celamity: (Default)
Tuesday, December 25th, 2012 08:15 am
A long expected adventure

At dusk, I looked out the window and drew my breath. It was time. I dressed warmly, grabbed the bag I had prepared, and headed for the door. It was quite cold outside, but there was no wind and very few clouds; a bank of grey to the south, and some faint traces of pale pink above me. The crescent moon illuminated the winter landscape. I pulled my coat closer around me and started down the hill. The forest was silent, my boots creaking on the snow the only sound as I passed the icicle-coated cliffs. Upon reaching the bottom of the hill, I stopped and straightened my back. Then, I lifted the lid of the bin, threw the garbage bag inside, closed the bin and walked away.

(Written by me, Jan 27 2004)
celamity: (house)
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 06:13 pm
Hilary Clinton arrived in town yesterday. There was an Air Force One type plane (what callsign would it have for carrying the foreign minister?) sitting at the airport, and two dark helicopters were buzzing around over town all day.
When I left work, I went to my usual bus stop - in a bus transit area that is separated from the airfield by the road that leads to the mall where I work - and saw a lot of police cars and people in yellow vests standing around at the nearby intersections, stopping traffic. We at the bus stop decided she must be heading out of town and talked about that in the oddly trafficless silence. Some ten minutes later, her motorcade arrived, drove up the road that leads to the mall and then turned in a side gate to cross the airstrip and drive directly to their plane. I joked that it was good thinking to drive that way, as the regular security check in at the airport had closed a half hour earlier due to an ongoing strike :D
A bus that would take me most of the way home arrived shortly after that. My regular bus didn't arrive until I'd walked the last stretch home, fifteen minutes late. By that time, her plane had already taken off, heading north (great circles and all that make due north the shortest route to the US). It was odd to see a plane take off and not turn - usually, the only planes that don't turn south are the ones going to Svalbard.
(EDIT: Seems they were going to Stockholm, which is due south of here. They can't even have normal flight plans, I suppose...)

The whole spectacle was entertaining enough to almost make me forget that I'd managed to cut two fingers and a thumb on a small screwdriver just before leaving work :)

(Also? I don't think today was the right day to forget to put my camera in my purse)
celamity: (Default)
Monday, May 28th, 2012 04:32 pm
On this day nine years ago, around 11 pm at the Spokane airport, I met my future husband for the first time in person.

(Our seventh wedding anniversary was last week.)
celamity: (sunset)
Friday, April 6th, 2012 10:21 am
It has snowed 50 cm over the past three days, bringing our total up to this:

celamity: (sunset)
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 07:36 am
Last night (and sunday night) would have been a nice time to own a proper camera. Practically the entire sky was glowing with milky green aurora, forming large ripples and twists that spanned the horizon from northeast to southwest. Some of it was almost bright enough to pick up with my paltry little point-and-click camera :)

(Better equipped people than myself have posted pictures at http://www.spaceweather.com)

Also, the sun returned to us last weekend :)
celamity: (sunset)
Sunday, January 1st, 2012 01:03 am

May the Accidental Firework Butterfly guard us all from crackpotalypse theories of 2012; if they cannot be everted completely, let them at least give us a good laugh or two in their passing.
celamity: (Default)
Sunday, December 25th, 2011 08:04 am
Here's to everyone having a peaceful and happy holiday :)
celamity: (sunset)
Saturday, October 1st, 2011 08:15 am
Thanks to a coronal mass ejection, there was a lot of aurora this week. Unfortunately, it coincided with cloudy and rainy nights.

However, it seems the clouds did break up a little on tuesday night, and this guy was ready for it.

(One of his pictures from the storm is currently NASA's Astronomy picture of the day)
celamity: (sunset)
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 12:09 pm
For six years, I have lived in the town with the world's northernmost botanical garden, which has collections of plants from arctic and alpine climates around the world, as well as a rhododendron garden and a collection of plants that have been used in people's gardens in Northern Norway.

Yesterday, I visited it for the first time.

