Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Fest

Ah, the long sunny evenings and endless social diary of June. Summer Fest season is here.

Caught Jamie Cullum at Oslo Sentrum Scene last Saturday night with a mob of pals. Outstanding! He was electric, bobbing, weaving and bouncing around the stage. His young band dudes are wholly accomplished. The young sweeties standing behind me sang the words to all of his songs. Jamie loves Norway and Norway loves him back. I caught sight of Sophie at the side of the stage jumping around smiling and supporting her man. I wonder if he requires a foot stool to kiss her.

On the flight to London Monday morning I meet a good friend. I apologise we did not make it to his wife’s big birthday party Saturday night, Jamie was running very late and we did not dare show up after 1 am, we were shattered. Working lunch followed by drinks with friends at my Soho haunt. We haven’t seen each other for yonks and still joke about how much we hated the firm we both used to work for... we tried everything to get whacked including running up 10s of thousands of pounds of client entertainment expenses at sporting events and lap dancing bars... think I got an outstanding performance rating that year!

Important biz goes well Tuesday. Get pissed with Goldenbollocks on the flight home. We solve many of the world’s problems, but unfortunately create many more than we have solved.

Off to Nodee for Mrs BBs birthday dinner Wednesday evening, her favourite restaurant in Oslo. It is an Asian affair and is always packed, lunch or dinner. It is a family dinner and the ambiance is comforting as we catch up over the din. Everyone is busy and we have not seen each other for weeks. One of our extended family friends has moved back to Oslo from London... it is great to have her home. While out with my MiL for a cheeky Marly, I hear my name being called, it is Renny, the spiritual leader of Norwegian bloggers with his pal Tor – we are planning to meet the following night. Renny is like the bus, wait for months to see him and then catch him twice in two days!

Thursday evening at the First Millennium in the city centre with Renny and the gang. Renny has invited the world to Oslo for a Blog Gathering 19 – 21 August and we are helping him finalise plans. The Mayor of Oslo is opening the event with a champagne reception on the evening of the 19th. There are loads of local activities on offer for the posse of visitors rocking up. We are finalising the plans for a grand finale piss up for all visitors and expat blogger on Saturday the 21st. Make sure you have the date(s) in your diary!

It is late Friday evening as I pen this at the summer house. It is peaceful but unfortunately raining buckets. I glance out the window at the fleet of sail boats on the fjord going nowhere quickly. It is the annual race, Ferderseilasen, and to add insult to the injury of rain, there is no wind. I could swim faster than they are moving.
They have taken hours to get 30 kilometres down the fjord! I would be beating myself with the tiller in these conditions, but then I am a fair-weather everything, except for friend of course!

The next couple of weeks delivers a raft of work dos, birthday parties, the theatre, golf competitions, and family visitors. It is Summer Fest season. I am slightly exhausted already, but it is a very nice problem to have.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Dangling Carrots

I am having to dangle alot of carrots theses days to get the sausage factory to increase its production.

You see, customers keep asking for more sausages.

To get more sausages from the same factory team, I need to dangle more carrots.

Of course I can increase production by bringing on new team members, but soon, they require more carrots as well.

All in all, it is a good problem, rather than a bad problem to have, but it is getting out of hand.

Firstly, to dangle more carrots, I need to source the carrots, and carrots don't grow on trees you know.

I must buy more land. The land needs to be tilled and the carrots planted and tended to.

After a few months the carrots must be harvested. Once harvested, they must be tied to sticks by specialists before I can use them.

The carrots on sticks must then be fastened to the sausage factory employees. Their eyes widen at the prospect and some even start drooling.

My tank is almost empty farming the carrots to dangle.

Many in the sausage factory run themselves into the ground chasing the dangling carrots and never get to see the fruit, or in this case the vegetable, of their labour.

Unfortunately, there are many weak links.

It really is a viscious old sausage ring.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Quality of Wife

This week Mercer's 2010 Quality of Living Global Survey was published giving me an opportunity to collect and benchmark facts from you, my adorable blog chums.

It also provides an opportunity for me to complain about the cost of living in Oslo, which jockeys annually for the most expensive city in the world (the Economist).

Interestingly enough, but no surprise to BB, Canadian cities top the list for Quality of Life in the Americas, Australian cities for Asia Pacific, and German cities for Europe.

There are few changes to the top cities in the in the Eco-City category. Nordic cities emerge in the Europe category, including Oslo, which comes in at 9th in this overall global category.

Well done Oslo! The Eurovision Song contestants, in town this weekend for the big sing off, will be able to fill their lungs with clean air. Hoofuckingray!

This year’s items for comparison are a bit idiosyncratic, unfortunately bear little relationship to 'Eco', and have more to do with what is available to hand, but here it goes:
  • My favourite baker’s scone - $5.40
  • Dry Cleaning of my 2 piece suit - $55.25
  • Hot Dogs (580 grams/1.23 pounds) - $8.00
  • Lindeman’s Chardonnay (any year, it’s all rubbish) - $53.90
  • My Haircut (my hairdresser has great tits) - $85.94

If you have the time, check out these similar costs in your neck of the woods and blog them into me.

