Wednesday, December 28, 2005
I was taking the kids to the daycare and to get there I have to drive up this hill that has maybe a dozen cars parked along the right side of the road, making it a one lane road and forcing you to pull over to the side to let a car pass if you encounter one coming at you. Usually, no problem. Today, as I turned onto the road, I saw, way at the top, a car standing still but with his lights on and looking like he was going to drive down the hill. So I started up and then he started to move and by the time I got to the end of the parked cars, where the road is now wide enough for two cars he had blocked the road. He moved even further forward and tried to pull off to the side far enough for me to squeeze between him and the last parked car. Of course there was not enough room. So he starts honking and waving his arms, I guess to let me know that he is insane. So, instead of backing up one car length so that I can get past him, he forces me to go in reverse all the way back past at least a dozen cars to the beginning of the street. It was totally ridiculous and yet another example of people who think only of themselves, because, hey I was in his way and damned if he was going to reverse for any reason.
In other news, I just took a shower with my wife, something we hardly ever get the opportunity to do anymore, but something we used to do all the time.
It is friggin cold here. Well, cold by Bergen standards. It was 16F (about -6.5C)degrees this morning when I woke up. The car was an iceball and our house, being the seive that it is, is leaking cold air from basically everywhere. Being this cold means there is no rain or snow, which I guess makes up for it.
I have to go get the kids soon and then I am making Italian sausage grinders tonight for me and my wife.
I think the last year, when I haven't written much, cleared my head or something because I am enjoying writing in here lately (well, the last few days anyway). We'll see how long that lasts.
Christmas was fun, if not busy. I'll post some pictures when I write something on the main computer as that is where the pics are. We ate the traditional pinnekjøtt, which is sheep ribs, salted and dried and then steamed. It is salty and greasy, and while it isn't my favorite meal, it's not bad once or twice a year. I don't like the kålrabbe that is served with it (that would be rutabaga, shredded and cooked with milk or something, it tastes sort of like squash which is gross--and I'll eat most anything). The kids got a massive pile of stuff, including a big doll house that they both love. The silliest item was an inflatable Disney princess chair that Emma got and both kids fight over pretty much constantly. Should have gotten Sara one as well. I got a new wireless keyboard and mouse, some clothes and stuff, whole season DVD's of Raymond, King of Queens and Seinfeld, DVD films Sin City and Star Wars Episode 3, a bunch of Sudoku books and more stuff. My dad the rich guy gave us cash, which we recklessly spent on a Sony DVD recorder, the new computer and a new vacuum cleaner, pretty much blowing that whole wad (he he I said "blowing that whole wad").
We, the wife and I, are both work free this week. We got the kids to the daycare (yes we are shitty, horrible parents who take any opportunity to get rid of the kids instead of using the free time to spend time together as a family.) at 9 this morning and ate some breakfast casserole while watching 2 episodes of Average Joe 4 we had on the DVD recorder. It was sort of white trash heaven. Later this week, hopefully, the in-laws are going to take the kids for a night and we are going to be all alone here for an afternoon, an evening and the next morning. I am not sure if I remember what it is like to sleep until you wake up on your own and leisurely arise to eat some breakfast in peace. I am sure I will wake up at 6:30 and not be able to get back to sleep.
And now I have to pee and go watch Desparate Housewives, so you are left with just this lame update.
Hope everyone had a blowjobby Christmas and here's to a blowjobby New Year!
I'll write later in the week.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Usually, in the summer, we take away the carpet from under our coffee table and live with the plain fake-wood-vinyl floor, since it is easier to clean the floor that way. But in the winter, the floor gets kind of cold so we put the carpet back down.
Since we did that this year, the kids, particularly Sara, have spilled soda, water, coffee, etc... more times on the carpet in the last week than they have on the fake-wood-vinyl floor in the last year. This is some kind of rule with kids, that if there is something on the floor you must spill on that, rather than on the bare, easy to clean, floor. It just happened now. Again.
And that's all the time I have for this, because I have about a million things to do before the in-laws get here in 6 hours.
