31 May 2012 – sounds cool but what does it mean??

Have been fascinated with this word MEME for a while. According to

an idea or element of social behaviour passed on through generations in a culture, esp by imitation

Information around the web for the term MEME:

  • An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.
  • A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation.
  • A cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); memes are the cultural counterpart of genes.

To be honest, still does not make any sense to me (probably just stupid), will be most grateful if anyone can explain MEME in simple layman language the meaning of MEME! And how do you construct a sentence with the word MEME!! When did such a simple looking word become so complicated??

A posting where I have NO idea what it is about, not even the quote below. With this it is goodbye to the month of May and welcome Jun. Summer has now officially started. Memorial Day marks the start of summer while Labour Day marks the start of autumn.

It does not matter what MEME means as long as you all have a wonderful summer 🙂 🙂 🙂

Certainly almost everything we do and think is colored in some way by memes, but it is important to realize that not everything we experience is a meme. If I walk down the street and see a tree, the basic perception that’s going on is not memetic – Susan Blackmore

The Deer Hunter

29 May 2012 – Without Decoys!

Mon: app over an hour drive south of OSL towards Drammen is the peninsula between Oslofjord and Drammensfjord where the community of Hurum, a municipality in Buskerud county is located. The Old Norse form of the name was Húðrimar. The meaning of the first element (Húð) is unknown and the last element is the plural form of rimi which means ‘ridge’. 156 sq km(60 sq mi) in area with a pop of app 8,000+

First stop was Sand Gård, a farm where lamas grazed. For sale were fresh-baked buns and the biggest skolebrød/School Bread filled with rich vanilla cream or vanilla pudding is a special treat to include in children’s lunches or to prepare for a special school gathering. Delightful outing day for the family and even Olai enjoyed his avocado lunch with the fresh air and the change of scenery. Kayak on the lake paddling by peacefully…

With its rolling hills landscape, it is ideal for the deer hunters to sit on the higher grounds and wait patiently for their preys! Not being a hunter, thus unable to understand the sport of hunting but do agree with controlled and humane hunting, ie when the animals are counted and tagged and only a certain numbers of animals can be hunted every season. In that way, there is a balance with the food-chain in the wild!

Somewhere in this area B has bought deer hunting rights from Aug-Sep. Have not tasted Bambi yet but am told that it is tasty and not as gamely as reindeer. Looking forward to tasting it.

Some interesting overhead bridges, Bærum Rådhus/City Hall and Høvik Church by highway/E6 on the way home. Quite a contrast from the hunting grounds!!!

Balance is so important in our lives. In our busy world, we can give ourselves balance between thinking and feeling – Yakov Smirnoff

Jacob Aall

27 May 2012 – On the street where I am!

Jakob Aall ( 1773-1844) was a Norwegian historian and statesman, published entitled Present and Past, a redaction of his own numerous magazine articles on the history of the antiquities of Norway. Also a chain of restaurants and bar with that name in Bergen, Fredrikstad, Lillestrøm and two in OSL. Sorry, no ratings, have not been to any fo them! Considering that when living in this country from 1974-1985, can count the number of times on one hand where eating in a restaurant was concerned 🙂

Here in Majorstuen, Jacob Aalls gate is a street parallel to the main drag Kirkevien and a quiet charming residential area, well at least many parts of it! Starting with #1 not so interesting but as you walk on it gets greener. Like nummer does not mean the Like as in FB but you can still like the pix here! Means even numbers and for those who are just out of bed this Pentecost and Memorial Day weekend, even as in 2, 4, 6, etc 🙂 🙂

Wish there is a law here to do away with the beggars who are infesting OSL on the main streets corners, this was not so during my stay here in the 70s & 80s. Rather disturbing and an unbecoming sight. At least the Salvation Army was across the road with some life music to save their souls 🙂 🙂 🙂

Olai got his first portable swimming pool here and loves the water. Linn & family bought their first kayak and are cruising on Lake Murray/SC. Serene neighbourhood shop, green patches with the sunrays in between, little kid learning thrash-can etiquette is the only way to stroll down Lala Land on a blissful day in life’s journey 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Have a blissful and wonderful time on this Pentecost and Memorial Day Weekend!

