Elf's Treehouse -> Archives -> 2004 -> March

Values

2004-03-01 14:29:23 - 9 comments    |     Archives

I saw Cold Mountain on Saturday. A by the numbers Hollywood drama and love story with flawless production, design and acting. The most interesting part of the movie for me wasn't the love story itself, but the things that Jude Law's character experienced on his way home, wich brings me to a certain scene that I found really unpleasant. I was surprised that I did find it unpleasant, because the old me would never have flinched at such a scene.

(very minor spoiler ahead, highligt to read)
There's a scene where a sick baby is put uncovered out in the open and chilly air. It's mother is forced to watch without being able to do anything about it. The baby is crying and one of the bad guys is celarly troubeled with what's going on.

It's amazing what becoming a parent can do to your empathy. Don't get me wrong, I would have found the actions of the people involved appalling four years ago as well, but now that I'm a father I reacted to it in a totally different way than what I would have done before. I guess it's true that you become brainwashed when being a parent, but if that's what it takes to defend my offspring to my death, I'll take it.

Others I'd like to defend are my gay friends who I would imagine aren't getting their life quality raised these days. In Norway, we've just had a huge discussion about certain people and their discrimination of gay people, but it pales compared to what's going on in the US these days. I'll grant Bush one thing, at least he doesn't do what certain norwegian leaders do, chicken out and keep their mouthes shut about what their opinion on gay rights are, but Bush opinions are dangerous. You might argue that opinions never are dangerous, but they are! Especially when they're in the mind of the world's most powerfull man.

What is it about religious people that makes them feel that they have the right to tell other people how to live their lives? They seem to think it's their God-given right to discriminate, lie and twist facts to promote their agenda. Take this article that proclaims that marriage is dying a slow death in Scandinavia because of gay marriages. WTF?!?! Has the idiot behind this article even done any research in Norway to support these "facts?" There are several reasons why the number of marriages decrease in Norway every year, but I can gurantee you that the few percent of the population who are gay have absolutely nothing to do with it. Norwegian laws are very liberal when it comes to partnerships, at least compared to what they are in the states, and people find it more practical to live that way in stead of getting married. I'm an atheist, why the hell would I go in to a church to get married when I can easily get a partnership agreement where my partner and I specify what will happen in case we break up or one of us dies?

The article also says that the number of divorces in Scandinavia is undermining our society. Excuse me? Has the prick who wrote it examined his own country? CNN reported the other day that the divorce rate in the US is 56%. Is the gay community to blame for that as well?

Then you have idiots like Orson Scott Card who claim that gay people can marry, just not to each other. If you want a good laugh, or a good cry, read the article. Ornery.org claim that they want ordinary folks to be heard via their web-site. Well, after reading that article I don't know if it's such a good idea after all.

Why can't just everybody leave everyone else the fuck alone? If you want to marry two husbands, then do. If you want to live with someone and not marry them, then do. If you want to have an open relationship, then do. If you're a guy and you want to marry another man, then do. If you want to take responsibility for your actions in your own life, I'll take responsibility for my own in mine.

But I refuse to respect Bush, his partners in crime (and I mean that word literally here), christians who try to change constituions so that they can justify their crusade against other people with the law in one hand and the bible in the other, while at the same time trying to remove any references to evolution in shcool books, and I certainly will never, ever respect people who try to discriminate other people because of race, color, creed of belief. You can all go and fuck yourself! And take your god with you! I don't like him!

World Stupidity

2004-03-03 12:53:02 - 0 comments    |     Archives

Thanks to Warren Ellis I've been able to read the german canibal's usenet postings where he requested people who would be willing to be eaten by him. I especially liked the phrase "eat your horny flesh."

The Smoking Gun has published a lot of the correspondance received from enraged viewers after Justin and Janet's titty stunt. I especially liked this one as it pretty much sums up the stupidity of people who took offence by it.

Sic Gloria Transit Mundi

2004-03-04 10:13:04 - 0 comments    |     Archives

And as we all know, that phrase means "my girlfriend gloria threw up in my Ford Transit last Monday." I just found out via the test Wich latin phrase are you that I'm Furnulum pani nolo. "I don't want a toaster:" Generally, things (like this quiz) tend to tick you off. You have contemplated doing grievous bodily harm to door-to-door salesmen.

The latter is spookingly releveant, because last night we were in fact visited by a salesman. I had driven Andreas to soccer practice, and when I returned I parked at the small parking space in front of the paper dumpster in stead of inside the garage. I then saw a a guy standing slightly in front of my car with a frantic look in his eyes. I was curious why a person would just stand around at the end of the parking space, but I didn't really pay it any mind before I noticed where his hands were. He was actually standing there urinating!

