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Greetings earthlings! How have you been? The above picture is courtesy of the delightful new Facebook trend ‘Bitstrips’ which is taking over people’s walls. Oh the fun.

I have gathered together enough pictures and things together to finally make a post worthwhile, so thank you for your patience.

This week, snow came. This is the view I enjoy outside my livingroom window today.

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This time a week ago, not a flake to be  seen. Tuesday, a little. Last night… only something just short of a blizzard quite frankly. The hale hitting the windows at 4 am sounded like gun fire. I might pop out later and make a snow angel, or do something upright and make a snow Communist. I feel that this may be here to stay for the foreseeable future, but as long as it is snow over ice, I will remain a happy Mr Dave.

As far as I am concerned , Norwegian food is truly at its best in the Autumn and Winter, and this year my consumption habits have been no different. The main season has kicked off with my annual nibble on some Lutefisk.

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My face of fear is mere jest readers, it was the best Lutefisk I had eaten (mostly due to the fantastic chef we had on hand). For those of you unfamiliar with said aquarian delight, Lutefisk is a fish soaked in lye, dried and then reconstituted. It tastes great but its translucent transparent and gelatinous quality can make it a challenging eat for newcomers. Here is a picture of a restaurant version.

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It is very nice, and I look forward to all of the winter food yet to come!

In other news, I have worn a jumper for the first time this century.

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Views on my look? I have not idea why I chose to do this, maybe I grew up over night? I possibly scenario, but rather doubtful.

In other news, my project for SINTEF is completed!

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It will almost certainly require one or two minor adjustments before submission next month, but for the most part it is done. Yay!

This weeks ‘Culture Shock’ did make me laugh very much indeed! This is real van that I saw on my travels.

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He he he

Take care everyone, stay out of trouble, and don’t forget to post comments.

See ya soon!

I Like Dancing

Posted: October 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

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See what I did there? I turned my name into a Breaking Bad logo! Aren’t I clever.

I hope this post finds you well, and sorry again for the lack of posts the past couple of weeks. Whilst my SINTEF internship is a lot of fun, it doesn’t really provide me with much material to write about. Hence my promise a few weeks ago, I will only blog when there is something worth blogging about.

Anyway, news.

The weather has taken a drastic turn for the Autumn and we ‘enjoyed’ our first snow on Thursday.

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It’s not much I know, but it’s the principle right? It’s hovering at around five degrees plus temperature wise, so we’re not quite in Arctic mode yet.

In other news, last weekend I went to see famous overly posh British comedian Michael McIntyre. He was absolutely wonderful and very quick off the mark, yet utterly stumped when someone booed him. That aside, a great evening was had by all.

After spending too much time talking about it, we finally got around to booking our honeymoon. We are off to Cuba!

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A bit of culture, a bit of sightseeing and just a little bit of five star all inclusive hotel for the latter part of the trip will do us both nicely. In other words, we are after sun, sea and….. socialism!

SINTEF is going well, and I am already nearly 9,000 words into my assignment.  This week saw me visit Norway’s most famous dairy, Tine. This was a part of a scheme called ‘Young at SINTEF’ where young people in the organisation (I am not that young am I?) get to go on day trips and the like. After eating my body weight in yoghurt, we had a tour of the factory. Don’t I look sexy?

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I also have another iron in the fire. I have been kindly asked by the staff at the University if I will teach an academic writing course for 2.5 weeks to new students at the department of geography. Wow! This means for a very brief period at least, I will technically be a university lecturer, woo hoo! I have done teaching before and enjoy it very much, I will now do my best to give the University something worthwhile.

This week’s ‘Culture Shock’ is courtesy of our neighbours to the South West, Denmark. This photo I am sure you will agree will require no further explanation from myself apart from the fact that this is a genuine road sign you will see all over the country. It’s regulation culture gone mad I tell you.

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Take care everyone, stay out of trouble, and don’t forget to post comments.

See ya soon!

