Monday, September 30, 2013

Starbucks in Trondheim

Just opened, Trondheim's first Starbucks. Yay, or ewwwwww?

Friday, September 27, 2013

A bird in the hand

Our cat Sjoko brought Maggie a gift... a bird.

The bird was mangled, bleeding, and lying very still in shock. We fetched the hamster cage from the garage and the girls made the bird a nice clean bed, gave her seeds and water, and set the cage in a safe and warm place. Anna named her "Tina".

"Is she going to live?" Anna asked.

"Probably not," we told her. "But at least she can be comfortable and know that she is being taken care of. And that's important."

The next morning, Tina was flapping all around her cage! The kids released her in the backyard and she flew up into the tea garden, where immediately a huge magpie swooped in to attack. ("Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!" (anyone know the quote?)) I ran up the hill throwing rocks at the Magpie. Magpie flew away, Tina disappeared into the trees, and Anna stopped screaming. Good luck Tina!

Anyone know what kind of bird this is?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Green with red becomes red with green

Pam's been painting the house little by little. It's getting there. The neighbors, bless their souls, seem more amused than annoyed!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekend at the hytte

Pam and I stayed the night with friends at the beauitful cabin on a fjord about 2 hours west of Trondheim. We made our own sushi and fish soup and drank wine and danced until late. The next morning we went boating on the fjord and saw some local sights. It was fascinating to hear stories from the past about the communities around this fjord, a real slice of local lore and history that we wouldn't get anywhere else.

We visited two islands out on the fjord, one with a public park and the other to visit another cabin with other friends who were visiting.

It was a great visit: good friends, good food and good times.

Anne, Pam and Gerd making sushi

On the menu for tonight!

Dancing to "What does the fox say?"

The view outside the door when I woke up

Churchyard and cemetery on the fjord

Windmills on Hitra


This building is floating!

Arriving at the second island

View from our other friends' cabin

Saturday, September 7, 2013


The anime convention is in Trondheim today and tomorrow, and Maggie has headed off to meet her friends. Yesterday she put her costume together, and it came out great. She is James from Team Rocket. (That's in the Pokémon universe, of course.)

Team Rocket blasts off at the speed of light – surrender now or prepare to fight!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Climbing class

Peter started climbing class tonight. He signed up for intermediate junior class, ages 13-16, making him one of the youngest in the class. He wasn't nervous about that, saying he'd rather be the worst in the class than the best because he would be challenged more. Good man!

Pam took him out yesterday to buy an equipment pack. He has a harness, belt, shoes, chalk bag, and an assortment of exciting tilbehør (accessories). He was totally jazzed.

The course is at the new Utehallen on the water near Dora. This place is impressive. The floor footprint is not so large, but the climbing possibilities are huge. The tallest part is 17 meters with climbing faces that slope inwards. It's fantastic.

After the course, Peter was thrilled that he was about middle-of-the-pack in terms of skill level, and that the time went by so very quickly. A good first day climbing!

A pic from their website:

Outside of Utehallen is the giant megaphone that was for a short while downtown. I wondered what happened to it, here it is, now pointing directly at Munkholmen. Cool!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bathroom finally finished

We bought the house almost two years ago, and I just finished the bathroom. Here's a retrospective...

The bathroom was the original 1950s styling when we moved in. The water heater was over the bathtub, there were separate faucets on the sink for hot and cold. The tile was awful and falling off, the fixtures were chrome plastic, and it had a paper towel dispenser like a public restroom.

We put in a new water heater in the closet and a new sink with a blending faucet. I redid the plumbing for the bathtub faucet and shower myself, working with the location of the copper pipes as they were. It was very creative, looking kind of steampunk.

 It worked great, but now plumbing was all over. Up an down the walls, across the floor and ceiling, snaking around corners in the closet. Here's the old layout:

And for laughs, when you would turn on warm water from the sink here's the route taken by the water from where it enters the room to where it comes out:

Early this year I made a plan for doing the rest of the bathroom. It would be a big job. First I pulled all the old crazy plumbing and put all new plumbing myself, a simple and elegant layout.

Then I cut out the old bathtub and removed that. It was cemented to the floor on steel legs. Look at this nightmare:

It's our only bathroom and there was a long way to go before tiling and we need to bathe. So I installed a new tub in the now really really really ugly room. The tub is a corner spa, with heater, jets, and foot massage. Awesome. Practically new. $250 on

We lived with this for a few months. Dreadful. But a very nice bath. Felt like living in a cave.

After summer, I pulled the sink and tub again, scraped the walls, and put up backing boards on all the walls. Finally, it looked civilized. I built a box around the exposed pipes in the corner. Nice.

I then reversed the bathroom door so it opens outwards instead of in. That bathtub is very large. Having the door open out doubles the usable floorspace.

Last weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I removed the sink again and shifted the bathtub around. I tiled all the walls with 30 cm x 45 cm matte white tile with blue mosaic accent work.

Finally, it's beautiful. And in only took 22 months.