Saturday, December 31, 2005

A lazy couple of months

I want to first appologize to anyone who had been eagerly awaiting my next post for the last few months. I guess I just got lazy after I stopped getting any angry mail from people who didn't agree with what I have been saying. I want to point out to anyone out there who doesn't know me, that I never mean to insult anyone directly and that these are simply my opinions on any topic I feel like writing on. I like to add some jest into my comentary sure, but I never intentionally insult anyone. Like a few of you commentors have done to me. But I do enjoy the feedback so the more that I get I guess the more I enjoy writing.

I am not quite sure if Andrew (from Berlin) is still out there checking my blog ever, but i just want to wish him all the best and a Merry Christmas to all those soldiers that are bravely fighting a war that is....well....the subject of much debate. I want to thank you and to wish you all a Merry Christmas again, and if you don't celebrate, then at least pretend to so that you can maybe get break on that day...haha. But happy holidays to all.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Iran....What the

Fresh off the presses today, Iran's President, I won't spell out the name because lord knows you won't be able to pronounce it anyway. Let's just refer to him as President Ahmad. As I was saying, President Ahmad declared today that Israel was a "disgraceful blot" and that it must be "wiped off the map". These quotes from an AP article by NASSER KARIMI. These comments obviously set Iran squarely opposite of American interests in the region. The White House press secretary iterated that "[I]t reconfirms what we have been saying about the regime in Iran. It underscores the concerns we have about Iran's nuclear intentions."

Relations with many nations nearby Israel have been thawing since the pullout of troops from Gaza. There have been cutbacks in trade restrictions and even aid from Qatar. These actions were unimaginable only a few years ago. Israel is currently one strong protestor of the Iranian nuclear program. A program that the United States and other nations say is only for making nuclear weapons.

After comments like the ones President Ahmad made, what is it that we must do? Iran is purpotedly aiding terrorist groups that attack Israeli citizens daily. They provide "support and training". They also possess the ability to attack Israel and US forces in the middle east due to the development of solid fuel technology. Is the threat that Iran poses enough to encourage nations into action against them? There is no doubt that the comments do not shine well on the nation.

"Such comments provoke the international community against us. It's not to Iran's interests at all. It's harmful to Iran to make such a statement," Ebrahim Yazdi, a former Iranian foreign minister, said.

Article by AP author NASSER KARIMI can be found at,1280,-5371437,00.html

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Affirmative Action leading to Unequal Opportunity

What are the reasons for Affirmative Action? Is it to adress wrongs in the past? Or is it to give minorities a leg up on everyone else?

I will be the first to admit that I don't know what it's like being a minority. I have never had to deal with any stereotypes or any other form of discrimination. So, I may be completely off base with my analysis of the situation.

That being said, Affirmative Action is not the right step to fix any of these problems. The only solution to these social injustices is time. Should we have to pay for the mistakes of a small minority of Americans from the time of Lincoln? Should we continue to pay for the mistakes of "seperate but equal" and blue laws? It is now the ruling of the court that requiring quotas for minority positions in colleges and jobs is unConstitutional, but where is the line drawn. Is it only saving positions only for minorities unconstitutional, or all affirmative action wrong? If discrimination against a minority in the first place was definately wrong, what makes discriminating against the majority the correct thing? If life before Affirmative Action was like a hundred yard dash...with minorities starting 50 yards behind the starting line, what makes it ok to have them run only 70 yards now?

Yes, I believe that there are social injustices in this world. There are still people that discriminate by race and sex. But Affirmative Action can lead to more problems than it solves. It leads companies to hire a black woman to fill a cheap paying job in order to show that they are not discriminating. People that are smart and earned a position may feel they were only given the job because they met the minority criteria. It reinforces some stereotypes when unqualified workers are hired only for their race. It can even be bad for morale, for both the recent hiree and the old boys club in which they are thrust.

Yes, discrimination still exists today, but it is not the job of government to attempt to solve these problems. Time will lead to the realization that man or woman, white or black, the most qualified and best (pardon the pun) man for the job should indeed receive the position. Not for any other reason than the fact they will help the organization they are hired by, and that they earned it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Republicans and Conservativism

As I have said earlier, I grew up a Catholic boy in a small town in North Dakota. As I grew up, I embraced many of the ideals that I felt were the best aspects about growing up in a rural conservative place. This, however, does not mean that I am a close minded fool that was brainwashed by my parents. This does not mean that I am uncultured and uncaring for the less well off.

