Friday, December 19, 2008

The little sun

This is the English translation of "Den vesle sola" posted December 15th.

Once upon a time, there was a sun who was so very small. Indeed, she was the smallest sun in the street. But there was no lack of ambitions. She had great plans to shine up there in the sky, so that she'd become known in the entire world.

All the children in the street made fun of her. They couldn't imagine that anything would ever become of her. Particularly the moons were bad to her. All but one moon, who was also being teased because he only rotated round Pluto instead of a «real» planet.

It was this friendship that made it possible for the little sun to accompany Nix one night and try out the job as a moon. It didn't go to well, though. The sun was born sun and will always be one. She shined so brightly round Pluto that the astronomers started fighting. Nix almost lost his job. And the little sun had no other choice than to find a sun job.

He first tried in Brazil, but they wanted a strong and powerful sun, and preferably one who knew samba. In Spain, they wanted a macho sun who could bring some heat to the beaches. And in England they didn't want any sun. The British only wanted rain and fog. France wanted a sun who drank wine, and the little sun was too young for that kind of stuff.

Austria wanted that their sun should wear lederhosen, so the little sun didn't even apply for that one. China already had a dragon who gave them all the light and warmth they wanted. India had all the stars in Bollywood, and Japan had their streets filled with neon advertising signs. The future looked grim and dark for the little sun.

There was only one job left, a job that nobody else wanted. But the little sun enjoyed her new found job. It was a part time job, doing the night shift in the far north.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Den vesle sola

Det var ein gong ei sol som var så veldig lita. Ja, ho var den minste sola i gata. Men ambisjonane mangla det ingenting på. Ho hadde store planar om å skine slik på himmelen at ho kom til å verte verdskjend.

Alle barna i gata til denne sola lo av henne. Dei kunne ikkje forestille seg at denne vesle sola skulle verte til noko. Spesielt månane var stygge mot henne. Alle unnateke ein måne, som òg vart erta fordi faren berre kretsa rundt Pluto og ikkje ein «ordentlig» planet. Og det var på grunn av denne vennskapen at den vesle sola fekk vere med Nix ei natt og fekk prøve seg som måne.

Men det gjekk ikkje så bra. Sola var og er fødd som ei sol. Ho skinte sånn opp rundt Pluto at astronomane byrja å krangle, og Nix heldt nesten på å miste jobben sin. Så den vesle sola hadde ikkje anna val enn å finne ein soljobb.

Fyrst prøvde han seg i Brazil, men der ville dei berre ha ei sterk og kraftig sol, og helst ei som kunne samba. I Spania ville dei ha ei macho sol som kunne varme opp badestrendene. Og i England ville dei ikkje ha noka sol, berre regn og tåke. Frankrike ville ha ei sol som drakk vin, og den vesle sola var alt for ung for slikt. I Austerrike ville dei at sola skulle ha på seg lederhosen, så den jobben ville den vesle sola ikkje ein gong søke på. Kina hadde allereie ein drage som gav dei alt lys og vamre dei ønska, India hadde alle stjernene i Bollywood og Japan hadde gatene fylte med reklameskilt. Ja, det såg mørkt ut for den vesle sola.

Det sto att berre ein jobb som ingen andre ville ha. Men den vesle sola var nøygdd. Det var ein deltidsjobb, langt oppe mot nord og riktig nok om natta.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Terror threat

So my work place had a terror exercise. A simulation that starts by someone calling in a bomb threat. Since I knew when this was going to happen, I planned a trip to an external location for that time. I had work to do.

"But you should take part of the exercise, too!" the complaints came. "Everyone should take part of the exercise."

So in this exercise, I'm supposed to walk out of the building and do nothing. What am I supposed to tell the remote location? "I'm sorry, I can't come and fix your network connection today, because I have been ordered to stand in the parking lot, kicking some stones instead of doing my job?"

We left through the back door minutes before the exercise started.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Gard Ulv: "Jajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaja"
Gard: "Neineineineineineineineinei"
Gard Ulv: "Jajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaja"
Gard: "Du er verkeleg ein Ja-mann, du, Gard Ulv"
Gard Ulv: "Vavavavavavavavavavavava"

English translation:
Gard Ulv: "Yeayeayeayeayeayeayeayeayeayeayeayeayea"
Gard: "Nononononononononononononono"
Gard Ulv: "Yeayeayeayeayeayeayeayeayeayeayeayea"
Gard: "You're quite a yes-man, aren't you, Gard Ulv?"
Gard Ulv: "Vavavavavavavavavavavavava"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The most beautiful sea

I came across this poem by Nazim Hikmet, which got me thinking. (And I'm sure a lot of people out there will be saying "what, you didn't see this poem yet?" to which I may answer "the most beautiful poem I have not written -uh- read yet." Similarly, an equally sized bunch of people is going to ask "Nazim who?") The poem goes:
    The most beautiful sea hasn't been crossed yet.
    The most beautiful child hasn't grown up yet.
    The most beautiful days we haven't seen yet.
    And the most beautiful words I wanted to tell you
    I haven't said yet...
My first thought was along the lines of subjectivity. Not about difference in taste, but that of memory. The momentarily most beautiful is typically that which has already been experienced, because we can not truly appreciate the beauty which we have not experienced yet.

