Impressions of Europe - Stavanger

Impressions of Europe - Stavanger

Stavanger was interesting. First of all, it's the de facto oil capital of Norway, and the source of much of its wealth. Where Denmark relies on it's shipping and biomedical for paying for all the "free" health care, Norway leans on oil. It's also not a mess of sckyscrapers, though there are some moderately tall buildings. The food was excellent, but of course hideously expensive in actual restaurants. Yes. 7-Eleven's are a thing in Europe. And Japan.The cathedral there was in early stages of renovation, with workmen literally tapping every stone one at a time to determine which ones…

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Impressions of Europe - Eidfjord

Impressions of Europe - Eidfjord

In some odd ways, the small town of Eidfjord is the most, and least touristy place we visited. With a wide, relatively flat valley and water supply, it's apparently a major supplier of apples and cherries. The town is so small that there is no rental office, and maybe a couple small shops and restaurants. Yet, you'll see leaflets posted at the tiny visitors center where people are renting out their private vehicles for a day or half-day. There's also tiny museum dedicated to a master violin maker, no pictures allowed, who's proprietor spends much of his time as a…

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Thoughts on Europe - Bergen, again.

Thoughts on Europe - Bergen, again.

Adam over at Pushing Rubber Downhill had noted in a recent podcast how much more fit and hotter the girls in Europe are than the states. People in general, actually. Generally speaking, he's correct. Here, in the states, it depends on the city. Some have reasonably attractive women, some don't have attractive people at all no matter how photogenic they may otherwise be (Seattle comes to mind). The problem is that the girls in the city are usually infested with the feminist mind-virus to a truly hideous degree, and while that recedes as you get away from town, you get…

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Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

This is a week that perfectly fits under "improved user expereience," aka "it's a feature, not a bug." I cannot go into details, but the short version is that the week was supposed to start with a server migration, and then go on from there. As it turned out, the week was the server migration, struggling to find time to get other things that needed to be done while assisting the people actually responsible for said migration in troubleshooting, etc. Filed under things that did not work - the mysterious ability of the new server to access SMBv2/3 shares.…

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Impressions of Europe - Bergen

Impressions of Europe - Bergen

Ahhh, my wallet, I miss it so.... Yes, the Scandinavian countries are high trust, but hanging around tourist areas like the funicular and the crowded old merchants district can result in enough distractions and people packed in that predatory types looking for out-of-towners have ample prey. The good news was that nothing important was in my wallet. Interestingly, it's one of the northernmost full cities, and has the northernmost university in Norway. A fair number of american students were tending the registers at various shops, and a few other signs of diversity. I also got an education on the differences…

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Impressions of Europe - Kristiansand

Impressions of Europe - Kristiansand

Not much to say about this town. The main part of town is laid out in a square grid, with a fort midway along one side facing the water, and small beaches and boat docks along the same edge. There's a beautiful cathedral in town, and it's obviously a tourist spot - some nice little restaurants and shops and cafes that you'd find at any beach or resort town, but far fewer tacky ones due to the small size. You can get a pretty good tan even at the northern latitudes with all of the hours of sunlight in the…

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Impressions of Europe - Oslo

Impressions of Europe - Oslo

Along with Kristiansand, Oslo's surrounding terrain is somewhat gentler than much of the rest of Norway. The country overall heavily shows the signs of being carved out by glaciers, but the extremes in sheer cliff walls, tall hills, and relatively little flatland hold less true here. It is indeed beautiful, in a stark way. And it does call to me. Don't bother with the town hall. You can hardly miss it if you're downtown because it's right on the waterfront, and is a Soviet-style hideous example of government "we are serious" architecture. Ditto the internal artwork, all in glory of…

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