I’m a believer in Ignorance is bliss – Julianna Margulies

26 May 2012 –

This is a repeat from 4yrs ago. After Linn & James took off, the mood to write somehow will not be from the heart. This too shall pass and life goes on.

A relief to know that they are both safe and sound, happily reuntied with the rest of their family in SC/USA. Seemed like quite an eventful journey, having to claimed and re-checked in luggage in BRU/Belgium as she wanted to catch up with AmyJ. 20mins together is better than no minutes. Her suitcase did not make it to IAD/Dulles in addition to flight delay there.

Thank goodness it was better service on UA from BRU to IAD/USA. Must have been tough, with yet another connection from IAD to CAE. All’s well that ends well, her suitcase was waiting for her in CAE upon arrival. Bless her for taking this journey to introduce James to her Norwegian family.

L&M’s Norwegian Family

24 May 2012 – Bye-bye for now Linn & James

Tomorrow they head home to SC/USA but am consoling myself that Sep is not that far away and here is Olai!! Has been a fantastic week with the weather on our side. Yesterday a shopping morning in Sandvika and photo moments in the area at Bærum Rådhus/City Hall designed by Magnus POULSSON

L&M are great-grand daughters of the renowned architect Magnus Poulsson (their paternal grandmother’s father) who designed Oslo & Bærum Rådhus + many well-known buildings in Norway.

Their paternal great great-grand father JohnHALD/I was the first director of Ullevål University Hospital; great-grand father, JohnHALD/II director of Martina Hansen’s Hospital; grandfather, JohnHALD/III built up Tromsø’s Orthopedic department; father JohnHALD/lV, a neuro-radiologist at Rikshospitalet. L&M will have much to learn about and from their extensive families.

Lunch with Ellen and the last time we sat out there for lunch was when John/L&M’s grandfather was still alive (6 Jun 2008). It was also a beautiful day like today and he said the most touching thing, ‘Amy, you know that we worked very hard to get this glorious weather to welcome you’… he died Aug 2008 age 85.

Shopping at IKEA on the way back to OSL and was caught in an awful traffic-jam. Poor James, he was so good and no complains from him in spite of the jam in a non-AC car. Appreciations to B for the use of his car.

Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love – George Eliot

10 Months

23 May 2012 –  of James Life…

Today we celebrated James 10 months and he misses the company of his 4 siblings in the USA! Instead he had to put up with mormor and mormor’s friend Mette who crossed life’s journey paths in the 1980s!

Started another beautiful day with a walk to Baker Hansen where his mommy got a chocolate bun to celebrate baby’s 10 months. He got to enjoy whatever small bits (without the chocolate part!) he could get in his mouth 🙂

That blue chair is exactly the same chair his mommy sat on when she was the same age as James. The pix is in SIN and would have been fun to place the two pix next to each other.

Kept a box of toys from L&M’s childhood days and watching J&O playing with them is like rewinding back to the 1970s…

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities –

I cannot see
I cannot pee
I cannot chew
I cannot screw
Oh, my God, what can I do?

My memory shrinks
My hearing stinks
No sense of smell
I look like hell
My mood is bad — can you tell?

My body’s drooping
Have trouble pooping
The Golden Years have come at last
The Golden Years can kiss my ass

Recap from 2008

22 May 2012 – Now

Nationaltheatret is under renovtion and the summer weather is teasing us with its early arrival.

But how long will that last?? Am just happy for Linn & James with this glorious blue sky when Norway is at her best! Banking and grocery shopping made easy with the sunshine when bringing a 10 months baby out!! As long as it will last during their stay, there will be no seasonal affective disorder/SAD 🙂

I am a contradictory mess but I see it as my prerogative to change my mood like the weather – Shirley Manson

An Affluent Island

21 May 2012 – Nesøya 59°52′N 10°32′Ø

App 30mins drive east of OSL center and  across a bridge near IKEA is Nesøya, a small island on the OSL fjord. An area of 3 km² with a pop of app 3,500 in the municipality Asker. The island is known for having a number of celebrities and members of the Norwegian financial elite among its residents with a nature reserve on the eastern part.

