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Play at work with Lego and then Golf

posted on 15th May 2009 under Habits, Nature, Sports, Spring

This post is actually a contribution to my beloved wife, Diane and of course I’ll get back to that – because she is worth it! Besides, this is to be an easy and carefree post without a lot of facts and history, just playful and fun:

Let’s start with a glimpse into my professional life; not that it happens that often, but I had a meeting with daVinci, a consulting company and part of the international Devoteam consulting group. What I like best about them, is that they challenge their customers perception of what is possible, to let creativity flow, spread enthusiasm, and generate activity, while at the same time taking responsibility for the change process.
We met Alex Kielland who is their CKO (can you figure out what that title mean?) and Catherine Janson who is an excellent work group facilitator and calls herself an enthusiasm-evangelist. Typical for daVinci; in front of their conference room, they have a table full of Legos and I was thinking: I just have to share this with my blog friends:

Working Creative with Lego
RennyBA warming up with Lego before a meeting.

Then back to Diane; you see she has something to celebrate and I called it a week a bit early this afternoon to share some quality time at the local golf course. You know I love my wife and I love being out in the nature – as well as sharing some precious moments and views with you. So at some of the tee’s I grabbed my Nokia N82 mobile phone to share it with you:
Golf in Norway at Spring #1 Golf in Norway at Spring #2
At Haga golf course in Bærum, close to Oslo, Norway.

Whether you like golf or not: admit that this course out in the forests gives a recreational atmosphere. Its just 10 minutes drive from our house and these wonderful hills is a great ski trails in the winter time.

Last evening, we had a champagne celebration. You see what we are celebrating is that Diane has delivered her master thesis which she has been working on for about a year! So please click; go visit her and congratulate her with achieving an important goal in her life!

There are more celebrations to come. Sunday is the 17th of May and that’s not just an ordinary date in Norway: It’s our constitutional or National Day. My regular readers know I have posted about it for four years. So those who want to recall – or those who want to read how we celebrate this day the Norwegian way – read my last posts:

17th of May Parade in Norway
17th of May – Norway’s National Day in Oslo
17th of May – Norwegian Constitution Day

So stay tuned: There will be a new 17th of May post and this time from Oslo, our capital. I know King Harald and Queen Sonja will be there too!

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Opening of the Golf Season at Spring in the Nordic

posted on 7th April 2009 under Nature, Sports, Spring

Opening of the golf season in Norway and Sweden is another of our spring rituals. From my last posts, you’ve seen spring is in the air in Oslo city as well as on the countryside. Since its the Easter season, we are at our vacation home in Sweden and here spring is a couple of weeks ahead of Oslo. The snow has gone, snow bells, crocus and daffodils have start blooming and today we’ve had 18C (65F) and sunshine. It was a perfect day to add a milestone to this years calendar; the opening of the golf season – so when a friend asked if I would play, I was thrilled. To me the weather condition was perfect and no problem playing, as long as you know how to dress right (click all pics – taken with my Nokia mob phone – to bigify and enjoy):

Nordic Spring Golf #1

You may notice that the tee, fairway or even green, isn’t exactly green yet and the trees have only a few buds. Still, after months of winter, snow and ice, not even wild horses could keep us away. To me it’s another proof of the beauty in the significant four seasons and makes you enjoy each and one of them even more – like being able to start playing golf again.

Another reason for wanting to play again is that it is very social and recreational. To go out in the nature – so beautiful – fresh, quiet and far from urban stress is a perfect way to charge your batteries. If I told you we also saw some foxes in the woods, you probably get the idea. Adding to that, we had a nice chat about all and nothing – about how much we enjoy life and family and our loved ones – about our summer and vacation plans – and a lot more. So let me introduce you to my friend and his perfect swing:
Nordic Spring Golf #2 Nordic Spring Golf #3
My friend even wore shorts – but then again he is even more of a Viking than me :-)

Some think golf is all about clubs, strokes, score cards and the competition. If so, you have to think again, or at least to me it’s much more. It’s all about relaxation, about enjoying nature and life – about making friends and developing friendships – or to make it short; A thrill money can’t buy. So if you ask who won, I can’t tell you. I made a couple of holes on par and some on a new record of amount of strokes and my partner put up a big smile each time he hit the ball. Other than that, we both won – We won the opening of this years golf season in Sweden – and that’s not bad, since we both are Norwegians :lol:

Btw: My regular visitors know I’ve been to Brussels together with my wife and she even met our blog friend Gattina in Waterloo. Don’t worry; I will post about this wonderful weekend in the days to come and you can already read some about it at Diane’s and Gattina’s.

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From icicles to summer green We love the Four Seasons in the Nordic

posted on 13th March 2009 under Habits, Sports, Winter

I love winter and snow because of the fresh & crisp air, the way the sun and the moon gives a reflection & special lightening and the scenery you get just after a snow storm in Norway:

Icicles in Norway

This picture was taken outside my living room window some weeks ago, but could have been from today as we had another big snowfall yesterday. I live in an Oslo suburb, 100M (328F) above sea level, so we normally get a bit more here than in the city and we get the spring flowers a couple of weeks later too.