As I got out of the car I contemplated telling him that this was no public lavatory, but he was already on his way. He was obviously very embarrassed that I had seen him, because he was tucking in his shirt and buckling his belt while walking in a hurried fashion towards our building. He entered the door just before I did and he stopped to read our billboard on the ground floor. I walked by him and saw that he had a shoulder bag with the logo for Hafslund Sikkerhet on it. "So, he's here to sell us alarms," I chuckled to myself. He would have had a hard job doing that in the first place, but after what I saw him do moments before, he wouldn't have to even knock on our door now.

As I got up to our flat I had to tuck Håkon in. And sure enough, while I did the door bell rang. I called out to Line that it was a salesman. After checking trhough our peep hole Line decided not to open the door. Then the door bell rang again. And again. Now, Line was watching Idol and was not in a mood to be disturbed. She tore the door open and before the guy even had a chance to open his mouth she said: "We don't want any salesmen, or women, at our door!" "But I'm not a sales man..." the guy tried, but Line was unfazed: "I don't care what you are. After ringing our door bell three times you should have gotten the message that we either weren't home our we weren't interested in opening the door." The guy threw up a weak defence about not being sure our door bell worked but Line cut him short and basically told him to be on his way or else...

This is the same girl that never could turn down a salesperson before. Guess some of my attitude has rubbed off on her. You go girl! And to those of you who think we were being unfair to the guy: This isn't the first time that salespeople from Hafslund comes to our door claiming not to be salespeople, before trying to sell us alarm systems.

Thank God it's Friday

2004-03-05 11:23:03 - 0 comments    |     Archives

Wheeee! Friday's here already, and I'm taking off to Trondheim after lunch with Håkon and Line to visit a couple of friends. We will visit Pirbadet and I will finally be able to take Line to Ikea after failing to do so back in November.

Starting off your Friday by visiting Warren Ellis' blog can be both fun and thought provoking. I especially urge you to visit the latter link as it's a photo documentary about a motor cycle trip through the deserted area around Chernobyl. Scary stuff.

After that you can cheer up again by reading this week's Friday Five:

What was...

1. ...your first grade teacher's name?

Kjellhaug Hermansen. She was my teacher from first to third grade.

2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?
We didn't have those in Norway when I grew up, but NRK did air the occasional cartoon Saturday mornings. My favourite had to be Shagma, wich people of my age speak fondly of even today.

3. ...the name of your very first best friend?
Håvard Halvorsen. Today he's a professional soccer player and we meet up when his team have a match in my neck of the woods.

4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal?
Eating breakfast cereal wasn't as common in Norway back then as it is now. I loved Honni Korn, but my parents almost never allowed me to buy it, so it was mostly regular Kellog's corn flakes.

5. ...your favorite thing to do after school?
Play outside with friends, build withLego and as I got older, nerding in front of my C-64.

Old Heroes

2004-03-10 11:49:28 - 0 comments    |     Archives

They say that you should never try to revisit your childhood or teen ager years because you will just end up being dissapointed. Today I (re)discovered that this is partially true. More -->

Religion Bad, Personal Believes Good

2004-03-12 10:19:32 - 0 comments    |     Archives

I can't say that I was shocked when I heard about the horrible tragedy in Madrid. If it is indeed muslim terrorists who are behind the explosions, then it's nothing more than what we could expect. Did we really think Europe would be spared? These people stop at nothing and for no one, and it once again makes me long for the day when we outlaw religion. I know that there are more issues at stake here, but at the core of it all is religion. When are we going to learn that religion only leads to suffering?

Ok, muslims still have hundreds of thousands lives left to take before they even begin to approach the number of deaths caused in the name of the christian god, but these are different times when we have the means to fight it. We won the battle against the church who held Europe in an iron grip for centuries, we must now take up the mantle to win the fight against muslim extremists.

You should be able to have any personal faith you find suitable, as long as you leave everybody else alone and take responsibility for your actions. In public arenas like politics, faith should be a non-issue, no matter what. I don't care what you believe in, there is no excuse to kill, prosecute, terrorise or discriminate other people.

Even if it is ETA or someone else who are responsible, I will still stand by my words. The fact that Al-Qaida has taken responsibility only shows that they are depserately trying to sow fear and confusion in to our minds. Do not let them win this fight. And double please, do not try to win this fight by harrassing your next door neighbour just because he is a muslim. Non-extremist muslims are victims of this terrorism too.

