Saturday, October 23, 2010

A level of appreciation

Now, there are some "things" in our society that seem out of place, and are therefore hidden behind stained glass doors. Of these beauties you have the Cohiba VI. Now these are not even among the most pricey of cigars of the this Cuban brand. The Esplendidos go for double the listed price the the number VIs. I would put one Esplendidos as around 300 kr per cigar.  So why would anybody buy something like this. I can only assume it tastes fantastic. But who would know. Is it like a good one, or a great scotch? Do you simply need an acquired taste for such things in order to enjoy them? Or can someone without good taste or tasting experience enjoy a 10 kr cigar just as well as a 300 kr one? Just like wine. Can you taste the difference between a 99 kr bottle of wine, as well as a 500 kr one? Do we like the idea? Is it quality, or does the price make us think that we can taste the difference even though most can not. But we do know a B movie from a blockbuster. We do know a good rain jacket from a bad one. We know a good quality boot from a poor quality one. Long lasting is what we go for. It is the thing of our fathers´ generation. If you have some item that lasts for decades, it is considered quality, or you´re considered cheap. Or it is a personal challenge to keep the same shape as you started out in. I would say the Esplendidos could be enjoyed while viewing some momentous spectacle such as: 1. Humans landing on Mars, 2. The first underwater colony established, 3. First contact from Extraterrestrial life, 4. the birth of your firstborn, 5. Witnessing a small but controlled nuclear detonation.

Cohiba Cigars - 3 Stogies - 899 kr, or 150 dollars

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Vacation Part III: Some marching and a book

In line with some feelings of camaraderie, I figured I would try another 40 km marching in Kongsberg to see if a little less hilly routes would feel better than the Trondheim-Værnes march. Had it not been for my slight miscalculation in weight, it might have gone easier. 16 kg was a bit much but doable. And mad props to E for trudging with me.=)
Around the tree.....
Sushi anyone!

So feet, check and cheque! So after this nice little walk, timely, the rest of the vacation  was spent in Kongsberg and cabin in South Norway. Great weather and food everyday! We ( T and E) made some incredible home made Sushi. Definitely restaurant worthy! And what of intellectual exploits? Well some computer gaming was in order on those rainy days (who are we kidding), but I did manage to get through 1 book which I can highly recommend. Hugh Dundas´autobiography, a fighter pilot in WWII, is entertaining, well written and spot on. I probably should have gotten through many more books but I imagine some poor Trondheim weather will facilitate that.

He did what!?

Summer Vacation Part II

View from the room at Hotel 47
Moving on to the second leg of the summer vacation, destination Rome. This was monumental for several reasons. First trip abroad with E, and first trip abroad for me in years. If any who read this ever go to Rome, I can highly recommend Hotel 47, the service was impeccable, the rooms superb, the roof restaurant/bar awesome, and the view; perfect. 5 days in Rome, much was seen, the fountains, the Vatican, Castel St. Angelo, and much much more. Also it was nice and warm, 35 degrees on average which was not objectionable. Of course the Red Man does not bow to the heat, but from the two next pictures, the long lines did take its toll. Anyhew, great trip which merits a repeat.

I have been in this line for how long

It can´t be long now

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Vacation Part 1

Some may have noticed the lack of blogging going on this past month, and it is without regret that I say, ´well you have to live to write´. So as my buss meanders through Drammen on its ostensibly well paved roads, I can safely put my time to blogging use. This summer started as most summers do, a trip to the homestead that is Kambo. And I have to give a lot of credit to my dear mom who made this homecoming a pleasant one, what with all the heavenly Mexican home cooking and all her and B´s help with the house, washing, painting, and so on. I finally got my tenants out, and it took no time at all to find a a new one. That thorn in my side aside, I could breathe a little easier.

Anyhew, I also had the opportunity to host a little BBQ for one of the classes. The weather notwithstanding I think it was a pretty good day. There is little better than the company of good friends, sharing some beer and good food. Like the saying goes, "and man hath no greater pleasure under the sun but to eat, drink and be merry". But so ends my short two weeks in Moss.I am actually on my way there as I write this but that is a story for another time=).

Expect Vacation Part 2 shortly!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Train as You Fight!

Sometimes you commit yourself to outrageous feats of endurance (others call it stupidity) without really knowing why. I choose to see it in the spirit of the Academy as testing your limits.
The Nijmegen March approaches, and although I am not attending this year, I have found where my limits are and intend on joining full force next year.

After 3 days of 20 km marching each over the span of 4 weeks, we concluded with a treacherous 40 km march from Trondheim to Stjørdal. A little bit hilly but overall quite a good stretch.

Start time 0420. Thanks to MG I could use his room for the night and have a little less distance to the starting area, which proved invaluable seeing as it took me exactly 40 minutes from wake up time to get breakfast, and get ready. With all that that implies I have over the past month learned the ancient and time honored knowledge of proper boot soles, proper socks, where to apply powder, salves and ointments and how to tape your feet. My hat off to our coordinator CWW. Also my hat unhesitatingly goes off to EMSB who really showed how much pain a soldier can be in and still walk through Hell (No seriously the local town is called Hell) without a complaint uttered. After 25 km I started to feel it a bit, but during the last 5 km the pressure pain started so now I am limping here and there, but hopefully like all bad things, this too shall pass.

