Dec 27, 2002

Feil måte å starte dagen på: Våkne til nyheten om at Kjell Aukrust er død. :-(

Dec 26, 2002

I'm superstitious about spiders. I jinx them.

Every so often, one will enter my bedroom or bathroom through my open windows and settle down somewhere on the ceiling. I tend to give them names. Inevitably, after I do that, they die.

A spider moved into my bathroom about 2 months ago. I didn't name it. It stayed in my bathroom, alive and well, until I decided to ask about the hibernating habits of spiders. (Why else would it be on my bathroom ceiling for so long?). I knew I shouldn't. I could feel that drawing attention to it was akin to naming it. And sure enough, as soon as I posted my question on Usenet, the spider was gone, it's web torn. I haven't seen it in several days. I actually miss it.

When I came back to Norway, I took an "Interrail" trip with some friends. This meant bringing our own food. My favorite on sandwiches was the all-American peanut butter and jelly. My Norwegian friends thought it was gross. Well, my dear Norwegian friends, here's more edible grossness from "over there": Reindeer poop.

An alternative in Norway is to take a candy like Toffin (one of my favorites) and deliver the Reindeer poop poem (see link) with it. (Snowman poop includes marshmallows.)

I kid you not. :-)

Dec 23, 2002

(Am testing stylesheets and working on a new layout scheme for my website.)

Keeras juletre/Keera's Christmas TreePå bytur i julestria (juletreet til venstre er mitt og måtte bli igjen hjemme):

  • Gammel dame med stokk og skuldervesken rundt halsen, dinglende foran på brystet, i pelskåpe i full lengde
  • På runde rundt "Lillelungeren", for å se på kaier (det er visstnok en stor koloni med dem på Nesttun – ikke i Fyllingsdalen), og diverse måkearter inkludert den sjeldne hettemåken
  • Man henger opp pynten i Strandgaten uten å holde den tent
  • Akvariet i Star Tours butikkvindu har noen av de blåeste fiskene jeg har sett
  • Malabar i gamle Telegrafen har god atmosfære og god mat, men servicen er litt treg og den norske kaffen var ikke god nok
  • Torgalmenningens mange juletrær veide opp for de manglende lysene i Strandgaten
  • Fuglene i Bystasjon-enden av Lille Lungegårdsvannet er mer skevtne enn de i Festplass-enden. De får oftere mat ved sistnevnte
  • Dette er årstiden for dritne biler og busser. Bergen-Trondheim ekspressen var så skitten at det var umulig å lese noe av det som var på bakenden
  • Julelåter på mobiltelefon med dyremønster
  • Folk som selger kristtorn hvorsomhelst
  • Gamle damer som matchet hverandre: Den ene med Burberry veske, den andre med Burberry skjerf
  • Folk som smiler midt i julestresset nettopp fordi det er jul
  • Jeg smiler igjen. Jeg er ferdig med julegaveinnkjøpene og kan nyte JUL

OK, something is pushing on my Saturn, I guess, which is at 16 degrees of Capricorn. 3 times today I had to get after people who weren't doing their job right. (Saturn and Capricorn rule bosses, if not bossiness.) It wasn't intentional.

  1. I saw a blind couple heading towards my bus stop when the bus arrived. I got on, and then the bus driver immediately started to pull out. I pointed out the couple trying to hurry. The bus driver didn't catch on. More intensely, I again pointed out the couple and that they were blind. (Obvious to me: They had a seeing-eye dog with them.) The bus driver finally waited for them.
  2. I bought a calendar to be gift-wrapped and a book for myself to read. While one clerk gift-wrapped the calendar, another clerk started fiddling with the book still on the counter. I said it was mine, paid for, I was waiting for another purchase. She proceded to put the book in a small bag (that was too small for the calendar). I asked her to just leave it because I didn't want two bags. She didn't hear me. I ended up taking the book out of its bag myself.
  3. Coffee shop. Ordered a pasta dish and a glass of wine. Sat down. Expected the drink to arrive rather quickly. After a while I realized that wasn't going to happen, so I went back to the cashier/waitress and asked if I couldn't have my wine now while I waited for my food. The look on her face told me she'd completely forgotten about it. I got my wine immediately.

I have to laugh at things like this. It's like there's a theme for the day. I was in town with a friend and he said it was a stressful day. Oh? I said. Did you know that the Moon is in 16 Leo right now, squaring Venus at 16 Scorpio? Moon is, among other things, the public and emotions. Venus is, among other things, a hostess, someone meant to make you feel at ease. The two were at odds with (square) each other for a while today.

Dec 18, 2002

Today we started the work day with a so-called Christmas breakfast, music and carols. Part of the lyrics in the Christmas carols we sang are about praising the our Saviour who ensures us eternal life and the end of death. In "Mary's Boy Child" the line is "[...]man will live forever more because of Christmas day". Which always gets me thinking.

I am not Christian, though I was raised in a Christian culture. I believe in reincarnation. Christianity just doesn't make sense to me without reincarnation, but today's Christians talk as if there is only this one life. So I decided to go Googling. I found this article series on Christ and reincarnation, www.near-death.com/origen.html (Origen's thinking echos a lot of my own). For the record, the claims at the above site are refuted at this Christian site. This is, however, the modern view. There have been councils held, where theology and doctrine were discussed, and interpretations settled and some even discarded – which includes reincarnation.

Dec 15, 2002

One on-line comic I enjoy is Real Life Adventures. Today's strip helped a penny drop for me. In Norway, there are no double-sized duvets, i.e. nothing big enough to cover two. All duvets are single-sized (this probably applies to all the Nordic countries). That makes sense in a cold climate; it keeps your partner from stealing the covers.

Dec 9, 2002

Litt oppgulp i dag: Jeg har oppdaget hva som er en "rød klut" for meg: Når folk snakker om USA og bruker frasen "God's own country". Den frasen irriterer meg. Den har alltid irritert meg, selv da jeg bodde i USA. Jeg synes den er tullete. Gud finnes overalt. Pussig nok er det kun et par Amerika-frelste nordmenn som har brukt frasen overfor meg. Jeg hører den ikke av amerikanere – annet enn som ironi.

Jeg sliter med å være like begeistret for USA nå som jeg var før. Jeg er så veldig uenig i mye av det USA foretar seg, både innenriks og utenriks. Selve folket er hyggelige og oppegående nok. Det er styre og stell som er problemet. Men det er et kjent problem også her til lands: Nordmenn flest er hyggelige og intelligente; norske politikere er noen idioter. :-)

Dec 7, 2002

Som de sier: En god gjerning går ikke ustraffet. Jeg måtte jo fortelle gjengen på no.it.os.mac.diverse om bloggen min. Ettersom jeg hadde vært på julebord og hadde prøvd et par forskjellige akevitter (mer om det senere), signerte jeg posten min med "Sånn. Nå har jeg også postet med promille." (Lagret for alltid hos Google.)

Hvorpå Knut A. G. Hauge (KAGH) kvitterte med følgende "luke" i sin egen adventskalender 2002 Det verste er at jeg ler like godt og høyt hver gang jeg ser den stripen.