I believe what I believe, not because I just accepted the ideals of my parents and the small town around me. I was not forced to believe in God, even God does not force me to believe. I am a conservative because it is the only school of thought that adheres to what I believe in my heart of hearts to be true. I believe that abortion is the killing of an inocent human for selfish reasons, that we must sometimes go to war overseas to protect our country at home, that welfare is being abused by people who are too lazy to get their own jobs, that tax breaks lead to greater economic prosperity, and that the Republican party agrees on most points with me.

Now, to be a Republican does not mean that you agree with me. The most obvious issue that I raised was the abortion issue. You can indeed agree with me on this issue, and not be conservative at all. Being a conservative and being a Republican both mean much more that disagreeing with Roe v Wade. The appointments to the Supreme court by George W. Bush are about more than Roe vs. Wade. President Bush believes, along with many conservatives, that the Supreme Court needs to reorient itself to constitutionalism. Getting back to the letter of the law that the Constitution outlines. This is why President Bush has put Harriet Miers up for nomination, to stop the court from legislating from the bench. That is how conservatives believe the Constitution should be interpretted. It is about much more than abortion.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tax breaks...for the POOR?!!

I would like to explain the breakdown of the American tax system in the easiest way I know how.

Now these numbers come from the 2003 tax year and was released just this month, October 2005. The tax system used here in the States is a graduated tax system, in which we charge a higher percentage of income to the highest earners.

I am sure that you all understand and know that, but you may not understand the particulars. For instance, did you know that the top 1% of wage earners paid 34.27% of the income taxes, while only earning 16.77% of the nations income. The top 5% of wage earners paid a whopping 54.36% of the income tax, while earning only 31.18% of the income. The top 10% paid 65.84%. The top half of wage earners paid an amazing 96.54% of the income tax. If my North Dakota math holds, that means that the bottom half paid less than 3.5% of the income tax while they have 13.99% of the income share.

During most recent tax cut given to the American people by President George W. Bush, we heard many complain that it was a tax cut for the richest in America. Take some time to go over the numbers that I have just presented, and it becomes obvious why the top income brackets recieved more money than the lower income brackets. If you plan on creating a tax cut and you want it to go to the lowest half of the income earners, then you might as well start cutting checks from the U.S. treasury to pay them for their taxes. You could not make a significant cut in taxes and give all of the breaks to the poor. They pay less than 3.5% of the taxes this country takes in. So, most likely they should receive only 3.5% of the tax break as well, or as I said earlier we will be paying these people rather than collecting from them.

Remember, when you hear "tax cuts for the rich" remember that the rich are paying the bills of this country. If anybody needs money back to reinvest in the economy, it is them. One last point, the top one percent I have been talking about, they are not all multi-billionares, anyone who makes more than about $300,000 is categorized as the top one percent, not even millionares. The top 50% begins at $29,019, all of a sudden a tax break for that top fifty percent doesn't seem like a tax break for the rich now does it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Just trying to get a free ipod with a magazine subscription that i signed up for. If anybody else wants to get a 250 dollar ipod for a whole lot cheaper go to this site, sign up for one of the offers, the cheapest one or the one you actually want, then get 5 more people to do it for you and you get an ipod. Do it soon, cuz i want my ipod. I signed up for a magazine for 36 bucks and as long as i get five of you to do it as well, then i get my ipod and magazines for only 36 bucks

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Before I do the obvious dive into the political realm I do want to point out a few things about myself. I value human life. I am a Catholic and believe that every human life has value, and the loss of one human life is a terrible thing.

That being said...was anybody else amazed at the recent findings of incredible exageration by the liberal media about the death totals in New Orleans. It is pretty dispicable that we depend upon these people to give us good truthful information. I read this in the LA Times...Yes, that LA Times. They must have realized that the more liberal bias their paper got, the less readers they had, because I never believed I'd be reading it there. But I digress. The death tolls in New Orleans are not the only overly exagerated claims to come out of the media. They also apparently reported on deaths, rapings, oh and sharks....haha. There were never any sharks swimming in New Orleans, "But what about Sea World and the gulf stream and....and..." blah blah blah. No sharks.

