Thursday, February 26, 2009

Parabolic Sky Watch

Some are watching the sky without really knowing it.



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


Post of the Day to my Father-in Law

My Father-in-law celebrated yesterday his 90th birthday with more than 40 guests and all the trimmings. Today he received another accolade: My greeting to him in yesterday's post received a Post of the Day from the well-known Australian journalist and super-blogger David McMahon. You may have given it to me, but it was for my father-in law.

Thank you, David!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

F is for Father-in-law and Fireman in ABC Wednesday

This Wednesday my Father-in-law turns 90, and is there a better F than that? He was born one year after WW1 and grew up during the post-war struggles for survival, the depression and all the problems that ensued. He managed to become a journeyman painter in the 30s, but jobs were scarce and far between. Then came WW2 and the Nazi-occupation of Norway. Painters and all sorts of skilled labour were drafted by the new authorities, but my father-in-law managed to escape from this by joining - The Fire Squad.

You might call that going from the ashes into the fire, and in many ways it was. Bergen was one of the Norwegian cities most hit by allied bombing (had a large Nazi-submarine base), but the worst happening was the explosion of a commandeered Dutch vessel loaded with explosives that lay in the harbour in the middle of the city. It destroyed a large part of the centre. The ship's anchor was later found on top of a 500m high mountain east of the city.

But he survived. When peace came he was decommissioned together with a large part of the Fire Squad, started for himself as Master Painter and married my future mother-in-law. From this marriage came 3 children (one of them obviously my wife), 11 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren (so far). One might say that he has done his part to maintain the number of the Norwegian populace.

He has now been a widower for 20 years after my mother-in-law died, but he is still going strong - The much beloved "Moffen" for our own four children, a wonderful Father for my wife and the best Father-in-law I could have had.

PS Did I mention that he also trained as a painter in oils? Below is a copy of one picture that hangs in our living-room.



PS For obvious reasons I may have some difficulties doing "the rounds" right now - but I'll try to do it bit by bit later on!



Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.


For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

Friday, February 20, 2009

What a difference a day makes

The weather is never dull in this part of the world. What is covered in fog one day may be drenched in sun the next. When one makes more or less the same stroll (nearly) every day one gets to appreciate these changes. What yesterday might have passed for a world in black and white and slightly out of focus, was today nice and sharp. Here are some examples taken one day apart at three different locations on my way.

The pictures were taken with my small Panasonic compact which I always carry. It can't produce RAW-files, so the pictures are based on JPEG in Standard mode as set by the Panasonic engineers. I have just done some small cropping and sharpening etc. Photoshop had intentionally a light job here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Sky Watch winter panorama of a marina

The boats have put on their winter coats.





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


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ABC Wednesday - E is for, well, myself.

Some of those who follow this blog will now what the last E in my "signature" stands for. Norwegians will know what it means, but for people outside Scandinavia I suspect that the meaning is not self-evident. It may also be hard to pronounce for some, though the Germans and the Dutch have no problems. I'll spare you all the variants that I have heard in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries.

It is like many Norwegian names based on local geography - it means an isthmus. Wikipedia defines it like this:

An isthmus is a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas.
In the coastal part of Norway it is a fairly common surname. Anyone who has seen a map of Norway can readily understand why. Below is a map of the particular area where my name comes from - Ostereidet.

This particular isthmus separates the two fjords Osterfjorden og Hindenesfjorden and is situated North-East of Bergen - about an hour's drive by car. It is in the municipality of Lindås and is a typical little village with a couple of shops, petrol station, school and a church. And of course some hundred inhabitants in the immediate area.

My father was born here, and here is where we have our summer cottage. I also have a number of cousins living in the area. It is my roots.

This picture shows the view from the highest point on the road (Leitet) across the istmus and features Osterfjorden and Ostereidet itself with the old quay which used to be the centre for all transportation, and for most other activities too, in "the old days".

If you want to have a look at Hindenesfjorden, just turn around and walk a couple of kilometres and you may see something like this.


Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.


For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

Monday, February 16, 2009

Odd Shot at the Hospital

Even when you are down and out there might still be something of interest to be found.


Please visit Katney's Kaboodle for more about Odd shots!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Today's Flower - Hidden by snow

There used to be a Rhododendron around here somewhere...







PS The Today's flowers meme is hosted by LUIZ SANTILLI JR. . Please visit and enjoy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fotosafari by car (mainly)

GAWO ushered a command earlier this week that everyone should get outside and enjoy the beautiful winter weather, preferably by doing something strenuous. However, I'm prohibited by doctor's orders from doing anything like that, but I did grab my camera-bag, dressed up in the warmest clothes I could find and headed for - my car. This is some of the resulting photos. One might even call it a Fotosafari by car.




All the pictures were taken around a small fjord call Arefjord, not far from where I live. It is one of my favourite hunts for photos. There is always something to be found. Above you can see that the fjord has started to freeze and with the low sun it makes for some interesting effects. Even a transformer station might fit in. Perhaps.

The boathouses and cabins are closed, and boats have been put on dry land.

That is, not all of them.


So if you have a boat that you wish to moor, than here is the place for it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Not quite "Yesterday once more"

Today at 13:54:32

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Norwegian Winter Skies in Sky Watch Friday

This kind of sky has today also looked ...

... like this kind of sky.