Glad to see that the farm is still there but is it necessary for so many Drive Carefully Children at Play signs?? Lost count of the many speed bumps on this island!!

When we were living here in the 1970s, there was a gravel road leading to the house. On both sides of the road, were only a couple of houses. Today it is a fully paved road with many houses on both sides.

Was fortunate to live in this house when the HALD family was then living in Tromsø. It was and still is a beautiful 3-levels house with a lovely garden. After L&M grandparents moved back, they extended the house and built a play house in the garden.

Appreciations to Ellen & Cathrine (L&M’s aunt) for a delicious lunch where 4 generations gathered. Ellen was in Tromsø for 17 May and Cathrine accompanied her back to Nesøya and to catch up with Linn & James. First meeting with Cathrine was Christmas 1968 when she was the age James & Olai are now! Today she is a proud mother of 5 with her eldest age 18, the same age I was when I first met Cathrine!!

Delicate wild flowers dancing in the rays of sunlight on this first glorious summer day. Sooo thankful to my family and friends.

With the view of the top of Kolsås from Øverbergveien and nostalgic memories to end a Sun visit on Nesøya…

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days – Doug Larson

Public Transport

20 May 2012 – in OSL

Is efficient and on time but expensive. Living centrally has its + and that town is within reach by foot, my usual means of transport within the area! Oslotrikken, the OLS Tramway started in 1875. Today it is 131.4km/81.6mi with 6 lines and 99 stops and a great way to get to the downtown area. All the lines on the system go either through downtown, or, more rarely, terminate there.

It is operated by OSL Sporveier with a daily ridership of over 100,000. Above pix is a historic electrical tram. The price of a single tram and bus ticket ride in the OSL area is NOR30/over S$6.

The other means of public transport are buses, T-bane/subways, trains. The cabs here are very expensive and it must have been over 30yrs ago since my last cab ride here! Waaaay out of my budget!! Eplains where and when the long distant walking started, during my stay in Norway 🙂

Flytoget/express (efficient and frequent) train to the airport takes app 20mins with 1 stop and cost NOK170/app S$36. The cab will empty your wallet -over NOR1,500,/app S$350! Gas here is NOK14/S$3 per liter! L just told me that in SC/USA, it cost US$3.8/S$4.8/NOK 23 per gallon. 1 US gallon = 3.78liter.

M wrote an interesting article on SIN public transport last year titled: SIN Transport System – Advance but it is Sustainable! She is certainly in advnace with her article, as this year the MRT system in SIN is showing signs of wear and tear!!

About 60 percent of the oil consumed daily by Americans is used for transportation, and about 45 percent is used for passenger cars and light trucks – Sherwood Boehlert

Two Daughters

17 May 2012 – and Two Grandsons

Wed: food in the fridge and flowers on the balcony ready for Norway’s National Day, third 17 May in Norway since moving away in 1985!

Thu: a grey early morning heading into town to catch the Airport Express. Pix above were taken before 0800hrs. Will not even attempt to be near this area when the parade starts, especially with 2 grandsons under 1yr!

United Airlines from Newark was half hour ahead of schedule but the service (acording to Linn and I too have exprienced the bad service from US airlines ) was terrible. Poor mother and baby! James is adorable and in spite of his lack of sleep was in good spirits on the train and subway back into town.

It turned out to be a beautiful day and our lunch was the tradition Norwegian smørgårdsbord with our favourite foods, Norwegian smoked & marinated salmon, shrimps, roast beef, potato salad, assortment of cheese, fresh figs wrapped in Serrano ham and for dessert home-made ice cream with fresh blueberries and strawberries and kransekake (delicious cake made from almonds, icing sugar and egg whites) usually served on special occasions.

The babies enjoyed their American baby food brought by L and napped while the two sisters exchanged baby tales!! Grandmother is contentedly happy to have her family together this 17 May. It has been nearly 30yrs ago we celebrated a 17 May together in Norway. Appreciations to M&B for putting us all up.

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world – Eugene V Debs

Those who are not familiar with 17 May and are interested plx check: