Gunnebo Business Solutions, Holiday, Reflections, Travel, USA

California, here I come!

Traveling to the US for the second time, I had the chance to take a weekend off to do some sightseeing. Even though I had just a few days, I wanted to cover as much ground as possible.

When the wintry winds start blowing
And the snow is starting to fall
Then my eyes turn westward knowing
That’s the place that I love best of all

California is one of the most well known places in the world for numerous reasons, but chief among them is its identity as pivotal place in world entertainment and technological innovations. It is the birthplace of popular figures like Jessica Alba, Tom Brady, and Clint Eastwood. Ahead of my trip to California, I did a little research on its key areas and here is my summary.

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San Francisco is officially referred to as City and County of San Francisco and colloquially called SF, San Fran, Frisco, or The City. With a population of about 883,305 residents in 2018, SF is the center of commerce and finance in North California. In terms of geographical dimensions, SF spans across 46.89 square miles and is second in the list of densely populated large cities and as a county only more populated by the four NYC boroughs in the entire US. In terms of population of metropolitan statistics in an areas, SF has about 4.7 million people and is the 12th largest. The economic significance of this city is further butressed by the fact that in 2018 SF had a GDP of $549 billion and is the 4th highest number in terms of economic output. When combined with San Jose, SF swells to a population of about 9.67 million and becomes the fifth largest combined statistical area (the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area) in America.

Golden Gate Bridge panorama, San Francisco California

The Hollywood neighborhood located at the heart of Los Angeles, California, is world renowned as the home of film and entertainment in the US, it also houses numerous iconic movie studios. It’s impacts on the industry is so strong that the name “Hollywood” has become an unofficial means of referring to the movie industry and people concerned with it. Hollywood began is rise to prominence when it was officially declared a municipality in 1903, this was followed its consolidation with Los Angeles 7 years later; this was when Hollywood began to grow as a film industry. Today, Hollywood is the largest movie industry in the world.

Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, California.

Las Vegas, popularly referred to as the “World’s gambling capital” is officially known n as the City of Las Vegas, the most common name is simply “Vegas”. The name “Las Vegas” is derived from the spanish word for “The Meadows”. In the state of Nevada, Vegas is the most populated and ranks 28th on the list of most populated cities in the US. Las Vegas covers an area of 135.8 square miles and hence, the largest city in the greater Mojave Dessert. Vegas is at the forefront of Nevada’s financial, commercial and back cultural scene, it is also renowned worldwide as the capital of gambling, nightlife, exquisite dinning, and casinos.

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On my way back from Vegas I drove through the Mojave dessert, an arid rain-shadow desert that spans across 47,877 square miles in southeastern California and southern Nevada. Of all the desserts in North America, The Mohave is the driest.

Thousands of wind turbines at sunset

Some of the Mojave dessert also encroaches into Utah and Arizona, one of its most distinctive features is the presence of Joshua trees (native to only the Mojave Dessert) in its boundaries. The region is believed to be home to over 1900  plant species. Although The Mojave Dessert has densely populated communities like Las Vegas, Palmdale abs Victorville, its central region has a sparse population.

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With that my three-day road-trip is completed and it is back to work 🙂

 

Holiday, Reflections

Happy Holidays!

Many of my colleagues and friends ask me why I celebrate Christmas while being an atheist. In the Nordic, we actually do not call the holidays Christmas, we call it Jul or Yule. Yule or Yuletide (“Yule time” or “Yule season”) is a festival historically observed by the Germanic people. Scholars have connected the original celebrations of Yule to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht.

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Later departing from its pagan roots, Yule underwent Christianised reformulation, resulting in the term Christmastide. Many present-day Christmas customs and traditions such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from pagan Yule traditions. Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are still used in Nordic countries and Estonia to describe Christmas and other festivals occurring during the winter holiday season.

Unlike Britain, the main Norwegian Christmas celebration takes place with a big Christmas dinner on 24th December, Christmas Eve. The choice of food varies depending on the area of Norway you are from, but often consists stock fish or fermented cod. However, the clear favorite, eaten by as many as six out of ten households, is ‘Ribbe’ – roast pork belly. In Sunnmøre, where I live, we eat Pinnekjøtt. Salty. Rich. Chewy & tender ribs of lamb.