Dec 5, 2002

Jeg er svært glad i bisarr humor a la Gary Larson. I bladet "Pondus" finnes en likeverdig galning med signaturen KAGH som lager en-rutes vitser i beste Larson/Bizarro stil. Noen ganger enda bedre, og som bonus: Ofte så norsk at det er uoversettelig.

Knut A. G. Hauge bruker Mac og det gjør jeg også, og vi vanker begge på no.it.os.mac.diverse. Nå figurerer han på www.trondheimstegnerne.com/.

Jeg er litt rar sånn: Jeg blir får stjerner i øynene av å få kontakt med folk som faktisk har fått publisert noe. Jeg føler at jeg "kjenner" KAGH fordi jeg (og flere andre) en gang prøvde å hjelpe ham med et noe sært Mac/Photoshop problem og trykke-deadline nærmet seg styggfort. Vel, jeg synes i hvert fall at det hele er kult hver gang jeg leser KAGHs striper.

Dec 3, 2002

Today's my birthday! I got a new toy: A digital camera! Hopefully I'll be able to show you some of the things I observe. That also means revamping my blog page.

It's been an intense day in a cheerful, scatterbrained and busy way, but then, not only the Sun is in Sagittarius; so is Mercury, Moon and Pluto. Adds up, all that Sag cheerfulness, distraction and multi-tasking. ;-)

PS: I'm finally feeling better about the situation with my grandma. We had a delicious birthday cake together today.

Ever notice crows? The ones where I live are black and gray: Black heads and beaks, gray shoulders and belly, and black wingtips, tail and feet. I just noticed that their beaks are so smooth they reflect the light. A couple of crows are wandering around on the terraced roof of my office building. For a moment I thought they had white beaks, until I realized it was the sun reflecting off them. The same light makes their black heads look very black and glossy.

Crows are not as pretty-looking as magpies, but they seem more magical. There is the "kråketing", as the Norwegians say, the crow's congress. The crows gather by the dozens in one tree and seem to hold a meeting. Their close relative, the raven, is featured in many mythologies, including the Norse. The god Odin knew what was happening because of his two ravens, Hugin and Munin (pronounced Hewgin and Mewnin).

It was actually relaxing to just stop for a moment and watch the crows wander lazily on the gravelled roof, taking a closer look (peck) at what may be interesting, in the soft, golden light of the low winter sun.

Dec 2, 2002

Pop, pop, pop a pill
See how it makes you feel
See if what makes you ill
Goes away
Pop, pop, pop a pill
See how it makes you feel
See if it takes away your ill
Today

I just found out my grandmother has been put on Zoloft. She has been in a reconvalescent home after breaking her arm, has been quite horrified at what the others look like (how infirm and old they are), has osteoporosis and a joint infection and so has a lot of pain, and she's been homesick. The doctor asked my grandmother how she felt, my grandmother answered "terrible", and the doctor concluded she is depressed. My grandmother thinks Zoloft is a pain-reliever. Right now, it's side-effect is to give her more pain.

I am an irritable person but I rarely get angry. Today I got so mad I yelled at the doctor (who yelled back and called me names) and I've had a knot in my stomach all day. The doctor did not agree in taking my grandmother off Zoloft at home to see if her mood would improve once she was away from the institution (and if it didn't, put her back on Zoloft). That's why I got mad.

I can't do anything. My grandmother is in possession of all her faculties and she herself answered "yes". (Everyone is conveniently forgetting that my grandma is 92 and does not speak Norwegian nor understand it well, and the doctor is herself a foreigner with an accent so thick even I couldn't understand her.)

It's too easy for some doctors to tell you to just pop, pop, pop a pill.

Dec 1, 2002

I opened the balcony door a bit so the cat could go in and out. Suddenly the cat rushed back in, low to the floor and I heard magpies making a racket. I guess they had discovered the cat. I went and stood in the balcony doorway. There were four birds in the birch tree opposite my balcony: A chickadee, a starling and two magpies. Some more squawking from the magpies, and two more settled in the tree, along with another starling a couple more chickadees. As I watched, over a half-dozen chickadees arrived to settle in the top of the birch. One "dive-bombed" my balcony a couple of times.

I thought of the Hitchcock movie "The Birds" and then got curious about where "The Birds" author Daphne du Maurier got her idea from. Turns out, she got them from seagulls, and she describes a site I've seen a lot here in Norway.

That said, I wish I had a camera. I didn't mind seeing all the birds in one tree, though my cat was reluctant to go back out on the balcony.

Nov 27, 2002

Jeg vet aldri helt hva jeg skal synes om denne tiden på året. Visst er det fint med jul og alle aktivitetene, men jammen kommer julen tidligere og tidligere og det kan bli for mange aktiviteter på en gang.

Værmessig er det rett og slett kjedelig i år. Det er bart på bakken, det hender det blir +2 og kanskje litt duskregn, og så hender det at det blir -2 og kanskje speilis i gangveien. Jeg savner vinden. Jeg savner en skikkelig rengjørende plaskevær, gjerne med stiv kuling.

Dog, selv dette kjedelige har sine øyeblikk: I går kveld jobbet jeg litt sent. Gikk fra kontoret 17:30. Da fant jeg ut at jeg ville gå rundt vannet på min vei hjem. Måtte ha bevegelse og uteluft.

Jeg gikk forbi stokkendene som gakk-gakket mykt for seg selv, til lyden av en klukkende bekk. Jeg gikk langs en sti varmet av gule lys. Jeg stoppet opp og så rett opp på stjernene og kunne bare konstatere at jeg, utenfor sentrum, nå bor i en BY, med utrolig mye lysforurensning.

Lyset... Det var litt tåkedis innimellom haugene, litt utvisking av konturene, litt spredning av lysstrålene. Samtidig var det et hinne av is på hele Ortuvannet, slik at der jeg stod og så på blokker og gatelys som speilet seg, minnet det faktisk om kveldsbilder fra syden med lys mellom trærne. Men det var ikke syden, det var Fyllingsdalen, og det var vakkert og jeg var veldig glad for at jeg valgte å ta den lange veien hjem.

Nov 26, 2002

I used to live here. Well, not in the Apple Store at the Glendale Galleria, exactly, but in Glendale. What's changed since I left is that highway 11 (the Pasadena freeway) is now interstate 110 and the Galleria is much larger. It was big when it was built, too. "A mile long," we all said then. Open, airy, two levels, brick on the outside. OK for a mall.

Me, I'm not into malls per se. I like bookstores and novelty stores. I remember standing in the Galleria outside one shop that sold neon signs and novelty gifts. You could get a big red neon heart, or a see-sawing "fish tank" filled with colored oil so you have your own wave. I'm just like a magpie. If it's colorful or sparkles, I want it! Perhaps it's a good thing I was a broke student most of the time, huh. :-)

Colorado Boulevard, on Galleria's south side, borders on the Los Angeles river and the part where they painted the drain covers to look like cats, inspired by the shape of the covers' hinges.

Farther east from the Galleria, on Broadway, is Glendale high school which is where I went for two years after coming back from Norway. The view on the picture on the site is looking across the quad at the administration offices and library. John Wayne is said to have gone to Glendale high school though not in the buildings that exist today.