With all the media coverage of rapings, killings, gangs of men roaming streets, the complete incompotence of leadership to save people, how many were found dead in the aftermath? 841 according the the LA Times. 841...what??!! I mean how can that be?! I heard about snipers and gangs and death and destruction. I heard about bodies in the Superdome basement, in freezers in the Convention Center. I heard Mayor C. Ray Nagin tell Oprah...yes Oprah...that people sat in the Superdome watching dead bodies for days. Oh...and for good measure who was blamed for this destruction? Yeah, I don't think I even need to state his name.

Yes, there were a total of 841 deaths, each one a terrible loss, but many more were prevented thanks to the rescue workers. Of those 841, you are thinking, 'There has to be many that were shot or killed to substatiate those claims of killings and gangs...RIGHT??!!' "[F]our were identified as gunshot victims." LA Times. 'Well, I am sure that many of the dead were from the Superdome and Convention Center...they have to be!!!' Guess again. The National Guard says six died at the Superdome and four from the Convention Center.

I cannot imagine the heartache and terror that those people felt inside the Superdome, nor do I wish that upon anyone. But Col. Thomas Beron, according to the LA Times article, stated that for every complaint there were "49 other people [who] said, 'Thank you. God bless you.'"

Shouldn't we hold our expectations of our news coverage in this country a little higher. If this is how our coverage is when something terrible happens in this country, what are we left to believe about the coverage of American actions across the globe. How reliable is the information we recieve every day? These are questions that we should not have to ask of our "honorable" media. We should, and I do, expect better than the mistakes we have seen over the last year from all media outlets.,0,5492806,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Democrats using political blame for political gain

I was just reading an article by the Washington Post that appears, at first, to be ripping on President Bush. It begins by giving stats on his falling approval ratings and the governments poor performance in the crisis of hurricane Katrina. But as I continued reading towards the end of the article I found something rather interesting.

It appears that the majority of the country has sided with me in deciding that the local governments were more to blame for the outcome in the tragedy. Yes, to all those anonymous naysayers out there, I have a strong 57 percent of Americans on my side. Then I found out that I was also not the only one that believes that many Democrats were blaming President Bush strictly for political gains. Amazingly, six in ten Americans believe this, a third of Democrats "were genuinely suspicious of their leaders' motives", eight in ten republicans, and six in ten independents. Unsurprisingly, the Democratic leaders are deluded in their thinking that they can dupe the American people so easily.

For anyone who wants to read the whole article, it is online at

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


This one goes out to the thus far unnamed nodakfarmboy that wasn't polite enough to even give his name. Anyway, I give you yet another post to explain myself...however your information was very informative. Please excuse me if I chose not to trust the post from CBS...I'm sure you understand why. I was unnaware of the call for federal aid as of August 28th and apparently so was the New York Times and Washington Post. As I said before, I got my information from the American Thinker who were citing a New York Times article which told of the unsigned papers...perhaps you should inform the New York Times. Also, in a Washington Post article that you can find at ( makes another claim of the power struggle in which President Bush and the federal government had to "wrest authority" from the Governor Blanco. Oh and you are saying that the Governor requested it on Sunday, I was asking why didn't she request it before then. Granted the New York Times was unsurprisingly wrong, but according to the Post article the Bush administration had sent her a legal memorandum on Friday, why didn't she accept it then. Also, why didn't she accept offers of mutual-aid from other states until Wednesday, again according to the same Post article.

I would also like to point out that I am in no way saying that this tragedy was handled well. It could and should have been managed better by all levels of government, but I also believe that many people are blaming Bush for reasons that are, if not false, somewhat twisted. There have been many mistakes made along the way, and not the least of which were the mistakes made by the local governments. I wish, irregardless of party affiliation, that this disaster was handled better by all levels of government. People's lives could have been saved.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

in addition

For any that are continuing to not listen or not care to learn the facts that I have presented there is another article I encourage you to read before becoming to angry with me. (thank you Andrew for that)

This article outlines a few mistakes that many have made when talking about the tragedy. One of the best examples that I could find and that I have yet to talk about was found in Reality six. The fact that as of Monday, Governor Blanco had not yet signed papers giving the federal government administrative control over the relief effort. It is amazing that people are blaming Bush and his administration for not acting until Tuesday, when legally they could not act until Governor Blanco, a democrat, relinquished control. If the Clinton administration is indicative of the liberal care for the laws of this country, then they will obviously overlook this small but very important piece of information.

Who's at fault?