I’m not a masochist, so it’s not the cold in the winter time that engages me – besides, you know my saying; ‘There is no such as bad weather, only bad clothes’ – and I’ve learned how to dress for being outdoors to play for a whole day, so the scenery brings me wonderful memories from my childhood. However, with spring soon knocking on our door, it’s the change in the season and the fact that the nature will break out of hibernation with warm, sunny weather and longer days that fascinates me. I think living with thesa significant changes, makes you appreciate the first flowers peeking up from the snow (snowbells and crocus) and the leaves on the trees and like magic, the scenery has changed:


This picture is taken out of the same window in 2007 the 17th of May (Norway’s constitution day), only two months from now, so it’s not even full summer yet. That’s what makes us ‘survive’ and manage through the winter, even when we have to shovel snow from the roof (click all pics to bigify and admire the shovel work in details):
Snow on the roof in Norway #2 Snow on the roof in Norway #3

While I’m at it, I’d like to show you another example of the significant change in the nature and how we’ve learned to love the beauty in both of them. Diane (my wife) and I had another quality time at our vacation home in Mariestad, Sweden, some weeks ago. It’s close to the lake Vänern (north Europe’s largest lake) with wonderful beaches and great scenery too:
Winter at Lake Vänern in Sweden #2 Winter at Lake Vänern in Sweden #4
Left: Skiing with your dog on the lake. Right: Picnic by the shore.

Sandviken Beach #2 NordicFall Beauty in Mariestad, Sweden #1
Left: Sun bathing and swimming at the same lake. Right: Kite surfing in fall at the beach.

I hope I won’t lose your interest if showing examples from the same spot in Mariestad city:
Winter in Mariestad Sweden #2 NordicFall Beauty in Mariestad, Sweden #4
By the town square alley in February and in September.

So now you know Renny is back on track again; proud of Norway and the Nordic country and the appreciation of each of our four seasons. Thanks to all you regular visitors and commenter’s on my last post where I reviled more of my professional life. I’m glad you didn’t give up after the first paragraph, but read through and got it in the end. I loved all of them, e.g. EastCoastLife, who said: ‘My eyelids were getting heavy when I was reading the first two paragraphs.’ :lol:

I’m also happy to report that I’m back on track again for another reason too: Some might remember my complaints of a sore back and problems with typing. I did not want my blog to turn into a sickness journal, but the main cause was tension in my muscles due to stomach pain. For months, I’ve been to many tests as the doctors thought it might be a tumour. Thankfully I am now able to tell you about it because this week my doctors have gone in with a camera and believe it is just an ‘innocent’ cyst from a strong infection. They took samples but the doctor expects them to be okay. Thank you for bearing with me.

As proof of the pudding that I am getting back in shape and happy to enjoy the snow; here is a picture of me and my wife breaking out the skis near our home some weeks ago:
DianeCA and RennyBA skiing in Norway #1 DianeCA and RennyBA skiing in Norway #2

Please notice my good old ski wear (click to bigify) which I have been using since the 70’s. Skis and wool lasts a good while you know!

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Lindsey Van & Anette Sagen make Woman Ski Jump History

posted on 20th February 2009 under History, Sports, Winter

A new milestone in Ski Sport was made today; The first time ever that women ski jumping has been included in the Ski World Championship in Nordic Events taking place at Liberec, Czech Republic. Lindsey Van from the United States won first place, Ulrike Grässler from Germany won second and Annette Sagen from our own Norway won 3rd. There was 39 competitors drawn from 13 nations, including French 13-year-old Coline Mattel, who recently finished in third place in the World Junior Championships.

Annette Sagen has been one of the forerunners in fighting for the right for women’s competition in ski jump, so we are especially glad that she took a medal in this historic event. Women’s ski jumping is long over due, and it is a shame that the old men in the International committee have kept women out of the sport for so long, arguing that ski jumping is too dangerous for women.

Anne Sagen Flying. Photo: Leonhard Foeger, Reuters/Scanpix

I also hope and believe that an American winner will create a greater international interest so that new women ski jumpers will be recruited and many will follow the Olympic Games next year. See you in Vancouver Feb. 2010, there will be a lot of Norwegian women there too!

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Biathlon Bjoerndalen from Norway World Champion

posted on 15th February 2009 under History, Sports, Winter

Norway’s biathlon legend Ole Einar Bjørndalen made winter sports history today as he won World Championship in 12.5 KM Pursuit. This was his 12th world title of his career, besides five Olympic golds, three silver and one bronze and even more; This was his 86th World Cup race. Only the Swedish alpine skier, Ingemar Stenmark has won the same amount of Cup races. However Stenmark retired in the 80s and Bjørndalen has just started his career. Here you see him edging out his Norwegian compatriot Lars Berger yesterday in 10 KM Sprint:

Photo: Heiko Junge / SCANPIX

I know some of my readers aren’t that familiar with Biathlon, and that this might sound a bit like bragging, however in keeping with my theme of Norwegian culture, I can assure you that biathlon, or Ski Shooting as it is called here is a National interest. Besides, it’s my blog and of course I’ll give it to you with a personal twist:

My regular readers know I met my American wife on the net more than 10 years ago. Of course we exchanged mail before she came over and sometimes I had to tell her about important sports events. At that time I didn’t know it was called biathlon in English, and I described it as ski shooting. Some years later Diane told me that when I described it to her she had a sort of image of James Bond in one of his films skiing down the alps shooting at the bad guys with an automatic weapon hehehe!! Well just to set the record straight, they do shoot at targets, not at each other!!

Since I write about scandinavia and the nordic countries, I would like to congratulate the Swedish women’s team for their win in the Ski Shooting World Championship today too: Helena Jonsson won the 10 km Pursuit!

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