Nov 24, 2002

I had a friend over. He asked about my astrodice. I brought them out and we gave them a try. There are three 12-sided dice, one with planets, one with signs and one with houses. Toss them and get an answer based on the planet, sign and house that shows up. My friend had no particular question but tossed anyway and up came 9th house, Neptune and Cancer. I didn't have a particular question, either, but said that the dice could show the current frame of mind or situation, if nothing else. I got 9th house, Neptune and Virgo. How about that! We couldn't quite figure what that meant but were amused that we both got Neptune and 9th house.

My friend and I settled in for a night of movie-watching. First we watched a video, "The Straight Story", a story about a guy who travels clear across Iowa on a lawn-mower to visit his estranged brother. Then we watched on TV "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier", wherein the usual gang get hi-jacked to find Eden and go to a part of the Universe no one had gone to before. When that movie was over it hit me: Neptune rules movies, the 9th house is about long journeys and religious matters. The first movie was about a man trying to make amends with his brother, while not straying from his culture or roots (Cancer = family, roots, home). The second movie was about finding Shangri-La, Eden, Paradise, etc. A place of perfection, which is Virgo's area.

Now, how did the dice know that? ;-)

Nov 22, 2002

I came across an article about the Moon and health. zodiacal.com/articles/geisler/moon_health.htm. And this one about finding health in the chart, starting with the planet that rules the Ascendant. www.zodiacal.com/articles/rozhon/health.htm.

I'd like to add something about IBS: What I meant by oversensitive, is a purely physical reaction in the gut. The intestines just happen to be very responsive. But, I see just about every ill as psychosomatic, as having a connection to the emotions and thinking. The body and mind are one, in my experience. I'm sure that whatever makes me eat something that will upset my stomach, probably has an emotional or mental cause. I actually have good health; things that upset my body end up teaching me a healthier way to live in general, both physically, spritually and emotionally.

Blogger's been a bit iffy these last couple of days, but it – and I – are back.

My thoughts this week have been centered on my stomach. That happens fairly frequently and all my Googling has confirmed that what I have is IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If you have this, too, here are a couple of links I've found useful: www.ibsgroup.org and ibscrohns.about.com/index.htm?terms=ibs.

There is astrology to this, too: IBS seems to have no particular cause except oversensitivity. I know I'm pretty aware of and curious about my body's functioning. Health in a chart (which looks like a pie chart in 12 slices) is shown primarily by the 6th house (the 6th slice of pie), secondarily by the Ascendant (1st slice of pie) and 8th house, and by the natural sign and planet of the 6th: Virgo and Mercury, respectively. The 6th house is also your environment, your surroundings, including your work environment. If you are sensitive, you will react that much more.

Here's my chart: In 6th, I have the Moon (feelings, nurturing) in Gemini. The 6th house cusp (where the knife divided a larger slice into 5th and 6th) is also in Gemini. An Air Moon, especially in Gemini, tends to Think Too Much, sometimes, but it also is why I seek information, especially about my health. I also have in my 1st house a bunch of Capricorn planets, which means my nature is to Take Things Very Seriously. Opposite my Capricorns, is a planet in Cancer. Cancer is a worry-wort. Cancer is also ruled by the Moon. My Moon is in my house of health. So there is a tie-in from one pondering facet of my chart to another, facets that need conscious work to keep me from thinking myself sick, for example. (Hence my interest in affirmations.)

Now, why my gut and not my teeth (1st house/Capricorn), for example? 6th house is the natural house of Virgo. Virgo rules intestines and digestion. Both Gemini and Virgo are ruled by Mercury; Gemini's typical complaint has to do with lungs, while Virgo's is bowels. The focus in my chart is definitely Mercurial. When I was a kid I frequently had bronchitis.

So, I'm a "classic" for IBS: I'm very sensitive to my environment (Moon in 6th), I think a lot about it and thinking can lead to worrying, especially with Cancer-Capricorn in the mix. Mercury rules the mind and mine's in emotional Scorpio. The subconscious nail-biting is the worst, and is what hits my stomach.

Believe or not, this relatively long entry is barely scratching the surface of exploring health through astrology!

Nov 20, 2002

Decisions, decisions. To see "Signs" with Mel Gibson or "Blood Work" with Clint Eastwood. Tough call. If I go by who's starring, my choice is Clint.

I was a little too young for the Dirty Harry movies and spaghetti westerns, so my first introduction to Clint Eastwood was the movie "Every Which Way But Loose" and its sequel. I liked the orangutang and Ruth Buzzie better. Then I saw him in the 1989 picture "Pink Cadillac" and discovered he had more than one facial expression and a good deal of humor. Since then I've liked him. Clint's a Gemini. Clint's Saturn is in Capricorn, like mine, and is only 3 degrees from my Jupiter in Capricorn. No wonder he (and I) had to age first before I noticed him!

Mel Gibson just – is. I neither like nor dislike him, although I think he's a good actor. I really liked him in "Forever Young". Mel's a Capricorn and his Sun is 2 degrees further on than Clint's Saturn, which puts it closer to a conjunction with my Saturn. Perhaps that's why his charm has a harder time getting through to me.

Nov 19, 2002

Full moons always seem lovelier in the winter. More suited to it, in a way. Right now Bergen is covered in frost. Nice, fuzzy frost. At night, the full moon and street lamps make everything glitter and the clear sky above reveals brilliant stars. There is one thing about the night sky in Norway: You can't see the Milky Way clearly. Well, maybe you can. The Swedes call it "the Winter Road". Nice, huh.

The most noticeable constellation for me is Orion, with its characteristic three stars in its "belt". I always associate Orion's Belt with winter.

The Big Dipper is clear too and is called Karlsvogna in Norway. According to this page in Norwegian about Greek gods and astronomy, Karlsvogna is actually the goat-drawn chariot that the Norse god Tor road in. (Karl is related to Charles, a name meaning "man" and vogn is wagon). Hence the Norwegian name of the Big Dipper.

Nov 18, 2002

I decided to blog for fun and what do I do? I turn it into a guilt-trip. By not being around for a good while. Again. I have no idea who reads this but I figure the regulars want something to read. On the other hand, maybe you've been rilly, rilly bizzy too and appreciated the break.

The busy part seems universal. Autumn's like that. There's a sudden WHOOSH of frenzy, of tons of stuff to do. It hits everyone. And I've also found that creative juices ebb and flow along with other parts of life.

On Blogger's front page, I read: "Over 750,000 people have started. Isn't it your turn to say what's on your mind?" I haven't had anything in particular on my mind. Oh, there was some bits and pieces, but I wasn't inspired.

Odd, huh. A bit like going fishing, and seeing there's fish in the water, but not one bites. Oh, wait, there was a nibble, naw, it's gone. Sometimes the thoughts that pass through my brain looking for the Exit sign, just wanna stay inside and watch a movie and eat popcorn or something. Sometimes they're simply too young to be let out on their own. Too incomplete, too small, too insignificant. Most act like soap bubbles: They float a bit and then burst and are gone forever. Which is too bad, because some were quite pretty; there was a story in them.