I don't know whyI attract liberal wackos maybe earlier I got the smell of one on me and the others come to investigate, but no matter the reason I seem to continually get complaints about how poorly our government has been acting. Now don't get me wrong...I believe that the tragedy that has happened in the Gulf region could and should have been handled better, but before anybody gets really excited about me ratting on the Bush administration let me explain myself. Rather than the after-affects of the tragedy I would like to begin with the cause of much of this pain and suffering. No, I am not suggesting that we should have found a way to prevent Katrina from making landfall, but rather I am suggesting that New Orleans and Louisianna should have listened to experts that have been telling them for years that the levy system in place was not adequate. This is not and never should have been a case for the Bush administration, so all you liberals who are blaming Bush for not paying attention to the country, but rather spending money willy-nilly overseas better hold your tongues. No, it is on the heads of the liberal governments of New Orleans for the last few decades, as Thomas Lifson says in his article ( An excellent article and a good lesson on the entrepreneurial spirit that successful conservative Americans have.

Now, I also realize that after Kanye West's comments many liberals maybe pointing the ever dingy finger of race as a major cause for ensuing tragedy after the natural disaster. Afterall, we see the majority of people left in New Orleans as black, it must be because the US government got as many white people out as possible and left everyone else. Hardly. If people would look a little closer at the racial makeup of pre-Katrina New Orleans, one may actually realize that New Orleans was something like 65% black. Can you believe, then, that the majority of those remaining in New Orleans would be black? The majority of those looting and causing trouble would be black? It is not because the government saved the white people, it is not because the blacks are terrible people, but rather because the majority of people are black, so the majority of everything left would most logically be about 65% black...seems rather simple now doesn't it. I need not then point out that the city government of New Orleans and namely the mayor were black democrats for as long as I can see. So, it logically goes that those governments who ignored the warnings of experts that said a major storm or a not-all-that-uncommon large flood of the Mississippi River could cause a tragedy like this if the levies were not reinforced, were liberal Democrats. It was these Liberal governments that missed the message of importance in saving lives in the weather reports and failed to get people to safety. Their failure to adequately adress the seriousness of the situation and have a good evacuation contingency plan has been the cause of much of this tragedy.

So, if the liberal press, and the wackos that I attract, want to begin to point fingers, I stand by the schoolyard saying, "If you point a finger at me, there are three more pointing back at yourself." A little childish perhaps, but sometimes we conservatives must use these phrases to get our points across.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Coming home

I got some great news tonight which is, I get to come home over an hour early. So anybody that I didnt send emails to, give me a call about 1030 or so and then you can get ahold of me. It will be very fun to see all of you guys over at the apartment tomorrow night so dont hesitate to call me or darren or nick. I am not exactly sure which apartment is maybe call darren. Yeah it will be a fun night.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Well, it turns out that Bjorn's relatives had an open network cord that I found and quickly used it to upload a bunch of pictures from my travels. I hope you all enjoy them...and no more complaining about not getting to see any pictures please.



Blake it turns out does a rather nice angry boy impression in front of the statue.

Yeah so this one time Bjorn and I decided to go parasailing on the Meditarranean Sea in the South of France.

Me at the Arch of Constantine right outside the Colosseum. Thought you'd like to see a picture or two of me.

Bjorn and I just hangin out in the Colloseum amazing, huh.

The greatest of ancient Rome.

St. Peter's Basillica is the single most amazing building that I have ever seen.

A memorial to World War II. This church tower was left in remembrance.

Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin with fireworks

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Finishing Up

Is it not amazing to think that I am in Norway still. After all, I have been gone for almost two months. However, the end of the trip is coming soon and the sun will soon set on our travels. I'm not sure what to expect when I get back to the states, but I most definately think that I may be able to tell plenty of stories and show plenty of pictures. Trust me, nobody will have to ask twice to hear something about my journey. I cannot believe that in only three days I will be heading into the blue skies and on my way home. Today Bjorn, Gry (Bjorn's Norwegian friend), and I all went to the Norwegian amusement park named Tusenfryde. It was a lot like the Valley Fair, and I am now sitting, relaxing, and enjoying a fine cup of Norwegian coffee. After all the rollercoasters, power towers, and many other rides I decided to leave Bjorn with his friend and go home and catch a small nap.