So I asked myself, what is (literally) the most beautiful sea within my memory which I have not crossed. Truly, oceans are usually boring, so we need to stick to smaller seas, which brings me to lakes. And I have crossed a few lakes in Sweden that were really beautiful. I am sure other lakes I have seen could be just as beautiful, and it dawns on me that my own interaction with the lake played a great role in the beauty I experienced from it.

This rings true in other settings as well. A friend in the US brought me to a mountain near her home town. We parked at the top, looked at the city below, and she suddenly said that, "strange.. it doesn't look so great now as it did last time I was here." She paused before she continues. "Must have been the guy I was with."

That comment made me a little jealous, but I have had similar experiences myself. There's a similar mountain where I went to college, and there are two ways to get there. You can climb 400 steps up the hill, or you can take a car. Every time I climbed the steps, the view was wonderful. But if I cheated and took the car, I didn't enjoy the view nearly as much.

My most beautiful trips are the ones by bicycle, not by car. Or better yet, by foot or by skis. So the beauty lies in the interaction, and how things, places and most of all people become part of us through these interactions.

Returning to the quote, what about all the beauty that are in the future? How does the interaction apply to these? How can I interact with something that I have not yet seen?

The answer is self evident. You can interact with beauty by planning interaction with it. This is some of what a lot of couples do when they meet. They lay plans together, and then embark on a long journey trying to fulfill these plans. The effort put into this not only makes the result spectacular, but the journey towards their goals become part of the beauty they experience.

Similarly, the bicycle trip I have been planning since 2001 (I just never had time to do it yet) will be the most beautiful bicycle trip ever when i finally get to do it, because I have so much energy stored into the idea of doing it and the research of the places I wish to visit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Norwegian TV on Finland

After the massacre in Kauhajoki, Norwegian TV2 is IMHO trying to sensationalize the story by bringing up old stereotypes and trying to prove them true. This happened in what seems like a parody of the news. Sadly, it really was the news.

A random person was interviewed whilst still sitting in their car. "What's that?" the reporter asked. "Is it a knife?" "Yes." "Why do you bring a knife with you?"

You know, I have a knife in the car, too. It has been standard inventory for my car for many years. There's always need for a knife. I may need to cut a branch somewhere, cut a rope or cut through some plastic wrap. I occationally use it to spread butter, cut cheese and apples, but mostly sheep sausages. And of course, it's good to have handy if I should accidentally run over a reindeer.

The Finn's knife was tiny compared to mine.

The report went on to a couple of teenagers. It seemed like the reporter was just running around town, looking for anything to make the town look like Hillbillyville. "Look! Skinheads! Are you a skinhead?" "Yes!" "Are there many skinheads in this town?" "Little." I'm sure there are more skinheads in Oslo than in Kauhajoki.

I wasn't sure if I was going to laugh at this terrible piece of news-turned-comedy, or plain weap at bad journalism. Because surely, this is not the kind of story a serious news channel should be focusing on a substory that isn't there. Rather, it would have been a perfect opportunity to instill some humanity in us all.

...and TV2 trolled even me...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Du ska få æi nye blæie

Mel. Du skal få en dag i mårra

De va en gong eŋ liti gut
so va so trist å læi.
Han hadde bløytt til blæia si
å følte sej so våt.
Haŋ visste ičče arme råd
men skræik ti pappa'n siŋ
so ville roe guti ne
å song so diŋŋe song...

Du ska få æi nye blæie
so torr å ubrukt står
å ej ska sorre ne ront stompi diŋŋ.
Å om de ičče går so bra
å du værte like våt (el. so må du sæi i frå)
so ska ej kåme springande
me nye blæie til dej.
Ja, då fe du nye blæie
so ræin å ubrukt står
å ej ska sorre ne ront stompi diŋŋ.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Web page bugs

Dear programmers of,

I entered my SSN and what was obviously the wrong password. So I clicked "Forgot my password". As a response, I get a message that my SSN is wrong, since I didn't type it back in.

So I enter my SSN again and click "Forgot my password". Your page now tells me it's the wrong password. Of course it's the wrong password, that's why I clicked "Forgot my password"!

I repeat this step. SSN, click "Forgot my password". Et voila! My account has been blocked for 24 hours. Thank you so much!