Ah, well. The marsh that is my mind will experience agricultural run-off soon enough and once again be fertilized if not fertile.

Oct 23, 2002

Jeg kjenner lite til Oslo. Derfor leste jeg følgende websted (som opprinnelig var som en weboppgave for lærere) med stor interesse og fikk et glimt av "tigerstadens" mer folkelige side. Det er noe ved å oppdage hvordan det var en gang i tiden, noe med hva som trakk mennesker til et sted i utgangspunktet, noe med hvordan dagens travle, forurensede, bråkete by egentlig begynte som aldri slutter å fascinere meg. Å oppdage historien forteller mye om hvorfor folk kan bli glad i en by.

Oct 21, 2002

Fote seg, fote seg. Små, forsiktige skritt. Er det is eller bare vått?

Det er hålkeføre. En typisk vinterdag i Bergen.

Det snødde lørdag. Riktig vakkert var det, med store, myke flak som fløt i vinden. Vakkert for den som satt inne og ikke måtte være ute og kjøre, for eksempel. Hadde nå snøen ikke lagt seg – eller lagt seg skikkelig! Men dette er Bergen. Derfor måtte det ligge et lag med slaps til søndag – da det regnet.

Det regnet akkurat nok til å bløte opp snøen og forberede den på det neste, uunngåelige ved Bergen om vinteren: Å bli hålke. For det er jo klart at temperaturen måtte synke rett under nullpunktet etterpå.

Trærne har ikke sluppet alle bladene ennå. Dermed er det bare flekker under trærne hvor snøen ikke nådde – et uvanlig syn, men veldig hjelpsomt for en fotgjenger.

Det neste man gjør i Bergen er å be om mildvær, gjerne regn, for å få vekk hålken.

Den forbaskede, men åh, så typiske hålken.

Se deg for!

Oct 18, 2002

I got an involuntary "holiday" from blogging – first by being really busy and hardly home, and secondly by not having Internett access for a day.

So, since last I've been reading up a bit more on Quaoar. This article also has a nice picture showing the relative sizes of Earth, the Moon, Pluto and Quaoar. Quaoar is a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), and Pluto may be one, too.

The Moon... American Lunar Society currently has some great pictures of it.

While we're on the subject of astronomy: Here's a web site created by astronomers, but is has nothing to do with the skies. Rather, it's a site for those who care about the Norwegian language and the correct spelling of its words. Så hvis du er norsk, og bryr deg om språket – eller kanskje du lurer på hva særskriving er for noe – så er Astronomer mot orddeling noe for deg.

Oct 13, 2002

I'm not used to being sick, so this past month has been unusual for me. However, I told all my friends that by this weekend, I would be well.

I had no idea how extensive my healing would be.

The sort of abscess I had is due to, according to Louise Hay's book "You Can Heal Your Life": "Anger in relation to what you don't want to release."

I had been fuming over, been resentful towards someone who had hurt me last summer. Someone I thought was a friend, accused me of doing some pretty vile things while visiting. I was shocked to receive an e-mail from X weeks after I got home, with these accusations, since while I was visiting there was no hint anything was wrong. We haven't communicated since.

But it did get to me. And due to whatever divine timing there is in the Universe, I got the abscess. So, I spent a sleepless night imagining that I was having a conversation with X. You can do that, when someone you need to clear the air with is physically unavailable to you. Have a conversation with them in your head. It can help you get things off your chest and move on. In my case, the conversation was pleasant and understanding, though not conclusive, but I did feel more at peace.

Then, a couple of days ago, I learned that X had said mean things about and to several other mutual friends. I realized then that my case was not unique, and that it wasn't just me; this was just how X is.

I felt relieved. I felt vindicated. I am free of that past. I am healed.

Oct 11, 2002

The moon was incredible this evening! It hung low and large, like a huge wedge of well-aged cheddar. I actually got hungry looking at it! I wish I had a camera so you could see it, too, completely filling the gap between two high-rises.

I have an update on my voyeuring, too (see Oct 1*): The little girl's room is being redecorated. Now that all the furniture is taken out, I can see that a mural was painted on her wall, featuring a meadow of flowers and what I believe is a cat. I have also since seen the occupant of the Victorian-inspired sitting room. I would have thought someone old or someone foreign, but it looked like a plain Vanilla Norwegian. One thing I've noticed: The light is always on in that room and the drapes are never closed. The owner generously shares his gallery with passers-by.

*) I just can't seem to get automatic archives, so I'm working on creating them manually. Sorry for the inconvenience. :-)

Oct 10, 2002

The big discussion amongst astrologers this week is Quaoar, the new world found beyond Pluto. The astrological discussion is about what Quaoar will represent symbolically.

There was a similar discussion when Pluto was discovered. Some of the things in the news at the time of Pluto's discovery, were the Depression and nuclear power. Here's part of a reply I made on the newsgroup alt.astrology:

Make a note of the news events that happened at the same time the discovery was announced and what happens in the following year. That should give you an idea of what energies and trends Quaoar would be associated with. That's what they did with Pluto. That's one reason why it is associated with nuclear energy.

Right now, I'd say the freakish weather we had this summer and the stir in the Middle East should give us some idea of what Quaoar may be about. Nothing plain vanilla, for sure. :-)

And who is Quaoar? A Native American god who came down to Earth to create order out of chaos, and then the animals and then us. Funny thing is, he's from my neck of the woods, Los Angeles. :-)

Oct 9, 2002

Took the day off to go with my grandma to the hospital. A one-day adventure for both of us. Neither of us are familiar with the hospital, really. Rather fun to see how they take X-rays, what the employee cafeteria is like, and seeing other sections of the hospital. We gals browsed the newsstand together, too. And all the news was good: Grandma's broken arm is all healed.

It's odd pushing someone around in a wheelchair. My grandma doesn't like going too fast, so I didn't move as fast I would without her. That gave me the sensation of being in slow-motion in a sped-up world, because everyone else was moving at their (my) usual pace. I also had to change my thinking when meeting others in the corridors, especially ones pushing hospital beds: I had to stop much earlier with a wheelchair than if I were walking, simply to make sure nobody had to swing; neither us with the wheelchair or the others with beds. I have no experience manouvering wheelchairs. I goofed a couple of times, but not badly. :-)

Oct 8, 2002

It looked at first like the worst possible timing: The only time my dentist could see me was the exact same time I had a doctor's appointment. But my tooth ached and due to other circumstances, I didn't have much flexibility. The fact that my tooth had started to ache in the midst of other health issues seemed liked lousy timing, too.

I dashed off to the dentist, a bit worried. Something was stuck between my wisdom tooth and molar. I thought it was a bit of my gum, since it hurt to touch it. I also thought it would heal on its own. It had been like that for a couple of weeks. The dentist saw some inflammation. He pulled out the "gum". It was a husk from some grain.

Stupid of me not to check myself? No. It was a blessing in disguise. My dentist noticed that my wisdom tooth was already interfering with my bite and that it will become a bigger problem. I had sometimes wondered about whether or not to keep it. Now the Universe has acted for me. My dentist pulled the wisdom tooth. Actually, he levered it out, nice and easy. I was in and out in 25 minutes and we joked the whole time. My pulled wisdom tooth is now in a little box together with another wisdom tooth I had pulled. No more problems.