Spam vs Picnic

Posted: September 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Greetings Comrades!

Last week there was no blog, mainly due to crippling laziness, but alas I have returned. I hope you can forgive me for delaying my Spam vs Picnic battle, but all will be revealed today.

I have literally been spoilt these past couple of weeks with amazing sunsets over the fjord. On more than one occasion Mrs Wife and I have been running out into the streets with our cameras.

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Now that’s something you can’t get in Cardiff!

In other news, SINTEF is going marvelously. I feel fulfilled, challenged and have read more journal articles than I felt any human being could physically read. This would make for a very boring superhero wouldn’t it? Or maybe a gap in the comic book market waiting to be filled? Your thoughts on the topic will of course be welcomed.

It has been well over a year since I have attended a heavy metal gig, and finally one has come up with a band I have been wanted to see for sometime, the Swedish metal heroes ‘Ghost’,

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Whats not to love about a band where their lead singer dresses as the Pope? The gig isn’t until December, so that will have to wait for another blog entry.

Now, the luncheon meat fight to the death. I ate it in the form of a ‘luncheon meat burger’ and will be comparing both my Spam experience and Picnic experience.

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Firstly , how it looks in the can.

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Spam used to have alot of that horrible jelly stuff around it (hence why I put the stuff in the oven to melt it off) which has now mostly gone due innovation in the manufacturing process. Sadly, Picnic isn’t quite at this level yet. The package was about 10 percent jelly which actually made me gag a bit when cutting it. Urrggh!

In this case, the winner is Spam.

How for post cook looks:

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When Spam is cooked it looks like… well.. Spam. Picnic on the other hand looks like very thick bacon. Much more appealing to the eye and once again helps you look past the ancient mystery of the meats contents.

Picnic is the clear winner here.

Now, for taste.

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Here there is a clear draw as both tasted virtually identical. In a blind taste I would struggle to tell the difference.

For this category both are winners.

Now the verdict.

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An empty plate! Success!

There is very little between them and Picnic is a honorable and respectable Scandinavian substitute to Spam. Spam just about beats Picnic due its lack of jelly, but overall its a close run thing.

There is another tin of Picnic in my cupboard ready for my next evening on my own!

Now for ‘Culture Shock’. I took a photo of a label of a manufacturer of lockable medicine cabinets. I can only assume that they were going for a more romantic edge.

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Kisses all round!

Take care everyone, stay out of trouble, and don’t forget to post comments.

See ya next week!

SINTEF and What Not

Posted: September 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

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What a lovely sunset eh? I am making the most of this, as in not too long the sun will migrate to a warmer climate before seriously considering coming back in the Spring. I for one enjoy the Winter more than the Summer, thus this arrangement suits me nicely.

How have you  all been? Good I hope. My absence last week was due to my attendance at a 6 year old’s birthday party (no joke) which absolutely exhausted me.

Anyone use Reddit? This week I have done a post on there entitled ‘British Immigrant Living in Norway, Ask Me Anything’ which received a response greater than I could have imagined (nearly 70 Q&A’s at time of writing and still very much active) where I have answered everything from the price of electricity to the import of Marmite into Norway. Fancy reading it or getting involved in the discussion? Check this link out : http://www.reddit.com/r/Norway/comments/1lumao/british_immigrant_living_in_norway_for_nearly_2/

So, SINTEF. I have been there for two weeks and am having a great time. See happy photo below.

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I am working for a department called ‘Anvendt Økonomi’ (Applied Economics) where I share an office with a fellow student. After doing various interesting research tasks I have now been given the project what will lead my work until the end of December. I would like to tell you about the project itself, however I have signed a confidentiality agreement and have no idea where that confidentiality starts and ends. Hence for the sake of being safe, I will shut my mouth on this point. It looks like it will really test me out and give me a wonderful chance to do some deep research again. I can’t wait to see how the next couple of months unfolds.

