephyr Song and I'm in love with the chorus...

Fly away on my Zephyr
I feel it more then ever
And in this perfect weather
We'll find a place together
Fly on my wing

Not quite like the Noodle song but still very much worth listening to.

As for my other kinda love life... it stopped. It's been a few months now and there's nothing I can do but wait. If I'm waiting for nothing or everything, I don't know. All I know is it stopped.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Computer lab

I'm at a computer lab printing things. That's ok, I like printing things. What I don't like is when a million others are printing their things and your never know if it's your stuff or somebody else's coming out. You put in a sheet of paper and out comes... economy? development? globalization? maths? confirmation of plane tickets? Then you're standing there waiting, this isn't mine, that isn't mine. Whoever it belongs to isn't coming to get it. Cancel the job? Hope the next one is yours?

Put in a new sheet of paper. Nope, not mine. If you had an unlimited supply of paper in your bag, this might not be a problem. But most of us aren't walking book stores and we don't have unlimited of supplies of paper in our bags. You can risk, as I have, that you suddenly don't have enough paper left to print what you were actually going to print. Sometimes they don't put out anything we have to print for a week, then everything comes the same day. Today there's a bit and it's messed up (messy professor) and I have to cut and paste and change the font a bit. Which I really don't mind. As long as I get to print it.

Now ssssh we have to work!