It's like whatever's happening now, is a sort of spring cleaning – "Take care of this, look after that." – saving me trouble farther down the road. I was supposed to have a small piece of grain husk irritating me for two weeks.

Oct 7, 2002

I've had a bit of a woo-woo weekend. It isn't just the Full Moon that brings out the whackos; they/we are out and about on a New Moon, too.

A friend of mine, who's psychic (I claim) and gives Tarot readings, and I went to a movie. Afterwards we went looking for a café she'd heard had someone who would read your fortune in coffee grinds. We found a restaurant that looked right and decided to try it. Persian food and Persian decorations. Very lush, very nice. Woo-woo experience No. 1: The restaurant was in the same place a New Age bookstore used to be, and I used to give readings at that bookstore.

After dinner and enough red wine to keep me happy, my friend volunteered to give me a Tarot reading. I was quite pleased with it. That's woo-woo 2. We ordered Turkish coffee just to give it a try. And then the woo-woo stuff just kept rolling. The restaurant owner had heard we were looking for the coffee-grind reader. He was him. He read our coffee grinds, my friend gave him and his wife a Tarot reading, and I did his astrology chart.

Sunday I watched a new show on TVNorge, "Fornemmelse for mord", which is all about psychics helping people solve unsolved crimes in Norway.

Definitely an "out there" weekend. I love this stuff! :-D

Oct 6, 2002

Someone told me Mars was now going to be visible next to the new Moon. I tried to see it this morning, as the Moon rose above the mountain, but it was overcast. :-(

However, in trying to find some information about this, I came across Astronomy at Talcott Science Center. Here, under monthly events, I read for October:

"On Oct. 6 the Moon reaches its second closest perigee distance of the year (356,918 km). With a New Moon occuring at nearly the same time, extra large tides will occur." Just so you know.

Oct 3, 2002

Leaves falling from birch trees like gold rain. A gentle drizzle brought on by the lightest touch of breeze or bird. Beautiful!

I've noticed that the birch trees change color regardless of the temperature. I think they go by amount of daylight. As the days start to shorten, they start to turn yellow and then gold and then rusty orange. In the dimness of twilight, the leaves seem to shine.

There is a birch tree right outside my living room window. It has shown me that I have made some wrong assumptions about trees. I've been taught they shed their leaves and then go to into a sort of state of suspended animation until spring, doing nothing all winter. Not so! In February, the birch tree's naked silhouette becomes subtlely less naked: It puts out flower buds – long, knobly things. There may still be snow and freezing temperatures for another couple of months, but the tree is doing something, regardless.

Oct 1, 2002

I'm a voyeur. Autumn evenings make it so easy. People don't always close their drapes.

I look in the windows of the apartment buildings on my walk and see pieces of life and variations in taste. One children's room in one apartment is painted red. The sibling's room is bright yellow. I wonder how well they sleep. In another apartment, the walls between the children's rooms has been knocked down. In their place is a Victorian-inspired sitting room, crowded with paintings and knick-knacks. The walls are soft green and the couch is dark red velvet. What catches my eye is the bright green mushroom-shaped lamp which is always on. One little girl's room of 6 square meters is crammed with young feminity: Soft pink walls, round mirror with white whicker frame, bed with white chiffon draping, dainty figurines covering the white chest of drawers, teddy bear occupying a whole corner. Other rooms I see on my walk show average sloppiness: half-closed drapes; an ironing board leaning against the window; clothes draped over a chair; books in a pile on a shelf; a poster breaking lose from the wall, one corner at a time. Two apartments almost a building apart have the exact same curtains in the bedroom.

There are sounds, too. Voices that penetrate the glass of closed windows. Someone bangs a pot in the kitchen. From one open bedroom window I hear a guitar being strummed. From another, a flute is played with errors. Music practice.

I love autumn. In the dark, the lit rooms of complete strangers become my own personal entertainment. In the dark, the lit rooms glow with warmth and welcome. Makes me wish they weren't all strangers.

I don't know why, but this picture (and its title) always makes me laugh. NicePussy_closeup.jpg. I click on this link whenever I need a pick-me-up.

I don't know why, but this picture (and its title) always makes me laugh. NicePussy_closeup.jpg. I click on this link whenever I need a pick-me-up.

Sep 30, 2002

Ah, spam. Can't say I've eaten the stuff, but I certainly have read some. ;-) Today's is "See my little sister Jenny naked!" Which reminds me: I have pictures of Samantha Fox with no clothes on. No, really! I have one of her in my couch and another in my bathroom. Check out home.online.no/~kafox/Sammy.html.

P.S.: Did you know that "Samantha" is an Arabian name that means "one who listens"? I didn't know that when I named my cat, but it sure fits.

Sep 28, 2002

What I like about foreign fashion magazines are the perfume samples, the pages that have scent on them so you get a whiff while reading an article. It's a little bit of luxury.

Sometimes I wonder why we like the scents we do. I prefer light citrusy, floral types and some tree scents. My current favorite is The Body Shop's Moonflower. I love the scent of roses but wouldn't wear the scent. I love the scent of vanilla, too - in food, not on me.

But every once in a while I take a bath with essential oils in it. My favorite scents then are orange and germanium, but I use all sorts of oils to accomplish whatever it is I need: Fighting off a cold, relaxing, easing muscles, focusing. Then I use lavender, eucalyptus, ylang ylang, jasmine...

My enjoyment of scent seems to be connected to my Moon, which is in Gemini. I have yet to fall for the musky scents or Oriental spicy ones I've read are suitable for Sagittarians. I do not care for musk and heavy spicy scents. I'd certainly never have them on my body.

Sep 27, 2002

Rather fun to be watching the Norwegian news and suddenly hear that Lofoten is going to compete with California and Hawaii – as a surfing paradise. Lofoten is an archipelago directly north of the Arctic circle. It is dramatic and beautiful, and apparantly offers some great waves. It's not news to the surfers; what is news is the increase in popularity. Here is one personal account I found on the web.

Here is an official tourist site for Lofoten, which is pronounced sort of like LOW-foe-tin. You can also travel there with the coastal steamer, Hurtigruten.

The best starting point for getting there is where I live, of course: Bergen. ;-)

Sep 26, 2002

I got all excited. On VersionTracker (my favorite place to go to check for software updates), I saw this today: "Beertje 2.6 - Bear floating on the screen". I read it as "beer floating on screen". Knowing full well that in the world of computer programming – and computer programmers – this makes sense, I went to have a look. That's when I saw the little teddy bear icon and stopped being excited. Oh, well.

Sep 25, 2002

For some of us, the question about what to be when we grow up, is perpetual. It just seems unanswerable. For the past couple of years I have had some serious discussions with myself about what I want to do with the rest of my life, what job or activity will truly fulfill me. Lately, those issues have become so conscious, they are the topic of discussion between me and my friends.