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


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thanks to my Blogging Buddies

I am totally amazed over all the comforting and supporting messages that I have received the last couple of days! I have even got some really nice flowers from one of you! I have appreciated it very much. I have not the opportunity to make the rounds to you all now so: THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!

I am now feeling much better, the i.v. is gone and hopefully some tablets will do the rest of the job. Finding one that works can be a bit difficult since almost anything interferes with my other medicines. Some supporting examination has been done, so if all goes well I may be out tomorrow afternoon.

I hope to be back with more normal blogging next time.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bedside blogging

Some of you will know that I had a heart transplant about five years ago. That operation and its sequels have all been according to plan so far and I have nothing much to complain about. Life goes on much as usual - only you appreciate it more.

However, everything comes at a price. All patients that has had a transplant must be on heavy, life-long medication that suppresses the immune system to avoid a host-versus graft rejection. That also leaves one open to infections. Infections that are innocuous in you might be life-threatening to me.

I was hit by such an infection last week. The temperature started to rise Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday night it reached 39.5 degrees C - and still rising. Time for an ambulance. For us this is hospital-work only. As it is, we live a 20 minutes drive away from one of Norway largest hospitals. An important consideration for patients like us.

So now I am having two different kinds of iv. antibiotics, the fever is gone but the actual bacterium that caused the infection will not be known until tomorrow when the results of the growth-specimens are ready.

The weather outside is extremely beautiful and excellent for photography - I'll just have to avoid looking out. However, I include a picture ("Always carry a camera!") I snapped lying in bed and waiting for a new test at the ER Thursday night. The plastic bag contained Ringer's solution (a fancy form of salt water) - on its way into my arm . Not too bad for a person in high fever?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

C is for Cuauhtémoc

Today's "C" is the barque ARM Cuauhtémoc from Mexico. However, it is here seen leaving Bergen, Norway, during the Tall Ships' Races in August 2008. A very beautiful ship she is and a favourite among the inhabitants of Bergen, at least. She has visited us several times. She is famous for entering the visiting harbour with the crew standing on the yards, singing. I did not catch that this time, but here is link to one who caught her entering Rostock in 2006.

Here she is moored at a quay in Bergen harbour, Vågen.

Wikipedia has this to say:

The ARM Cuauhtémoc BE-01 is a Sail Training vessel of the Mexican Navy, named for the last Aztec Emperor Cuauhtémoc who was captured and executed in 1525.

She is the last of four sisterships built by the Naval Shipyards of Bilbao, Spain, in 1982, similar to the 1930 German designs of Blohm & Voss, like the Gorch Fock and the USCGC Eagle.

Like her sisterships, the Colombian Gloria, the Ecuadorian Guayas and the Simón Bolívar of Venezuela, the Cuauhtémoc is a sailing ambassador for her home country and a frequent visitor to world ports, having sailed over 400,000 nautical miles (700,000 km) in her 23 years of service with appearances at the Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Races, ASTA Tall Ships Challenges, Sail Osaka, and others.


The public was allowed to enter and we were received with the utmost courtesy and elegance. However, for security reasons we could not enter the rigging. Just as well, I think.

Wikipedia has more to say about the technical specifications:

Class and type: Barque
Displacement: 1,800 tons
Length: 220 ft 4 in (67.2 m) waterline
Beam: 39 ft 4 in (12 m)
Draft: 17.7 ft (5.4 m)
Propulsion:
  • Sparred Length:

296.9 ft (90.5 m)

  • Sail Area:

25,489 sq ft (2,368 m²)

  • Auxiliary Propulsion:
one 1,125 hp engine
Capacity:
  • Fuel Capacity:

220 tons

  • Water Capacity:
110 tons
Crew:
  • Officer and Crew Accommodations:

186

  • Trainee Accommodations:
90
Notes: Steel hulled vessel

As you can see, the brass was polished and the ropes in order.

So, everything was ship-shape. WELCOME BACK!




Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.


For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

Monday, February 02, 2009

Are you receiving Odd Shot?

Do you have problems receiving the radio/TV signals when out driving? Then this may be for you!

(No I'm just kidding - the car belongs to the Norwegian Broadcasting Company, NRK - but judging from their front window they don't want anyone to watch what they are doing...)



Please visit Katney's Kaboodle for more about Odd shots!

The smallest Bridge in Bergen?

The centre of Bergen is relatively small for a city with 250.000 inhabitants, and this centre itself contains only one small bridge, Smørsbroen (The Smørs Bridge). The present bridge was built in 1923 after the Great Bergen fire in 1916 when a large part of the centre of the city was laid in ashes. It is built like an arch and it is all of 17m long. It connects the main centre with the upper part of Nordnes. The street it crosses is called Jon Smørs gate (John Smørs Street). They are both named after the nobleman Jon Svaleson Smørs (ca. 1420-1483).

The bridge is special since the front facing west (shown above) is totally different from the front facing east (shown below).

The eastern front is made in a Neo-Gothic style. Inside you can get a glimpse of 14 stylistic arches. This front was decorated by the artists Bernard Greve og Mandur Eriksen with inspirations from Greek mythology (see below).

The western front was initially made in a pure functionalistic style without any decorations. However, in 1991 the bridge was restored and decorations made of steel by the artist Arne Rygvold was added (see below).





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