Update 21.04.2008: I received a response from, telling me that if I have forgotten my password, I should click the "Forgot my password" button. Funny!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Early morning rain

Our dear friend, personal French teacher, poet and everything else, Aidan Convery, came over one day to record a few songs. Early morning rain by Gordon Lightfoot is the first of a series of songs I'll be posting the next few weeks.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snail mail again

The latest form of snail mail may not take as long as last time, but this one is slightly insulting. We have bought a bunch of stuff from Amazon. But instead of sending it by Royal Mail, which has usually taken a few days in average, they suddenly decided that UPS was the way to go. Certainly not, I would like to comment, as seen from the tracking log at UPS:

March 4th
07:34 - Received invoice details
17:06 - Cumbernauld, GB: Origin scanned upon arrival
March 5th
03:31 - Köln, DE: Scanned upon arrival
04:38 - Malmö Sturub, SW: Scanned upon arrival
05:39 - Scanned upon departure
08:46 - Norway: Import scan
08:47 - In transit
13:07 - Oslo, NO: Forwarded to destination city
March 12th
11:00 - Destination is in a remote area and deliveries are not made every day.
March 17th
09:52 - Registered at clearing agent. Now in transit.

Remote area? UPS thinks that Guovdageaidnu is in a remote area? What, because it's not in Oslo? We're only a 130 km from Alta, for crying out loud! There are planes going from Oslo to Alta every day! Though this may very well be a warning of what is going to happen in the future, when all mail will be privatized.

Every trip must be profitable. This means that there may be no regular traffic independent of the number of deliveries it brings, but rather that they wait until they have gathered enough letters and parcels to make the trip as profitable as possible. In the meanwhile, that letter to grandma' may have to wait for two years.

Then again, perhaps this is the more ecologically viable way of handling it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dihturnoaidi: E-mail - keep it simple, stupid!

The mere size of our e-mail boxes tend to overwhelm anyone who sees them. Recently, a friend of mine apologized for being a day behind on his introduction to an online group project, citing some 1600 e-mails in his inbox as the main reason. I can relate. My mailbox used to be this way, too. [read more...]

Friday, March 07, 2008

Suomi, oh Suomi

Seeing Finland's Eurovision entry, I suddenly feel a rush to watch the European finale in a Finnish hotel again, as we did in 2006.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Snail mail

A long awaited package finally arrived in the mail today. And I mean long awaited. The only copy of a specific video tape from our wedding in July has been missing since its departure from the owner on December 4th. It arrived today, February 4th, making the two month delivery time a new record as the slowest snail mail arrival to us yet.


We usually use the term "Norwenglish" about the strange form of English that Norwegians tend to speak. I have to add the new term "Englegian" to define the strange form of Norwegian that English-speakers tend to speak.

It was on the plane from Oslo to Ålesund that a coupld of young Britons were discussing something that I didn't immediately understand. "Tack *)" one said. "What is tack?" After a while, they found out it was the same as "Thank you." At this point, I understood that they were looking into a Norwegian Parlour.

"It feels like there's something missing," on said. "There should be something more to it, like... Tack you!" He found this to be so hillarious that he added "I'm going to say this to all my friends now. Tack you!"

The next word they tried to understand was "Jayday **)" I tried very hard not to giggle.

*) Norwegian "Takk" (Thanks) should be pronounced with an open "ah" as in "Say aaaah" rather than as the English word "tack". If you want something extra, you can always say "Takk skal du ha" [Ta(h)kk ska(h)l doo ha(h)] = Thanks shall you have. Or the even loner "Takk skal du ha og gift skal du bli!" (Thanks shall you have and married shall you become.)

**) Norwegian "Jada" (Yeah yeah) should be pronounced with an open "ah" as in "Say aaaaah" rather than as the English word "day." The "J" is more like a "Y" as in "Yeah" rather than the boy name "Jay". Hence [Ya(h)da(h)].

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Daily Savisaar: Estonian geography

"So what is Estonia's fifth largest island?"
"The fifth?"
"Yes. Everyone knows the four largest, but which is the fifth?"
"No, but he is certainly the largest island in Estonian politics."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Who is God?

In 2007, God was the most wanted person on Google, and this search for God is on a slightly increasing curve. I'm not sure how I should read that. The immediate reaction is that more people are getting religious. At the same time, it could be an indiction of the opposite.

Who God is, is described fairly well in the Bible. First book. First chapter. First sentence. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." I believe this to be a fairly well known fact. And that as far as we can define God within the limitation of our heaven/earth view.

After all, if God created our physical world from within a non-physical world, then God's existance is beyond the world we are able to see and comprihend. And as our understanding of abstract ideas also is limited by our physical comprehention, it is also reasonable to claim that God is beyond our abstract understanding as well.

By asking who is God, we place God and attempt to define God within our limited earthly understanding of persona. The question can not be answered under those terms. Similarly, if a TV screen could think, he would ask "What colour is Obama's eyes?" and see this as the very definition of Obama.

Hence, the best a human being can do is not to define God within our earthly ways, but to experience and appreciate. To do this, you have to stop asking "who" and start paying attention to your senses instead.