Astrologically, I have Pluto transitting my 12th house, opposing my 6th house, which means the issues of spiritual service (12th house) and plain ol' work (6th house) have been in focus and the desire is transformation (Pluto). Recently, the Lunar Nodes (Dragon's Head and Dragon's Tail) have also been transitting these houses in my chart, and currently are triggering my natal Sun (sense of self, identity, core desires) as well as my natal Lunar Nodes. The Nodes are considered karmic, meaning that they deal with large issues that have to do with our (spiritual) growth as a person. They are one area of the chart that can show what you are to grow into.

No wonder my mind is constantly churning around issues about finding what I have to offer the world, and what will truly make me happy.

Sep 24, 2002

I have come across a web site that presents new words in the American language. Perhaps not even in the dictionary yet. Check out www.wordspy.com and see what "meterosexual", "social swarming" and "bridezilla" mean.

It's tea and candles time. Outside there's a north wind, it's raining, and it's dark out. Only a month ago the sun would have still been up, the evening long and fair. There's nothing to do about it, but enjoy the change, and light some candles to chase away the dark and brew some hot tea to chase away the cool.

Sep 22, 2002

When I was a kid, I hated autumn. The dreariest, grayest time of the year. As an adult I realized I was focusing only on that period after the leaves have left the trees and before the cold and frost really set in. Now I appreciate the beauty of autumn. The multitude of colors that trees and bushes offer up, the crispness of the air, the softening of the sun, the whole sense of change now makes this a beloved time of year. It is like the grand finale of a great musical: You know it'll be over once the music ends, but in the meantime you are totally engulfed in the spectacle, enjoying every second of it.

For mine venner i Bergen har jeg laget et værvarsel for Bergen (lavlandet), basert på astrologi. Se hovedsiden min.

Flags are flying today in Norway. It's the birthday of the Princess Mäaut;rtha, older sister of the Crown Prince. It's also my grandma's birthday. And contrary to popular belief, not all Virgos are fixated on details. Well, the irritating details. ;-)

Anyway, a couple of friends who also enjoy astrology are coming over to join me in visiting my grandma (cake and sherry are already packed, and, yes, I do sort of feel like Little Red Riding Hood). And I have to get the house looking a bit better. Here's some help and inspiration if you are as lousy at housekeeping as I am: FlyLady.net. It's very encouraging to be told that you can do anything for 15 minutes. :-) It's also very encouraging to see just how much you can get done in just 15 minutes!

Now, I'm going to set my timer and get the vacuuming done!

Sep 20, 2002

Hvis du har sett artikkelen i VG i går om påbudt ID-brikker på katter, så kan det være greit å vite at hos www.dyreidentitet.no kan du få mer informasjon. Kjenner du nummeret på ID-brikken til et dyr, kan du søke etter eierens info her.

Sep 19, 2002

I love jigsaw puzzles. Here's a couple I have found online. www.jigzone.com offers a daily jigsaw and a whole archive of puzzles, and you can choose the number and type of pieces. www.shockwave.com's daily jigsaw offers a new puzzle every day with helpful features like isolating the edges only. Requires a Shockwave plug-in.

Sep 18, 2002

Today is Independence Day in Chile. I found that out from the sweet Chilean nurse who put my grandmother to bed tonight at the reconvalescent home. Norway has a lot of Chilean nationals, people who came here as refugees after Pinochet came to power (with the US' blessing) in 1973. Sometimes I'm embarrassed to be an American when I meet Chileans but that's me; the Chileans I've met haven't reacted negatively to my nationality.

I didn't ask the nurse if she'd be having epinadas, which is traditional food on Chile's Independence Day, but I assume she will.

Sep 17, 2002

Well, hasn't it been a while! I have still been busy looking after my grandma and her affairs. I've been visiting her regularly, trying to keep her in good cheer, and that takes time. So much so, that I started to feel I didn't have enough time to myself. So, I got sick.

I actually got an abscess that is placed such that I can sit only in certain positions. Now I'm going through the new experience of having my bandages changed daily. But the human body impresses me mightily. For both me and my grandma, the same rule applies: The body insists on healing. Progress is constant.

It's pretty amazing, really. We don't control our healing processes at all. The body does it automatically and it knows exactly what to do. With a little help (proper care, antibiotics), it heals perfectly.

Aug 16, 2002

Miss me?

Yesterday I spent a while troubleshooting my boss's computer. Then I simply had work to do. Have hardly been home with my computer there these last few days. Been busy visiting my grandma in the hospital and taking care of things for her.

I like the bus ride to the hospital. The bus takes me through Bergen's more exclusive part of town, Kalfaret. A tree-lined street with old gardens leads to a view of the city from the south. Kalfaret is old homes, old money, mansions, style, times gone by, a breather in a modern, efficient, right-angled life. I usually don't have any business in that part of town so I'm enjoying the sightseeing.

There have been some tourists on the bus, too, because the hospital is right next to a tourist attraction: The lower station of Ulriksbanen, a cable car that takes you to the top of Bergen's highest mountain, Ulriken. http://radiobergen.org/ulriken/cablecar.htm.

Aug 14, 2002

Har nettopp hatt en interessant prat med en kollega bosatt i Laksevåg om nedbørsmønstre i Bergen (finn frem et kart hvis du ikke er lokalkjent). Laksevåg ligger i en "solgate". Lyderhorn sørger for at det regner i Loddefjord, og ellers går alle skyene inn til byfjellene. Dermed går også Nordnes klar, mens Landås får skyllebøtter. Verstingen er dog Sandviken, som får hele 1200 mm mer nedbør pr år enn hva Nordnes gjør!

En kronikk om vestlandsværet og hvorfor klimaet i Bergen er som det er, finner du på http://www.bt.no/meninger/kronikk/article64797. Jeg har dessverre ikke klart å finne artikkelen om forskjellene mellom bydelene. Ikke ennå.

Aug 13, 2002

Stuff I've learned this past week:

  • Breaking or fracturing a bone hurts also because you injure the protective sheath around the bone.
  • The aurora borealis is a year-round phenomenon, but you can't see it during the summer in the land(s) of the midnight sun because it's not dark enough.
  • Cats can't retract the claws on their rear paws.
  • Within 10 hours of travel in any direction in England, you'll fall off.
  • If you're irritated, remove the irritant or accept it. Yelling doesn't help.
  • No one's ever made booze out of reindeer milk before in Norway, but now they're going to try.
  • Good quality make-up goes on easily and comes off easily.
  • To keep mosquitos away, set up a fan and blow 'em off.
  • Four friends, four rakes and one empty, plastic soda bottle = a good game of lawn-hockey.
  • If you hit CTRL-Z in the Windows version of Internet Explorer, you go right back to your homepage and lose everything you typed in your blog...

Aug 12, 2002

So I was telling a Norwegian friend about my blogging, using the verb "blog" without translating it, just giving it a Norwegian flare: "blogge". Whereupon my friend could inform me that "blogge" actually means something in Norwegian. He quoted the dictionary:
"blogge v1 (norr bloðga, av *blod) skjære, stikke fisk slik at blodet renner ut, jf *bløgge."
It basically means to cut (the main artery of) a fish so the blood runs out, the first step in cleaning a fish. The root of "blogge" is Old Norse blood.