Merry Holidays Everyone!
It has been complete and utter insanity the last few weeks. I have been working every day, but where I don't have a lot of access to a computer. And at home, we have had lots of holiday stuff going on, plus we got ourselves a DVD recorder so there has been a lot of TV watching instead of time on the computer. I haven't hardly even read anybody for two or three weeks. And tomorrow is the day we celebrate xmas, and I may even have to work so updating this weekend is probably not going to happen.
But, we have ourselves a brand new computer as well (thanks for the cash for xmas, dad!). It is incredibly fast and awesome. And next week my wife and I are both taking the week off and the kids will be in daycare so there should be plenty of time for a real update. And if that doesn't happen, someone needs to fly to Norway and totally kick my ass. Word.
Anyway, happy holidays (just to piss off the Fox "War on Christmas" News crowd) and I'll catch you all after I eat my pinnekjøtt (super salty and greasy sheep ribs, the Bergen tradition for xmas).
Monday, October 31, 2005
Yesterday afternoon we went to a halloween party. Well...if you can call 4 kids and 5 adults a halloween party. The kids had fun and the adults sat around listening to jazz and talking, mostly in English for a change since there were two Americans there, one of whom doesn't speak Norwegian (not I. We were at our neighbor's house where they are also a Norwegian wife and American husband who have a son who is good friends with Emma). Nothing much to report from there really, just your average afternoon with the kids.
I didn't work today so I changed the tires on the car. Over here we don't use all weather radials but summer and winter tires. So every spring and fall I have to change the tires, which only takes an hour or so, but is murder on my back.
Speaking of that, I am apparently getting old and falling apart. Every day brings some other weird pain. My back, upper some days and lower others. My left knee makes incredible crackling sounds when I bend it and lately I can't put a whole lot weight on it without wincing in pain. And, not pain related but age related, a couple weeks ago I was looking in the mirror and noticed that I had some hair kinda flying free behind my ears. Thinking I just needed a trim, I tried to brush it back with my hand and realized the hairs were growing on my earlobe. Long ass hairs on my earlobes! I am on my way to looking like Einstein. And seriously, what the hell is it with losing hair on the top of your head and having it grow like weeds in your nose, ears and on your back?
My wife told me something funny that Emma said the other day. They were watching "Hey, Arnold!" and this old guy told the kids to be quiet, and if they weren't quiet they were going to have to move out. So Emma, with a serious and slightly scared look on her face, turned to my wife and asked, "If Sara and I make noise are we going to have to move?" I love kids literal logic. Today, she was wearing a shirt with a short sleeve dress over the top of it and angel wings, a tiara and carrying a silver magic wand and jumping on the bed. I laughed at her, because she just looked sorta funny and she stuck her tongue out and gave me a raspberry. Then she asked my wife why I was laughing at her. I guess I need to be careful from now on, she is starting to catch on.
It seems like most people like Law and Order: SVU the best, but now that we have all of the Law and Orders the best one is far and away Criminal Intent. Vincent D'Onofrio rules. I can't get enough of the way he figures out how to get under the skin of the people he is trying to catch. It's one of my favorite shows.
We finally got the package that I gave my mom money to mail when we were in the States...in July! In typical mom fashion it took her weeks to actually mail the thing. And then, 6 weeks later she got it back and typically she says there was no indication of why they sent it back to her, but I guarantee you there was something marked on it that told her why, she just doesn't remember or didn't see it. Anyway, she waits a couple of weeks and sends it again. We waited and waited and were about to give up as lost the two seasons of Cheers and one season of Friends that we bought in the States when it showed up last week....8 weeks to the day after she sent it.
And even though I wrote all the above totally random crap, I felt like I didn't really have anything to fill an entry. Just goes to show if I force myself to open the Write and Entry window and just write, I can come up with something, even if it was just banal crap.
Monday, September 26, 2005
So that's a relief.