Four Things Before the Week-End

2004-03-12 15:20:43 - 0 comments    |     Archives

It's the end of the week and really no time to be gloomy, no matter what's going on in the world. First of all, if you want to answer my "how well do you know Elf" quiz, you should do so before Monday, because that's the day I'll close it. Please give it a try if you haven't yet.

Secondly, I passed my "an introduction to insurance" exam. This goes to show that nothing can beat one day of preparations on six months worth of curriculum.

Thirdly, I got another fifteen minutes today when Gene Simmons published one of my emails today in his letter column.

And finally, here's this week's Friday Five:

1. What was the last song you heard?
I'm currently listening to Koi by Kitaro. I'ts originally from the album Kojiki but the album I'm listening to right now is a live album.

2. What were the last two movies you saw?
Shattered Glass and Return of the Jedi.

3. What were the last three things you purchased?
CDs, groceries and a new lamp for my lamp collection. It was a small spot light, and you can place glass balls of different colors on top of it.

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?
Clean the dog, clean the fish tank, clean the bath room and work out.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to?
Line and my colleagues at work.

A Wandering Logistical Catastrophe

2004-03-16 13:40:47 - 0 comments    |     Archives

You wanna really know me? See me like I truly am? Understand what people have to put up with? Well, then read on. More -->

State of the World on a Friday

2004-03-19 20:01:29 - 0 comments    |     Archives

It's ironic to see our health minister, who said that he couldn't condemn religious orginasations discrimination towards gay people because that would be mixing theology and politics, use his faith as the reason for refusing a six year old boy a fair shot at life. It never ceases to amaze me how far evil people like him are willing to go to enforce their believes on to the world. I guess condemning a very sick boy is ok as long as we don't allow doctors to play god?

And don't give me the argument about a future society where we sort out who deserves life and who doesn't. All this amazing technique does is to give parents a chance to avoid well known and serious handicaps and life threatening diseases. Just as well when we see how much help the society is for parents with kids like that. I refuse to believe that society will stand idly by watching super humans be created, and I'm convinced that's not what these doctors are after either. I hope our health minister drives on to a mine when going to church on Sunday.

Thanks to Jarle I found a site where Donald Rumsfeld is exposed as the lying hound that he is. Watch it, it's hillarious.

Arve has a link to a clip that convinced me that Kylie has nice tits as well as a nice ass and a cute face.

My employer, Vesta, made a huge profit this year. Before taxes the result was 445 millions ($64425526.9863) in profit, and as a reward every single employee will receive 5500 (796.2705) extra as a bonus in their pay check next month. That's nice, and well deserved.

And here's this weeks Friday Five:

If you...

1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?

Fish, woked food, pasta and hot'n spicy dishes. I would also serve my own home made white chocolate ice cream with brownies.

2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell?
Tropical fish and spiders.

3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be?
I've written a few scripts that are being considered for publishing. They range from sci-fi to ironic musings on life.

4. ...ran a school, what would you teach?
Science and critical thinking

5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it?
I realeased a record back in 1996 with two ambient tracks on it. I've also worked on a lot of music in the past few years, both on my own and together with other people. I've touched in on ambient, gothic death metal, pop, experimental electronica, techno, jazz, new age and symphonic music. I guess a full length album from me would touch in on a lot of those styles.

Amazonian Mistakes

2004-03-22 16:07:00 - 1 comments    |     Archives

The other day I received a shipment from Amazon. I thought something had to be rotten in Denmark since I received a letter from Posten telling me that I had to go to my local shop to pick it up. This could only mean one thing, that I had to pay toll and taxes for it because of the stupid norwegian taxation rules. It still didn't add up, though, since the value of the package wasn't supposed to be that big.

I was wrong, I didn't have to pay anything. The reason why I had to fetch the package myself was that it was too big to get in to our mailbox. I pondered about this for a while. Surely if I had ordered something this big, I had to remember it, didn't I? On the other hand, as I'm sure other active online purchasers like me can attest to, there's always the possibility that you ordered that very special offer on a whim and then left the memory of it deep in to your subconscious.

When I got home my so. gave me a look that told me she was less than pleased with me. I had, after all, promised that I wouldn't do much online shopping after new years since we are saving money for our holiday. I told her I had no idea what this package was, and when I opened it, I found three books inside:

I had no idea what these books were about or who their writers were. Upon inspecting the billing and shipping adress on the invoice, I realised that someone at amazon had screwed up. Turns out that the couple Leushuis in Netherlands were the once who were supposed to receive these books. And since both the billing address and the shipping address were identical, I concluded that this was not an attempt from them to increase my book collection.