Everybody needs to let their hair down once in a while, for me this hair lowering exercise is being dominated by the Nintendo 3DS game Animal Crossing: New Leaf (in the off chance any of you happen to play, my friends code is: 5198-2455-3162).  In the game you are the Mayor of a town (mine is called Pingvil) and you get to customise your home, attire and can do public works projects to create new bridges and things. You also get to sell fruit, and shells that populate the landscape and participate in the black market turnip industry (don’t ask).Despite not being a Communist myself in any way I thought, why not make my town a Communist micro state? Here are the results so far:

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Above is Comrade Dave, the Dear Leader of the People’s Socialist Democratic Republic of Pingvil. I am also ensuring the animals who inhabit my town address me appropriately. See below:

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Updates on the people’s revolution as I get them.

Remember the Spam post last time? Well after pestering the Spam people, I have no further updates on my ‘Heroes of Spam’ award. But, I have some very exciting news on a different Spam front. My mother-in-law informed me that there seems to be a Spam clone available in Norway called ‘Picinic’ which she was generous enough to buy me:

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It looks the same on the tin, but does it taste the same? And I know what you are all thinking, who would win in a fight, Picnic or Spam? Well worry no more as on Wednesday the ultimate battle will take place! I will try this and see if it compares in any way to my beloved Spam. See below this potentially ferocious battle to the death:

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Let me know in the comments section who you think will win, full review of the showdown next week.

I have forgotten to take a picture for ‘Culture Shock’, so instead here is a photo of a burnt waffle I dug into last week.

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Take care everyone, stay out of trouble, and don’t forget to post comments.

See ya next week!

The Issue of Spam

Posted: August 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Look! No Snow!

How have you all been? In all honesty, the weather has been mostly delightful this week and for the most part I haven’t even needed a coat.

This blog post will be rather short this week, however I hope to have plenty to tell next week when I begin my first week at SINTEF.

As with many people, I have a Spam problem. My Spam problem is different from most though as the Spam I am referring to is this:

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It is a delightful luncheon meat made of meats of no known origin covered in a jelly that also is best uninvestigated. Rather than go into more details of what this food item is, here is a Wikipedia link for further research:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam

I absolutely love the stuff and bought a tin when I was last in Britain. When Mrs Wife was out on Wednesday I treated myself to a Spamburger complete with Jarlseberg cheese and barrels of love.

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I cannot get it here in Norway, and the very thought of it depresses me. I began to ponder the issue however, why on earth have Norwegians not been introduced to this meaty delight? Like the true activist I am, I took action through the power of social media. I sent Spam this Tweet:

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I am sure that they are extremely busy in Spam HQ so did not expect a reply. However, I got one!

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Urrgghh. This warranted a further response from me. Here is the rest of my Spam chat:

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No reply yet for my ‘Heroes of Spam’ idea, however I am sure they are merely working out the logistics and will reply favourably at a later date.

Maybe they could sponsor this blog? I could change it to ‘Swapping Spam for Brown Cheese’ instead? More news on this issue when I get it.

In other news, this week was my last week in Amnesty International until December. They are a wonderful team and I will miss them dreadfully the next few months. I am very excited about my next step though, that I cannot deny. In honour of this wonderful year with such wonderful people, here is a picture of me dancing on a table at one of our world famous parties:

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Todays ‘Culture Shock’ whilst found in Norway, is not Norwegian at all. Who goes out to buy this??

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I think I will pass… for now.

Have a great week everyone, stay out of trouble and don’t forget to post comments.

See ya next week!

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Mormons, gotta love em! They are always there with a friendly smile,  and on a mission to ensure your bookshelf is never void of stuff to read.

How have you all been? My absence last week was due to me having nothing newsworthy to write about, however let’s hope that is not the case this week.

Most noteworthy of course, is my sudden realisation of going bald. Although Mrs wife informs me that I have had the same thinness of head fur as long as we have been together (that’s nearly nine years) the dawning of the fact has come to me as a blow none the less. My work colleagues took photos so that I could see for myself.

