Skip to content

Your Whole Life at a Glance

On the many hikes after I just arrived here on Rødøy, I thought a lot about life. Perhaps it was because I had to walk by the graveyard at least twice a day. The nursing home is right next to the graveyard. I wondered what they were thinking, staring day-in and day-out at a destiny that sucks.

Read more

The Story of My Text-to-Speech App

Frequent readers of this blog know that I started writing an app to occupy myself through the dark winter months here. What started as mere dabble turned into full-blown obsession: during the day when the kids are in school, lunches were dreadful interruptions, and at night I dreamed about different ways of solving thorny problems. In November and December, I squeezed out every minute of time that doesn’t involve family life to work on the app.

Read more

Noah’s Fishing Boat

The biggest project for Rødøy school every year is the school play, and it is truly unique. I’ve never seen anything like it.

All 28 kids in the school from grade 1 to 10 were in the play. There was no audition. Everyone in the whole school got in front of the spotlight. For several weeks, the play occupied everyone’s mind. The week before the performance, the school shut down: students and teachers went to the playhouse to rehearse everyday. Read more

The Mother of All Cod

It’s been so long since I wrote a blog post that some friends worried if everything is okay. Yes, everything is okay. I haven’t written because there was nothing blog-worthy to write about. The bad weather had a lot to do with it. And I was completely absorbed, obsessed, addicted, in-the-zone, building the next release of my app. I just didn’t have any spare brain cycles to think of what to write about.

But the last 48 hours have certainly been blog-worthy. Read more


Forspill, which directly translates to “foreplay”, is an uniquely Norwegian tradition. It is a party in someone’s home before heading out to the bars. The reason for forspill is easy to understand. At 70 Kroners (13 dollars) a beer, getting drunk in a bar could be financially ruinous. Particularly if you have a healthy liver. Read more

This Weather Stinks

It’s 3:25 PM. Gusts of wind shook the house, setting off squeaking sounds from things that shouldn’t squeak. Like the ceiling beams. The seas are covered with white caps as far as the eye can see. The water has stayed at the high-tide mark for a few hours – the walkways to the docks have been flat. A minute ago there was a sudden burst of hail, followed by a few pathetic flurries. And now the sun is shining with a joker’s glee. Read more

An Island Is Like a Fishbowl

When our friends Alex and Hulda visited us last fall, we went a little nuts with crabs at the fish house. We bought 24 crabs, which is a lot for 4 adults and 4 little kids. A couple of hours later, we went to the store to buy other ingredients for our crab feast. Someone said, “I heard you bought 24 crabs.” For me, who had spent most of my life in big cities, that was a bit of a cultural shock. Read more

Cold Smoking Salmon

Our neighbor Ove built a big industrial sized smoker recently. It’s a monstrous beast of a contraption constructed, fittingly, using an old aluminum container for salmon feed. On one end is a stove in which smoke is generated. From there, the smoke goes through a long metal tube to cools down and enters the big container. Inside the container there is a row of wooden racks on which fish filets are hung. You can probably smoke 50 filets at a time. Read more

Northern Lights Ruined Our Valentine’s Day

Last night, Kristin and I opened up a nice bottle Rioja and sat in front of a blazing fireplace. Candles were lit all over. We were having a lovely Valentine Day evening when my cell phone rang. It was Pawel, our neighbor. He said, “You have to look! I’ve never seen it this big.” Earlier in the evening, we saw good — not great — northern lights, but I called Pawel anyway because I knew his wife really wanted to see it. Since then, his eyes had been peeled looking out the window until the sky exploded. Read more

A Broken iPhone App in the Wild

Around November last year, I embarked on a project that I may someday regret. I started programming, to build an iPhone app. Then, it morphed from dabbling to an obsession. I originally allotted no more than 10 hours a week to the project, then, for two months, I pour nearly every minute of free time into it. Read more