Don't have tons of time so I will relate only one other little observation unrelated to my mother. I have learned the hard way that you should never, ever say nice things about your kids. Case in point: Things sleeping-wise have been wonderful, both kids in the same room (though Emma goes to sleep in our bed and gets transferred later because Sara won't ever be able to go to sleep with the excitement of Emma laying almost withing arms reach) and sleeping until 7 or so. UNTIL...I say how nice they have been sleeping lately. I said this Thursday. Since then, not one night of good sleep. Either they are both up in the middle of the night, or Sara one day was up at ten after six. Or last night Sara was up and then Emma was up, both at around 4am and then Sara was all excited and laughing at Emma so I got the sofa and Emma shared our bed with my wife so Sara would shut up and go to sleep. This kind of thing happens every time you say something nice. "Gosh, they haven't had a cold forever!" BLAM, both will get the flu. "Wow, they are playing together so nicely, they never fight!" BLAM a day of complete chaos where they are after each others throats. It never fails. So, compliment them when they do good things, but for god sakes don't ever talk to anyone about how great your kids are.
More to come...
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Eventually the schedule will smooth out and I can carve out some time to write stuff (right now I am writing this at 9:30 in the morning with the wife asleep and the kids (not) watching a video and playing around me). It also gets kind of daunting, what with me not having written anything substantial since before we went on vacation in June (and feeling like I should write something about that trip). I'll get to it eventually.
Right now the only significant news is that I got a phone call last night from my dad telling me that my mom is in the hospital (they are divorced). Apparently a stroke (she is 58), though they are running tests. She was disoriented the night before and had a seizure when they got her to the hospital yesterday. She is on a ventilator and they are running CAT scans and such to see what is going on. Supposed to know more today. This isn't totally unexpected, in an abstract sense. She is not really a healthy person, she smokes way to much and is basically a functional alcoholic (meaning, she spends her days at work sober and then drinks beer all evening, pretty much every evening). So I was kind of expecting something to happen eventually. Anyway, when I know more you will be the, well, tenth to know (pulled that number out of my ass). I will let you all know though.
Anyway, I have to pee and the natives are getting restless so I'll stop here. My wife watches a show tonight that I don't watch (some reality show about fat people from Norway, Sweden and Denmark). Maybe I'll write more then.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
I totally missed something in that post I had from yesterday. Something so big that I can't believe I missed it. There is more on the differences between the preparations done for the hurricanes last year in Florida and that done for Katrina here. The thing I failed to mention, or even think of, was that last year, when each of the four hurricanes to strike Florida were meticulously prepared for, was an election year. And Florida was a swing state.
I'll reiterate that I believe that the governor and mayor have a lot to answer for. Mistakes were definitely made, by everyone involved. The question I think you guys over in the States (I'm an American living in Norway if you are reading me for the first time) need to ask yourselves is: How comfortable am I with thought of the governments' reactions (thats all government, local, state and federal) to a major inicident and what happens if it is a major terrorist attack with no warning?
More of a personal nature to come soon. I'm starting to get that writing bug again.
But what I wanted to show was the following press release from 2004. These are the preparations done for Hurricane Frances by FEMA. The questions that need to be asked are: Since it seems that very little of this was done for Katrina, why? Perhaps it has something to do with who the Governor of Florida is? Or maybe it has something to do with the kind of economic class that happen to live in Florida compared to Louisiana and Mississippi? I don't know, but they sure seemed to really go all out for Frances.
In preparation for Hurricane Frances, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is coordinating a massive response and recovery operation and strengthening the national capability to provide immediate assistance to any community in need after the hurricane makes landfall.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is currently coordinating federal response operations and readiness activities with state and local agencies through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and has pre-positioned emergency management personnel and supplies to ensure a rapid and effective response when Hurricane Frances makes landfall.
The following activities are being conducted to prepare for Hurricane Frances:
*Homeland Security officials are fully coordinating preparations and holding daily video conference calls with our federal partners, governors, and other state and local officials in possible affected states.
*FEMA’s Hurricane Liaison Team is activated at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, to assist with advisories, information coordination and emergency evacuation activities.