PS: The funny d above (ð) is the Icelandic letter "eth", also used in Old Norse. If you need to find HTML-code for funny letters, try here: http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html-spec/html-spec_13.html.

Aug 11, 2002

Yesterday Mars was exactly conjunct the Sun. Yes, this is astrology again. Mars rules all sorts of things: Sex, will, play, blood, accidents. Someone with Sun conjunct Mars in their birth chart may be very ambitious and even hot-headed. ("Conjunct" means together. Exact means one was sitting in the other's lap, not just side by side.) The accident part hit my grandmother. She fell yesterday and broke an arm. She said she wasn't thinking. That's both Mars and Sun: Impulsive, rash.

For those of you who know a lot more astrology, at the time of my grandmother's accident, Sun/Mars were semi-square both Ascendant and MC. Leo falls in my grandmother's solar 12th house and she is hospitalized. Also, the Moon (people, women) was applying to a square to Saturn (bones, confinement).

What I wrote yesterday applies to Norwegians, too. Or basically anything you don't know anything about. What made me think of it was a documentary about herring research in Norway, and the commentator called one Norwegian was called "Oyshtine" (at which point I yelled, "We're not Germans!") and another "Leef". You'd think that whoever was doing the documentary knew the names of the people they worked with. "Øystein" is pronounced sort of like Oystine, and "Leif" is pronounced Layf. If you're going to use names like that in your story, know at least how their owner would pronounce it.

Aug 10, 2002

I read the novel "The President's Astrologer" by Barbara Shafferman. It was a satisfying read, also astrologically, which isn't easy to pull off in fiction.

Books and stories that involve astrology usually don't do well. Unless you want to explain a lot to the reader, you can't include a lot of astrology. And if you do start doing "chart interpretation" in your story, unless you're skilled in astrology yourself, you may make mistakes that irritate any astrology-savvy readers. (And those are the ones who will read your astrology-laced story, aren't they.) You have to proceed with caution.

Shafferman shows the astrological charts of her president and vice-president in her book. I noted that the chart of the vice-president didn't match the description of the V.P. It added extra suspense to the story for me and, as it turned out, that chart did provide an essential clue. That's why it was satisfying astrology. :-)

Aug 9, 2002

Just came across this: "Old enough to know better, but too young to resist." Yep, that fits!

A friend has fallen into the classic trap: She's down because her boyfriend hasn't called (guys – CALL!) and is reading about his Sun sign, focusing only on the negative. That sort of focus is one trap and not limited to astrology. The other is in thinking that astrology is only about Sun sign.

Your Sun sign is your core self, but is modified by the rest of your chart which involves other planets besides the Sun and other signs besides the one your Sun is in. Sort of like having a bunch of houses, all with matching foundations, but each house and its yard is different. That's why you will never be exactly like someone else with the same Sun sign as you.

Got myself distracted, didn't I. Am planning a trip to York, England, and then on to Paris, France. That's a good distraction, isn't it. :-)

Am travelling with an American who didn't want to see cities. I think it's because she's seen only US cities. Cities in Europe, no matter the country, are always more exotic than cities in the US. The buildings are older, all the street signs are different from American ones, and the streets are hardly ever straight. The city centers are usually very compact and easy to get around in on foot. It's like European cities are founded around a town square, while American ones are founded around a road.

Aug 7, 2002

While looking for something else, I came across this little tidbit about toothpaste: The abrasive used in commercial toothpaste, hydrated silica, is actually crushed opal.

I like opals. I think they are one of the loveliest gems around. I love the play of colors they have. See www.thaigem.com/dis_opal.php.

I like the idea of having crushed ones in my mouth.

Aug 6, 2002

I'm at work. It would be nice to have something to be completely immersed in but it's a rather slow day. I keep looking out the window. The weather outside is outright terrific! Right now 22C/72F in the shade and blue skies.

Current weather report for Norway: The Norwegian Meteorological Institute. For my province: Hordaland. Who wants to be stuck in an office?

Sunshine, gentle breeze... I think I will just leave.

Whoops! My co-worker beat me to it. He just left with the cheerful parting, "It's too lovely to stay here." Somebody has to man the place until official closing time (3:35 pm) and that somebody is now me. Well, it's only for another half hour.

Aug 5, 2002

Well, it's back to work after my summer vacation. After work today, I sat out on the balcony and listened to a neighbor's child cry and cry and cry. The sound of the crying suggested that the kid was unhappy or angry, not hurt. In between, I could hear the child speak. "Ah, the Terrible Twos," I thought. When the child starts to assert its will. That corresponds with the first of what astrologers call the Mars Return.

A "return" is when a planet returns to the same place it started from in a horoscope. It's one turn of a wheel. A return starts a new cycle for that planet in your horoscope. Mars' cycle (orbit, actually) is about 22 months long. So approximately 22 months after you're born, Mars returns to the same spot in its orbit it was on the day of your birth. A Mars Return.

Since Mars is the planet of will, assertiveness and aggression, you can see why it fits with the time in a young child's life when it first realizes it may want something its parents won't let it have: So how to get around that – successfully, without losing the parents' love? Mars is: How do you assert yourself and how do you react to others doing the same?

Aug 3, 2002

Curious about what Google would look like on acid? If you have Flash, here's a different way to view your search results: http://www.kartoo.com/. It looks like mind-mapping. At least it's not just another list! :-)

More info on the end of the world, according to the Mayan calender. This is from an outfit called New Heaven, New Earth:

MAYAN CALENDAR MISCONCEPTION
(News Brief 48, Friday, February 14, 1997)

Some New Age Millennialists are claiming that the world will end in 2012 because they are under the impression that the ancient Mayan Calendar signals the end to the fourth creation of the cosmos at that time. What they don't realize is that archeologists have now deciphered Mayan texts showing that on the crucial date, the universal order will be reinforced, not destroyed. According to Linda Schele, a Mayan expert at the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS at Austin, the Mayan calendar actually extends well into the 50th Century. (JG)

I'm also told that this time also corresponds with the ending of a kaliyuga, a 26,000 year Hindu "age". This is also known in the West as a Platonic year.

Jul 31, 2002

Went and got my hair cut today. I have been going to the same hairdresser for 20 years. I have not had the same cut, though. My hairdresser is bold and creative and gets me to try new things, while taking into consideration that I have very fine, straight hair.

There are two things I always look for first when I move to a new town: A hairdresser and a dentist. My hair and my teeth are important. I also don't switch once I find a hairdresser or dentist I'm happy with. I've also been going to the same dentist's office for 20 years (my original dentist died several years ago, though).

There is an astrological reason for this: I have a bunch of planets in Capricorn in my 1st house. Here's the translation: Capricorn represents longevity or things that take time. The first house has to do with appearance. One of my Capricorn planets is Saturn, which rules bones, including teeth. Another of my Capricorn planets is Venus, the ruler of beauty and things feminine. My longest relationships have been with my hairdresser and dentist. ;-)

Jul 30, 2002

Every Tuesday (my time) I check out "Comics I Don't Understand". I can't remember now how I came across this page, but I enjoy it. It's a good laugh. There are also links to About.com's crime news so I get to read about some of the criminal (and legal) idiocy going on in America.