Pork belly with crispy skin
Traditionally served with boiled potatoes, sausages, meat cakes, prunes, lingonberries and pickled cabbage, ‘Ribbe’ and its heavenly aroma is sure to bring you in the holiday mood.

The Holidays is about spending time with family and friends. It’s about creating happy memories that will last a lifetime.

The magical feeling that surrounds the Holidays is one that can’t be replicated at any other time of the year. It connects us regardless of our roots and beliefs in a spirit of thankfulness, love, joy and comradeship.

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The Holidays is about spending time with family and friends. It’s about creating happy memories that will last a lifetime.

Joy and sharing is a pivotal theme of the Holidays and we all have different ways of expressing these values as a result of our backgrounds and cultures. For some, the act of exchanging gifts is their way of expressing love and compassion this season, for others it’s just about taking a break from the rigors of corporate life and spending quality time with family and friends.

It has been a very busy year for me and my family. My girlfriend Therese took up a university education within finance and accounting, Sondre is in his pre-university study, Andreas has left the army and will start working in carpentry and Alexander is studying for his electrical degree. Now we will relax and enjoy each others company for the next few weeks, before we kick off the next year!

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Happy Holidays and all the best to you in the year to come!

Holiday, Reflections

Finally Vacation :-)

Finally it is vacation time again – and I can spend some precious time with my family 🙂

17th May Celebration

The summer starts (as always) with the celebration of the Norwegian Constitution Day – the national day of Norway – and is an official public holiday observed on May 17th each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (lit. “seventeenth May”), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day).

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The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17th in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent kingdom in an attempt to avoid being ceded to Sweden after Denmark–Norway’s devastating defeat in the Napoleonic Wars.

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The unique tradition of the celebration of the 17th of May brings some complexities. That is the reason why it is often confusing and hard to understand for a new-comer to Norway with all the fuzz during the day. The children carry flags and march together with bands. Ice cream, hot dogs and other goods to eat are abundant. The buildings are decorated with Norwegian flags and women and men of all ages dress in their Bunad, or national costume. Graduating high school students wear their russedress and celebrate the approaching school year’s end. The sound of loud music is heard from every corner. Understanding of all these 17th of May traditions requires some historical and social background knowledge.

Sweden Rock

Working in Sweden, I had the opportunity to attend the Sweden Rock festival. Classic rock, hard rock, metal and even some blues – something for all tastes. Clean and neat, safe and secure. Ocean-near location, cozy grass hillsides and real lavatories. But most of all, a really friendly and good-natured atmosphere. Like one big family, with members from over 50 countries. The best audience in the world, quite frankly.

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The festival ran from Wed, 5 Jun 2019 – Sat, 8 Jun 2019, and I had a really great time in one one of the most exhilarating festival in the world. It promises to be a good time.

Tons of Rock

Lagends like Kiss, Def Leppard and Satyricon played at Tons of Rock, and I was overwhelmed to attend this great event!

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Dream Theater had a great show, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the masterpiece “Images & Words” with us at Ekebergsletta.

Maintenance and Spring Cleaning

Spring is the time to roll up the sleeves and fix whatever the long winter has torn down or wore out. Painting the house, cleaning the back yard and of course applying antifouling paint on the boat to keep the sea-weed away.

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I also took the time to fit out the shed with a hardware lab, so the family and myself can work on mechanic repairs outside. The first task at hand was to fix the injection fuel pump for the boat as this had corroded during the winter.

Sun and Sand in Spain

This year (as always) we will go to Orihuela Costa in Spain. Orihuela Costa is a coastal region situated on the Costa Blanca in the province of Alicante. It sits close to the border with Murcia, near La Manga and the beautiful Mar Menor. Despite its name it is actually around 20 kilometres away from the main resort of Orihuela.

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The region covers several resorts including Punta Prima, Playa Flamenca, La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Villamartin, Campoamor and Mil Palmeras.

