Friday, 27 February 2009

Day temperatures have gone up which means that ice and snow comes down. Enjoying the sunshine on pavements in central Oslo is risky business. Only yesterday a man was injured by a “roof avalanche”. The fall of icicles, ice blocks and blood on not so white snow are first signs of spring in this part of the world. Snowdrops, which my mother on the west coast reports are in full flower, have still a month to go, - and megatons of ploughed up street snow is waiting to be dumped in the fjord.

The financial winter seems to drag on even longer. Tight credit, foreclosures, unemployment, less spending, less production, equity markets in free fall, sliding house prices, even more foreclosures. Maybe the surplus countries like China, Japan and Norway whos' Central Banks put all this money into the greedy hands in the first place have a special responsibility to end it. - If only they knew how.

That probably leaves us with relying on Barrack Obama’s bold rearrangement of the US economy. Personally I trust in the lyrics: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

It may get much worse before it gets better. The oil price is now below break even for development of most new offshore fields and a hard rain's gonna fall.

The end is nigh and global warming is coming - not yet though.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Still snowing

Some pictures of winter in the suburbs - and in the woods taken with my SE P1i phone camera.
Crap quality but you get the drift?

I must admit to a certain beauty even though I have to dig myself through a cement like variety of the stuff every morning after the plough has gone by.

Last night the outside air temperature rose above zero and we were woken up by the sound of a firehose being pointed at the bedroom wall. Water cascaded from a rift under the outdoor tap. Some idiot had forgotten to empty it last autumn and water wants much more space sideways when frozen to 15 C below zero. Now we will have to face the plumber who - judging from his price quote - is probably not much bothered by the effects of the economic slump.

You need to get on top of the Norwegian winter or it will bury you!

Skiing is still great.

The Omnia HD on YouTube.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Snow, Mobile Phones and Jazz

Oslo is snowing under big time. Cars can hardly navigate the streets and pavements are closed because of the meter long icicle stalactites pointing down from roof edges above. For the time being tough winter weather has distracted attention from the ailing economy. Anyway, we believe ourselves insulated here. With huge funds (most of it in shares) amassed from petroleum incomes and with oil and gas production still paying off. For how long? Long enough we hope to bridge the abyss. Long enough for Obama and Gordon to restore credit, employment and consumer confidence.

In the meantime we bask in knee-deep snow and take pleasure in skiing, sauna, fireplace cuddles and - gawking at the technological wonders of the Barcelona mobile fair. I admit to being a borderline tech geek. I could not go there but have followed the event closely on the web. Nokia, LG and Samsung all had great releases this year - above all perhaps Samsung. Both the Ultra Touch and the Omnia HD seem to be gems. I simply cannot wait to lay my hands on the latter. It promises everything an addict could wish for.

Nerdy? Well, we can't deny we have become very dependent on these little gadgets. Mobiles, GPS, MP3-players, video players, game boxes, digital cameras, tv, radio, notebooks. For better or worse they are being integrated in an ever bigger part of our lives. When I grew up not so long ago the components of the Omnia would have filled our living room. I am happy that at least and last they are merging into a box small enough to slip into my trousers pocket.

I hope there is time for some cross country skiing before supper and perhaps a Oslo By-larm festival concert afterwards. Lots of great music.

I'll be back with crises, gadgets and the snow situation, but need to get my winter pictures sorted out first.