Flowers! And a magpie, surveying its domain. )

(More photos at Flickr, 14 altogether)

One of the main features at this time of year was a collection of gentians in full bloom, but it seems I didn't get any pictures of them that I was satisfied with.

To my amusement, they did have a Persian hogweed (or tromsø palm, as it is known here) in the gardens, near the Russian section. Its flower crowns were cut off, certainly as a precaution: if the seeds were allowed to develop and spread, there'd soon be nothing else in the garden. They were imported over a hundred years ago by people who wanted them in their gardens, and are now the best known and most persistent local noxious weed.

There was construction work going on in one corner, where it seems they're planning on adding a collection of plants from South America, next to the African collection.

Having seen how the place looks now, at the end of the growing season, I am already looking forward to seeing it in spring and summer next year :)
celamity: (sunset)
Sunday, August 28th, 2011 10:14 am
We went to town yesterday to check out a touring European Farmer's Market, and found people in droves, not just at the market but everywhere.
Read more... )
celamity: (river)
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 07:52 am
So, structures have been found in some 4,3 billion year old rocks in Australia which may or may not have been sulphur-eating microbes. This would make them the earliest known cellular lifeforms, and their metabolism is of a kind that could arise independently of oxygen, such as in a Mars-like environment.

How this is reported in a Norwegian newspaper? With a headline saying the world's oldest fossil shows there might have been life on Mars after all, and the claim that this sulphur-eating microbe is proof that life could arise without the oxygen that is supplied by plants, which apparently isn't something that has been a well established fact for years. (Oh, and just having a sulphur-eating microbe at all is also new and astounding knowledge, it seems.)

As far as I am concerned, this is further proof that you could send certain 'science' journalists to Mars and still not find intelligent life there.
celamity: (Default)
Sunday, July 24th, 2011 11:24 am

Yesterday evening, 11.15 pm.

ETA: We saw a plane land while we watched this rainbow, and I wondered if the people on the plane could see it.
As it turns out, that plane was bringing the local survivors home.
celamity: (sunset)
Sunday, July 10th, 2011 08:25 am
Yesterday was the third warmest day on record up here, reaching 28C at the meteorology institute and breaking 30C several places :) (Unfortunately one of those places was the store I work in, which is where I spent half the day yesterday. I went to work in jeans, but after three hours I felt compelled to go buy a skirt to wear instead)

It's not that I mind the usual summer weather - anything above 15C is nice, and 20C is great - but walking around yesterday without feeling any desire for long sleeves, seeing the heat haze on the horizon (even the growing rainclouds), being able to stand barefoot outside our door and feel warmth radiate from the concrete under my feet...

It was awesome.
celamity: (sunset)
Sunday, June 19th, 2011 07:16 am
Hurtigruten is probably one of the best-known things about Norway, sailing from Bergen on the west coast to Kirkenes in the far northeast, a trip that takes 134 hours. This weekend, there are cameras on board, filming every minute on the trip and broadcasting it non-stop both on one of the national channels and on the internet. (Right now they are just about at the arctic circle - oh, literally, they are, right now as I type they're passing the globe statue at the circle. Heh :) )

Other than the occasional interview or commentary, and some bits of suitable music, the only sound is that of the engine, the waves, and whatever activities are going on. The weather has been beautiful at least since Trondheim, the nights have not been dark (and the sun won't set for the remainder of the trip) and we've seen all the different landscapes they pass as viewed from the boat itself. There was a beautiful sunset last night just after midnight.

Also, people along the route have been assembling on islands and skerries to wave. They've been met by people in national costumes in ports, and people have been driving their own boats alongside the Hurtigrute, waving flags. The tourists who happened to pick this particular trip are lucky - they might as well have been taking the trip on may 17, except this time the special attention is lasting for five days instead of one.

To make this extra special for me, a family friend is on her way here on the boat, to disembark tomorrow. I can tell she should be having a wonderful trip :)

(And now I want to take the trip myself even more than I've wanted to in the past :) )
celamity: (sunset)
Sunday, June 12th, 2011 11:03 am
I have just discovered the Scandinavia and the World comic strip.