Orihuela Costa is an ideal destination for those looking for a beach family holiday, with 16 kilometres of diverse coastline. It is also an excellent choice for golf holidays; in fact Orihuela Costa is well equipped for all needs, with lots of amenities, facilities and leisure attractions

Cartagena Roman Theater

The theater was built between 5 and 1 BCE, and for centuries was covered by a cathedral built over the upper part of the the theater’s “cavea,” or seating area. The first remains were discovered in 1988, and the theater underwent restoration, completed in 2003. Today the ancient arena still holds performances, and there is a museum at the site displaying the finds from a series of archaeological excavations.

Cartagena looking over the Roman Amphitheater, Spain-1_low

Alicante Castle

Alicante boasts many treasures. And among its most prominent is indisputably the Castle of Santa Bárbara, which stands on Mount Benacantil overlooking the city. Hewn from millenary stone, this fortress has witnessed centuries of history in this ancient city and even played a leading role in several chapters.

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Leisure and Activities for the Kids

Not living the kids out, there would also be fancy events and activities they can do to make them enjoy this holiday. I understand that visiting some of these places can be a bore to them, and some places may even be over exiting..

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Music and Entertainment for the Dad

Every Tuesday and Friday I will go to the lunch jam at El Rincon Del Tio Cali where the local musicians will entertain and involve us in fantastic musical experiences. I most likely would be visiting here on my own probably after the kids have gone to other fancy places to catch fun time.

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Leyendas del Rock

Leyendas del Rock is a rock and metal festival that takes place in the city of Villena, Spain. Now celebrating their fourteenth edition – and the seventh consecutive year in it current location – the festival has become a respected date in the calendar of heavy metal fans thanks to the lineups of the scene’s favourites.

With more than 60 performers spread across four days and five stages, the high-octane display of hard-hitting rock sounds will this year be headlined by Australian four-piece Airbourne and legendary Irish rockers Thin Lizzy, among others.

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So, have a nice vacation everyone – I will see you again in 26th August 🙂

Gunnebo Business Solutions, Holiday, Reflections

Happy Easter :-)

It’s the time for Easter, a time for a vacation. Many of you are eagerly waiting for Easter week which is always celebrated on first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon following the Vernal Equinox. It gives us the chance to welcome the spring after the prolonged dark winters. Although Norway is predominantly a secular country, the arrival of spring is always welcomed by people to spend time with their loved one. It’s a time for a family reunion and a needed break from work and schools.

Easter is special for me; I look forward to Easter candy and Sunday dinners. I will cook leg of lamb stuffed with garlic and served with root vegetables and potatoes.

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Why Paint Easter Eggs?

Painting Easter eggs are easier than trying to wallpaper them! Well jokes apart, but eggshells were decorated since ancient time. Ostrich eggs were decorated and engraved in ancient Africa dated 60,000 years ago. Eggs especially ostrich eggs are associated with death and rebirth. During the pre-dynastic period of Egypt and early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete, decorated ostrich eggs with gold and silver, were placed in graves of Sumerians and Egyptians.

Influence of ancient Egyptians and Sumerians is seen on modern Christian and Islamic religions. Also, ancient influence like cultural, political and mercantile is seen around Mediterranean areas.

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“Easter egg” for me defines a “secret feature” than the painting of eggs. This term originates from the 1979 video game called “Adventure”. It was coined for the Atari 2600 game console which was programmed by an employee “Warren Robinett”. Fearing competitors would steal his employees; Atari didn’t acknowledge employees names in the game credits. Warren Robinett who didn’t agree with his senior over lack of credits secretly and unknown to others, he inserted the message “Created by Warren Robinett”.

It was designed in such a way that, during a particular part of the game if the avatar of a player is moved over a particular pixel, the secret and unofficial message “Created by Warren Robinett” would appear.

After Robinett’s exit from Atari, the specific Gray Dot and the message which were unofficial were exposed by players. This discovery was soon informed to Atari. Atari’s management wanted the message to be removed but this would cost them a high price. Steve Wright, then the Director of Software Development at the Atari Consumer Division, proposes to keep the message and encouraged the insertion of such kind of messages in upcoming games, and coined them as Easter eggs for the players to find them.

With this “secret Easter egg’s”, I am hoping for a sunny weekend. Happy Easter to all, tune in next week for a new and exciting post 🙂 .