I shouldn’t really complain too much, my quality of life in Norway is quite excellent, Eco or not, and often in life, you get what you pay for.

More importantly for me my quality of wife is outstanding and Norwegian. She is priceless!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Table Talk

We are sitting around the lunch table at one of my favy venture projects. Ah, the ubiquitous Norwegian office lunch: bread, cheese, ham, pate, sardines, toms, red pepper and cuces... oh yes, and the tubes of mayo. It is pretty much the same as Norwegian breakfast and all day snacks, every day, day after day...

...I digress.

The lunch table is jammed with a dozen 25+ year old Compsci and Math grads and phds, some still dissertating. It is all guys in jeans, black t-shirts with all manner of body hair, bar 2 girls, islands of beauty in this hairfest. One of the girls is new. I make a note to myself to instruct management to hire more girls, asap.

The table talk is gripping.

Minion1: My mate is 24 and he just had a heart valve replaced, like he almost died. The doctor told him he had to be careful with alcohol and go slowly. He like asked the doctor if it was ok to like top up his IV drip with like beer for a starter...

The table collectively chortles. It’s like Beavis and Butthead X 6.

Minion2: Ya well my friend told me his boss was introducing mandatory drug testing and my friend was like, ‘ya, like if you fail the test we’re gonna like fire you...

The table is snorting in unison. Bread crumbs are being blown from nose and mouth.

Minion3: Ya well, my mate took home this like older lady on the weekend, I think she was like 40 or something, and he like shagged her senseless. He was woken up in the morning when her son walked in the room. My friend was like, “weren’t we in the same class at school?"....

The table erupts in ape like howls. I could swear I was in the fucking monkey cage at the zoo.

Girl2 gets up from her chair, clears her dishes, and quietly leaves the room.

Girl1: You know Girl2 is a Muslim and does not drink alcohol or approve of drugs... and I think she may be a virgin.

The table is in a heightened alpha state of pre-secretion frenzy. I am concerned an imminent discharge from one of these loaded pistols may spoil my lunch.

BB: You better show her the ropes Girl1 or she’s not going to last here for long.

Girl1: I warned her you guys are always talking about boozing, shagging and your penises, and that she ought not to be offended. After all, it is a secular company, and you guys do a great job of offending all creeds equally.

Girl1 is a top girl. She actually gives much worse than she ever gets from the guys, especially at table talk.



Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Woman

I have secretly fallen for another woman.

I never expected anything like this to happen, it just happened.

She is an older woman, never been married, no kids. She is a career woman.

I have always been attracted to strong ‘power’ women.

She is very tough. Most think she is a bitch. She is fair and good. She always acts out of her instinct for doing the right thing.

She drinks too much whisky and should give up the cigarettes, but she enjoys a drink and a cheeky tab.

She’s electric.

Her name is Jane Tennison and she is a police detective superintendent.

I have just spent the last couple of weeks with her and cannot get her off my mind.

I suspect Mrs. BB knows.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Vote For Yourself

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time,” declared Churchill in a Commons speech in 1947.

Churchill, a giant in BB’s pantheon, made this comment after losing the election following leading Britain to victory in the Second World War.

His profound comment is worthy of consideration by the average man. Unfortunately most are uninterested in the perpetuity of prosperity for future generations and are only interested in their own lot.

'Pay me now' to the detriment of future generations who will have to pay later for ours and previous generations’ demands for social benefits is the hallmark of the modern western democracy. This creates debt, and mountains of it.

This week the Greeks, the architects of democracy, took to the streets in their thousands to protest the cutbacks in social benefits required by the government to secure IMF funding to avoid bankruptcy. Unfortunately, these occasions bring out the anarchists and the protests have led to violence and the deaths of innocent people, something very un-democratic.

Great Britain, the architect of parliamentary democracy after hundreds of years of serfdom, is still counting the ballots today in an election that will likely result in a hung parliament with no clear majority. This will just exacerbate the real problem – a public debt issue not too dissimilar to Greece’s and an inability for politicians to palate the level of public expenditure cutbacks required.

This situation arises as a result of successive governments promising voters a greater share of the public coffers in order to secure office and a mandate but not raising taxes accordingly to pay for it, most often resulting in huge debts. Like a pyramid scheme, it eventually collapses.

This is democracy in action. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

There is no free lunch. The maths simply do not work that way. Demanding greater government services and expecting that the government will take care of you is naive. You are the one that will have to pay for it in the end, one way or another, and most certainly at the expense of your children and grandchildren.

The next time you are complaining about your government and the benefits you are getting underpin it with some facts:

  • Calculate the gross annual tax you pay, including VAT
  • Compare this with what you take home, in your pocket
  • Compare this with your rent or your mortgage payment
  • Compare this with your car payment
  • Compare this with how much money you spend on your children
  • Compare this with how much money you spend on your holidays
Ask yourself, ”what am I getting back for my tax contribution, what value am I getting?”

If you work out a sensible and rational answer, please comment on this post because I would love to know.


P.S. Anarchists, the chronically unemployed and champagne socialists need not comment.