Speaking of which, the US Postal Service has its own investigators for crimes committed using the mail. I am now watching – for the 3rd time – "The Inspectors", a movie about two postal inspectors who investigate a bombing. It's been given a so-so rating in our local newspaper, which I think is too low. The movie's intelligent, the two main characters are three-dimensional and I love their interaction.

Jul 29, 2002

Be careful what you ask for; you just may get it. *giggle*

Someone posted this in the body of a post on an astrology newsgroup: "Basic chart drawing". One skeptic gave this reply: http://www.gimp.org/. Well, I thought it was funny. (Also made me wish I had Unix – just for a moment.)

Anyway, if you are wondering where to get a basic astrology chart drawn, there are the powerful and free on-line services of Astrodienst.

Jul 26, 2002

One of the nice things about the commercial Norwegian TV-stations, are their weather forecasters. The cutest guys are on TVNorge. Take a look here and go down the row of photos to where it says "Værmelder".

For the other half: Want to check out Norwegian blondes? They're on TV2. Go here and check out the pix at the bottom (you'll need a Flash plug-in and frame-aware browser). The one at the very left, Siri, is a gorgeous scientist. Yes, they exist in real life. She's a meteorologist and founded the weather forecasting firm Storm Weather Center.

What made me think of this? I just saw the weather. :-)

Jul 25, 2002

I use a Mac. One of the keys on a Mac keyboard is the Command key, which sports an apple (like the logo) and a "feature" symbol (illustrated here). This symbol is used on road signs in Scandinavia to show historical sites or sites of special interest (like museums). This page gives a good description of how this symbol came to be used on the Mac and on the road signs, but what I can't find is what the symbol originally meant in Viking times (if anything). Can anyone tell me or point me to a web-page?

Jul 24, 2002

Am watching the news. Weather is nuts in Turkey, there's a heatwave in Moscow – and a huge asteroid may hit the Earth in 2019. It's named NT7 and if it hits, it will disrupt our atmosphere and climate for years. Feb 1 2019 is the first time the asteroid will cross our orbit. So, do we worry? Weeell... Does make me think of the Mayan calendar, which ends on the Winter Solstice 2012. Some people seem to think that this means the end of the world. Why else would the Mayans not continue their calendar? This piece of writing – unverified as it is – gives an easy-to-understand explanation (there's a reference to a rather technical astrology article). You may have heard that there's a huge cycle of about 26,000 years. The Mayans believe that cycle ends on December 21 2012. It's the end of an age, not the end of a world. Big difference.

But let me share something incredibly beautiful with you, another "gift" from outer space: Taken from the Kitt Peak Observatory, here is a stunning view of the Eagle nebula. Enjoy!

Nothing like a new toy. Something new to fiddle around with and learn from. I have the Moon in Gemini. That means, when I was born, the Moon was in the tropical sign of Gemini. I say "tropical sign" so you know I don't mean the constellation Gemini because the Moon wasn't actually shining against a backdrop of stars called Gemini when I was born. That's the difference between astrology and astronomy.

Anyway, the point to mentioning Moon in Gemini is that it is part of what makes me love having something new to fiddle around with and learn from. Gemini makes for inquisitive and restless minds, and needs constant mental stimulation. So today I learned how to "hardwire" the colors I want for my blog and had fun with that little discovery.

Jul 23, 2002

Det vil hende at mine tanker er på norsk. Det skyldes at det som hendte, hendte på norsk. Som i dag, da en som heter Annette lot oss på no.alt.undring se hennes rotter, som denne. Og akkurat denne lille, brune rottefrøkenen var den som fikk meg til å tenke på en annen, norskspråklig opplevelse – som også ble en aha-opplevelse.

Jeg var innom zoo-forretningen for å kjøpe en del ting til katten min, og mens jeg stod der, klar til å gi ekspeditrisen pengene mine, oppdaget jeg noe rørte seg på kragebenet hennes. En brun rotte. Et nydelig, sjokoladebrun dyr, med både blanke øyne og blank pels. Som på bildet til Annette. Nysgerrig og trygg flyttet rotten seg rundt halsen til ekspeditrisen, med en kroppslig eleganse jeg aldri forventet å se i en rotte. Og jeg var forbauset over min egen fascinasjon.

Ekspeditrisen fortalte villig vekk. Rotter er intelligente. Så intelligente at de reagerer kun på eget navn, som en hund gjør. Derfor ville ikke ekspeditrisen gi rottene i zoo-forretningen navn. Ekspeditrisen selv hadde tre rotter hjemme. På jobben ville hun ta ut en og en fra burene og la dem få en "luftetur". Men navn fikk de ikke, for at ikke det skulle bli forvirring når ny eier ville kalle dem noe annet.

Og tankene mine svirret. Jeg hadde sett i zoo-forretningen at rottene var de eneste gnagerne som viste noe som helst interesse for det som skjedde utenfor burene deres. (Jeg har siden latt meg fortelle at hamstre er utrolig nærsynte, så de ser ikke det som utenfor burene deres. Men likevel...) Jeg tenkte videre på kinesisk astrologi, på det at rotten er det første dyret i den kinesiske dyrekretsen (jeg selv er født Rottens tegn). Rotten ser ut til å være det eneste dyret som klarer å overleve i radioaktive områder.

Jeg tror rotten er bedre enn sitt sykdomsspredende rykte.

This may become addicting. Or not. Anyway, today the Sun goes into Leo and we enter what are known as the Dog Days, best known for heat and milk turning sour. How did lions and dogs get mixed in together? I just found out myself at http://starryskies.com/Artshtml/dln/4-98/leo.html. More Leo stuff: The Egyptians worshiped Sirius in the days of the pyramids and before. The Sphinx originally had a lion's head but with the change in religions, the lion had to go (sort of like Christians adopting Yule as the birthday of Christ). Back when the Sphinx was made, the constellation Leo rose on the spring equinox. Today we see the constellation of Pisces.

Tomorrow the Moon will be full. Right now it's still in Capricorn, on my Saturn, approaching my Venus, so of course the first thing I did was go edit the colors of my new blog – to something a bit Saturnian: Muted (the original colors were rather pumpkinny). :-) Venus rules beauty and harmony and at the time of this writing, Venus was rising at my latitude and longitude (60N23, 5E20). Capricorn itself has nothing to do with it. Signs are a way of seeing if the current movements of the Moon, for example, are touching something in a person's own birth chart. I have Saturn in Capricorn, the Moon is in Capricorn. It's a bit like a letter actually ending up in the mailbox according to the address on the envelope it's in. BTW, the Yule reference is typical Saturn, too. :-) Think Saturnalia.

My first blog... This is all new to me. When I went to research what blogs are, I discovered an entire subculture on the Internet, with a special format and mode to the pages (like being able to view a single blog on its own page) and with bloggers linking to each other.

I'm not a journaler, really, but sometimes things do catch my attention, especially if there's an astrological spin to it. That's why I've called my new blog "Astroblog".