This has been a new experience and I am confident with a few modifications I can and will complete Nijmegen next year with the best people!

Finish time: 1140

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On Values and questionable ethics

There is no denying that on occasion, the universe is a fickle mistress with little regard for anybody but itself. Nevertheless, I live in the universe and feel privy to bend, twist and convolute reality into a version of what might have happened. I refer of course to a mishap concerning my brand new, somewhat pricey Mac laptop. It is the dawn of a new era and what happens, the universe causes minor collateral damage to it, through my hand and a 99,NOK Ikea lamp. You know the saying in physics about what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Well the same holds through when an idiotic lack of force meets an inconceivable fragile and expensive object. After some soul searching I figured I would let the corporate world throw itself on this grenade, seeing as how much red tape there is and how often people have been screwed over by the man.

Short story short, Apple Inc folded on the river, with the result that apparently, you can fight city hall=)

Now, on to other matters. The year is coming to an end, well the school year, and the fledglings are off to greener pastured and eventually a new class will begin. All brimming with hopes and dreams and expectations. Well as for my future vocational options and ambitions, I think another year will be secured for me. Pending some organizational changes, which might be good or quite frankly a disaster. The universe is trying to say that "you can have it your way, but not really, there is always a catch, some fine print, a hitch, a bend in the road".

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pressure Schmessure

Recently I have pondered and drifted within the thought waves on the topic of volcanoes and their impact on everyday life. Normally one thinks of mount St. Helens or Krakatoa, inland or island, these vast mounds bring on a new level to the "Don't build on top of water" saying. Water or no water, lava is not exactly much better.

Consider every natural disaster movie you have ever seen, I am talking from Dante's Peak, (Which even James Bond could have stopped) to 2012, especially the last one. First of all you have John Cusack (had it been Downy Jr, we would Iron Man our way through the crisis) flying around in various plane throughout areas where there is clearly more than few particles of volcanic ash on its way into the atmosphere, which by the way is really impressive when you consider the force needed). But nowhere in the film does his plane go down.

Riddle me this. Would it not be just plain fair (no pun intended) to perhaps portay this film in a way slightly more realistic. Take what is happening throughout northern Europe as of yesterday. Left and right flights are not only being cancelled but airspace itself if closed off tighter than post 9/11 White House. No commercial traffice despite Norway being way far from Iceland. Modern radar and meteological reports which could aid in the navigation of some flights around the ash cloud are available. By all means I am not saying we should take air safety likely. But when not even the rescue helicopters can go out flying or the low level ambulance choppers, then we got a problem. But maybe 2012 isn't wrong. They were smart enough to create boats, but ofcourse they foresaw the shifting of land mass ultimately causing tsunamis, so why not. But coastal ferries have seen a massive passenger surge since yesterday, as well as busses and trains. It's a jungle out there.

But if we are seeing these kinds restrictions, especially in the prevailing climate, why not pour more research funds into developing engines that could operate in harsh in environments? I might be getting a bit ahead of myself, but best case scenario we get choppers and planes that can operate in sandstorms. Also, come doomsday apocalypse, we could airlift the lucky few (I foresee that the genetically superior will survive, much as Darwin predicted) without the fuss of all this volcanic ash getting in our way. Also, it should have occured to the good folks at JPL or NASA that eventually we might run into a habitable planet but with less than friendly atmosphere. Wouldn't it be find and dandy to have some sort of craft capable of thrusting through those little ash flakes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Slow News Day

Been off the blogosphere for some time so figured it was time to post.

Nothing to write home about. Still wrestling with whether I should short change my next laptop purchase or go commercial for an ipad. Regardless, my current laptop is literally falling apart.

On the reading front I have again committed myself to another major book buy, which are for the most part for my self-development and work. But that never hurt anybody. Otherwise I am trying to get through the Cryptonomicon, a 900+ page novel recommended by one of my cadets, and though it is a superb piece of literature, I am a slow reader.

Otherwise my carreer has progressed a bit as I have been given the opportunity to be trained in a very specific type of language testing. After no further education the past 2 years, it is time to get back on the horse for an intermittent workshop. I think it is gonna be quite alright after the first few meetings.

Watching the Olympics has never been more exciting, but the media hype around some of our Norwegian competitors finds me hoping they crash and burn. But so far we seem to be heading for our, combined in the olympic games, 100th gold. Who will be the lucky one.?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010, look out here I come!

After more contemplation on the past year's whims, much can be said and also unsaid for the undone and the much to be repeated. Autumn 2009 saw the emergence of a full social calendar which has been positive and awesome to say the least. Workwise, these past months have been truly fulfilling and I have worked hard to give it my all and not let anybody down. My efforts did not go unnoticed as I was presented with a token, on behalf of a couple of the classes, in recognition of my commitment to work and duty. It was perhaps one of the most unexpected and warmning moments of my professional life yet! Thanks Class 59&60.

Looking into the new year I am not sure what my resolutions should be. Perhaps be more daring in certain aspects of my life, perhaps not spread myself too thin. Definitely read more! I for certain would like to learn at least 3 new skills in the year to come. One is already lined up, two have yet to be realised. I'll let you know how it pans out.

Anyhew, a couple of more days of vacation time and then work starts, and I couldn't look forward to it more. New challenges are in the pipeline and I can already see they need to be prepared for well!

Here's to a new year, cheers guys!