I emailed Amazon's customer service and they promptly apologised for any invoncenience on my behalf, and told me to email them my snail mail adress so that they could send me a stamped box to return the shipment in. I did, and the next day I received an email telling me that it was too expensive to have books returned to them from Norway, so they said I could keep the books with their compliments. They also suggested that if I didn't want to read them I could give them away to the local library or a public school.

I still haven't decided, but I do know one thing. I have to contact Amazon again to check where the Trevor Rabin cd I ordered before Xmas is. I have a strange suspicion that it's right now rotating in the the Leushuis' cd player...

The Great Euro-Dance Swindle

2004-03-25 10:46:07 - 0 comments    |     Archives

Is anyone really surprised that VG could reveal today that Tine doesn't sing on her own hit single? My home's resident teen ager has had that song on his A-list for weeks, and everytime I drive him to football practice he has to listen it. When I first heard it a few months back I immediately realised that it was going to be a big hit. It has every euro dance cliché imaginable, with lyrics repeating the words 'deg, meg, kjærlighet, skjebne, stjerne, deg, meg, jeg etc' ad infinitum, not to mention the heavily compressed voice of the singer. If they had put any more reverb on the vocals I could have rented my car out as a church hall.

Does the record company, and VG, really expect us to believe that this is an exception from the rule? It is the rule, for crying out loud. What people would have found shocking is how many artists who have done this through the years. It's going on all the time, Milli Vanilli just got caught and that's almost twenty years ago. Today I doubt many people will lift a hair on their eyebrow. What also amazes me is that Sony feigns ignorance, claiming they didn't know. Come on! How stupid do they think we are? At least the producer of the single admitted to it when he was cornered, saying that the singing bit wasn't important as long as Tine had more important qualities than a good voice, namely charisma and good looks. And as we all know, that's the most important factors of becoming a singer today.

I could be optimistic and hope that this will open the single buying public's eyes to what's going on. That they realise that their favourite artist of the week, be it Britney Spears, Westlife or any of the other deodorant artists out there, is nothing more than a product. It's the people behind the scenes that write the songs, but it's the artists that get voted as best group at the MTV Awards and other ceremonies. This is of course ridicolous, but it's the way the game works. The artists very often have no will of their own. All they are doing is being told what to do and when to do it. Am I that optimistic? Ha!

Spring Fever

2004-03-26 14:52:49 - 0 comments    |     Archives

Even a pesimistic old sod like me has to admit that spring has arrived. I just can't get used to spring arriving already in March. Where I grew up, spring arrived in the last week of May and lasted until the 1st of June. I've been cycling to work for the past three weeks, and apart from wearing thermal longs, gloves and a cap underneath my cycling suit I can get to work without worrying about roads covered with ice and snow.

Today I also started taking my allergy pills, I've never started so early in the season in my entire life, but that's the green house effect for you. Give it another few years and we can grow palm trees in the garden and cycle to work all the time. Can't wait.

I've also never quite understood why people love spring so much. It's filthy all over the place, there's dirty snow piled up, all the garbage from last year pops up, the spikes in the tires whirl up so much dust that you have an entire sand box in your mouth when you get home and everything is just grey, brown and dull. Here in the south of Norway it seems like ages from the snow dissapears until the green colors spring out. At least that paricular period is short in the good ol' north. On the other hand, in the good o'l north the snow is present from September until April and sometimes in early May. I don't know what I find more depressing.

I think I can sum up this rant by concluding that what I really long for is the summer. Ice cream, feet without socks, sleeping on the veranda, go running or cycling with hardly no clothes on, enjoying nature, sand between my toes, barbacues, water melon, sex in the open, caressing on the veranda on a late warm summer night, the salty taste of the sea after swimming in water warmer than zero degrees, taking a break in the middle of work to go for ice cream, traveling and enjoying life to the fullest. Summer, summer ,where art thou?

Technical Problems

2004-03-31 11:11:25 - 2 comments    |     Archives

If you've tried to access my page in the last tvelwe hours, you probably had problems doing so. I discovered it myself a an hour ago. When I tried to access the World-page it only loaded the opening page. When I tried to access blog postings they came up empty. This happened on all versions of my web page and since I haven't tampered with any of the scripts since early Januray, I knew something had to be wrong on other ends than on mine.

A quick call to my web host later I had solved not only my problem, but their whole web server's problem. During the night they had upgraded php and somehow REGISTER_GLOBALS had been set to on. Amateurs!

When they fixed it they called me and I thanked them. Why on Earth did I do that? They should be thanking me!

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