*FEMA has deployed an Advanced Emergency Response Team to the Florida and Georgia State Emergency Operation Centers to facilitate state requests for assistance. Rapid Needs Assessment Teams have also been deployed to these states to provide support as necessary.
*FEMA has deployed emergency response teams and pre-staged critical commodities such as ice, water, meals and tarps in various strategic locations for immediate delivery to residents in affected areas.
*The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at FEMA’s request, is coordinating the staging of 100 truckloads of water and 100 truckloads of ice.
*A first shipment of 30,000 tarps is en route to Atlanta, Georgia to be pre-staged for delivery to areas affected by Hurricane Frances once the storm has cleared.
*Four Urban Search and Rescue Teams have been deployed to Florida and Georgia for immediate deployment if needed and Mobile Emergency Response Service communication units are available to provide telephone, radio and video links in support of response and recovery efforts.
*Five Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) and one Veterinary Medical Assistance Team have been activated or deployed to sites in Florida and Georgia to support medical facilities and hospitals that are not fully operational following the storm. An additional seven teams have been placed on alert, assembling teams and loading equipment in case they are needed. The DMATs comprise doctors, nurses and medical technicians trained to handle trauma, pediatrics, surgery and mental health concerns. DMATs also bring truckloads of medical equipment and supplies with them.
*Five pharmaceutical caches containing emergency medical supplies are being pre-positioned in Atlanta, Georgia, and Tampa, Florida.
*Preparations are being made for Disaster Field Offices and Disaster Recovery Centers to be established in the hardest hit areas within 72 hours after a federal declaration. This will allow impacted residents to receive disaster assistance as soon as possible.
*The U.S. Coast Guard has pre-positioned helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to support response activities. Several cutters and boats have been relocated to safe harbors throughout the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast and inland waterways to await the passing of the storm. The U.S. Coast Guard is also broadcasting hurricane advisories and warnings to mariners along the hurricane’s projected path and coordinating area harbor safety committees to prepare ports and minimize potential damage. Following the storm, the Coast Guard will assist with post-hurricane response and recovery operations to aid navigation assessment and repair, marine pollution response, search and rescue operations, and support to other agencies and humanitarian aid.
*Aircraft from Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement will help transport FEMA officials to and from sites and will fly over the storm’s path following landfall to collect high-resolution images for damage assessment. The remotely sensed data will allow FEMA to better target areas needing immediate disaster damage assessment.
*The Department’s Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection unit is assessing the vulnerabilities and potential impact to critical infrastructure located in the storm’s projected path. Based upon these assessments, Homeland Security will be prepared to work with private sector partners and state and local government officials during the recovery phase.
*Homeland Security is working with the American Red Cross and other volunteer agencies to ensure sheltering and critical needs are met immediately. More than 350 shelter sites have been identified by the American Red Cross for those displaced by Hurricane Frances.
*FEMA is working with the General Services Administration to analyze vacancy rates of various safe housing options (including apartments, homes, RVs, time shares, mobile homes, hotels and motels) as part of a pre-planning temporary housing strategy for those whose homes are severely damaged or destroyed.
*FEMA is working to provide 10 trailers full of generators at the request of Florida that will be used to provide power to critical facilities affected by the hurricane.
FEMA contract inspectors are ready for activation, with surge capability providing for up to 15,000 inspections per day within 14 days of activation.
*All the National Processing Service Centers (NPSCs) are fully staffed and ready to register and process disaster assistance applications immediately. The Internal Revenue Service has provided additional operators to support tele-registration operations.
*Homeland Security is encouraging citizens living in the areas of projected impact to take precautions immediately by reviewing emergency communications plans, stocking water and non-perishable food, storing additional ice in the freezer, and checking batteries in a battery-powered radio so that instructions provided by local emergency management officials may be heard and followed. Most importantly, if ordered to evacuate, residents should do so immediately. Additional information about emergency preparedness can be found at www.ready.gov or www.FEMA.gov.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
So stay tuned, all zero of you readers, for more silence.