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Ok ok it isn’t much I accept, but it only takes a few hairs to dent a man’s pride. Should considerably more of it fall out over the next ten years maybe I could gain the sex appeal of the likes of Patrick Stewart or Jude Law. Unlikely in both cases, but let a Dave dream.

I have also been let down by Narvesen (to Brits, a newsagents\ gambling den) who have begun to sell onion hotdogs. Oh the horror!

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Mr Dave hates onions and feels that they should be elevated to the similar status of cannabis, assault weapons and Chris De Burgh LP’s. I would write to the Prime Minister, however with an election looming next month I don’t want to rock the boat. I wouldn’t want my onion hatred for example to interfere with the preparations to prevent another Christmas butter shortage for example.

Here at Swapping Marmite for Brown Cheese, we like to be at the forefront of new ideas. The past two Saturdays we have partaken in food that lasts a considerable amount of time past its sell by date. On this occasion, very very out of date Pop Tarts I bought in Florida in 2010.

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Notice the slightly dubious nutritional facts on the front.These went out of date near enough two years ago, see evidence below.

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I opened them, they looked fine. Toasted them, they tasted great without a hint of obvious decay (but I hope that swirling pattern isn’t mould)

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In short, should a zombie apocalypse occur, stock up on these bad boys. I might buy another box and try a decade long test instead. I have enough of these Pop Tarts to have a two pack on a Saturday for the next two weeks, wish me luck.

Back to elections, political fever has gripped Trondheim and they have put all of the parties on caravans and shed on Kongens gata in the city centre.

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Giving away everything from buns to roses, nobody will go home from the city centre empty handed for the next couple of weeks. If anyone has a partner who likes flowers, you can’t really go wrong with a Labour rose.

This week will see the end of an era for me. I will be leaving Amnesty International on Friday before I head off on another adventure when I begin my internship with SINTEF on August 26th. I will be back in Amnesty at Christmas though, I am not that easy to get rid of.

Take care everyone, stay out of trouble and don’t forget to post comments. See ya next week!

Fish and ships! Thank you to my mother-in-law for that one.

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No, that is not my garden. Merely a more summer themed stereotypical and arguable culturally insensitive photo for you all.

This week has been busy in the city as the it has been dominated by the festival of St Olav (Olavsfestdagene for the purists) and Trondheim Food Festival. In terms of my day job, this has been an upsurge in new people ready to join Amnesty International who may not have seen us before, and luckily for us many of them did!

Along with the medieval market and the jousting (some women still play hard to get it seems in Norway) the festival of St Olav also has a week of concerts.  Tuesday we wen to see the delightful Swedish band ‘First Aid Kit’ who are officially 1,678 times more entertaining than Abba.

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Sadly, the evening was let down by the shockingly boring James Morrison. He was about as exciting as watching two digestive biscuits participating in a freestyle break dancing competition. That aside, the opening act made the evening very much worth while.

Two weeks ago I mentioned how fantastic some of Trondheim’s street musicians are, however this week I got to see a genuine star who calls himself Dr. Harmonica (or Lance as his mother would call him, or Mr Wakely as his Doctor may address him).

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As some of you may know, I am a massive fan of blues music and I am dumbfounded as to why this man is not a world famous blues legend. He records all of his own backing tracks and plays only his own material. I have grabbed a YouTube clip of him in his home studio to show you what I mean:

Dr. Harmonica – Young Man’s mind living in an Old Man’s body

I actually bought his album, which in my mind was an investment of 120 NOK.

In other news, the Mormon forecast has been reduced to only mild showers i.e. little to no Morman based contact. But still… they could be anywhere… even here…. flying on Nordre gate in the centre of the city:

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Today’s ‘Culture Shock’ is brought to you by easily the most amusingly named snack food in the world, available at a Norwegian kiosk near you. Enjoy!

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Take care everyone, stay out of trouble, and don’t forget to post comments.

See ya next week!