I was amazed to hear from Grandma Gloria on my last post, must have been given quite a lot of help from my baby sister, right. Very good to hear from you Gramma and feel free to keep in contact anytime you want. Everyone else, I will be back in the states officially at about 6 o'clock pm on Saturday, August 20th. I will be arriving in Grand Forks much later, however, as I have quite a long layover in Minneapolis. I arrive in Grand Forks at 11:30pm , so Corey be ready, and wash that car too while you are at it...haha. I am sure I will e-mail you to make sure that you will be around that weekend, since we had so much trouble when I left. To everyone else, thank you for sending me e-mails and posting on my blog, it was great to get news from home while abroad. It made me realize how lucky I really was to be traveling while all of you were working...haha. But really, if you were curious about my travels, I was just as curious about what you all were up to at home. I hope everyone's summer went very well, and I am afraid to say that it is quickly coming to a close. Can't wait to see all of you guys in college or around hopefully when I do go home on Labor Day. Everyone give me a call if you would like anytime after that 11:30 arrival in Grand Forks. Thanks again for taking the time to listen to my blabbering and bragging. I appreciate all of you taking the time.



Saturday, August 13, 2005

Can of corn

Well, I realize that there are some of you that didn't know what to do with yourselves since I haven't posted anything recently. I was always planning on throwing up some pictures, but these computers here in the school are just workstations connected to one server, so there is basically to place to plug in. Anyway I will give my report on the week now.

The last week of school began somewhat uncerimoniously, but it ended in a bang. Classes were pretty boring because we were coming to the end, and we were all rushing to finish our final papers...all rushing except me of course...I was putting it off until the last possible minute. Finished the work finally the day before and got to relax since wednesday. By relax I mean spend the nights out on the town with everyone all of the students because many of them we may never see again. The peace seminar begain on thursday and there are many students from across the globe all hanging out in Moss. It is all pretty boring stuff however. We have heard time and time again about the relationship between Sweeden and Norway between 1814 and 1905. I was hoping when I came to Norway that we would be learning more about the entire history of Norway, it is quite sad. The peace conference ends on Sunday officially, and Bjorn and I are then planning on spending some time with the relatives before we begin the long journey home. I am actually quite ready to return to the states and watch some baseball and football, drive my own car, eat at wendy's, not have to walk up a bloody hill every day for 45 minutes to get home. Yes I do now appreciate the Red River Valley and our complete lack of hills.

Well, I suppose that I have bored you all for long enough, the next time I post I may very well indeed be home so thanks to everyone for reading and replying to me. See you all when i get back


Saturday, August 06, 2005

There and back...again

Well, I realize that is has been unusually long since my last post, but I haven't really received any complaints, except of course from mom, so I am assuming that everyone is pretty busy at home. This last week of school was pretty interesting, we took a trip back into Oslo, and toured the public tv station, the Storting, and the beautiful Vigeland Park. The TV station tour was pretty boring, it was mainly for the communication students I believe, but I did get to pretend to be a weatherman...on the blue screen and everything. The Storting, (literally big group) is the Norwegian Parliament. It was pretty interesting to learn the history behind it, but we never actually made it into the chambers, that wasn't allowed. Finally, we visitied Vigeland Park, and if you have ever seen a statue from Norway, it would be the angry boy or perhaps the Ascension tower, both in the park. It was neat, but I'm not exactly what you would call an art-buff so I got bored pretty fast.

After the tours in Oslo, 9 of us students climbed on a ferry and headed for Denmark. It is a boat ride that takes about 14 hours to make, so you climb on at 5 in the afternoon, take off, sleep in your cabin and are in Kobenhavn when you wake. It was tons of fun being with everyone, but I was quite happy to get back to Moss and take a good long recovery nap today. It was nice to get back to Copenhagen and again act as tour guide in that beautiful city. I will definately return there again. This constitutes the third time I have seen the city, and I love everything about it. I must learn more about the history of Denmark. Well, the plan is to sleep in tomorrow, but it appears that I have some family here in Norway somewhere, so it would do me well to contact them tomorrow and meet with them. When school ends, we will be here for a few more days until our plane leaves, so hopefully there will be plenty of time to catch up and learn of my family's history here in Norway. Sorry about the length of this post...if you made it this far. I promise to attempt to keep them shorter hereafter.

I hope the horror stories of poor crops arent' from anybody reading this. I wish everyone the best of luck with harvest and the rest of the summer.


PS Mom my return flight is on August 20th. I arrive in Grand Forks at about 11:54 pm. and yes i have heard about the striking mechanics. As long as my plane doesn't need any repairs I'll be fine.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Radio Edit

I did it. I got up bright and early this morning, about an hour earlier than usual so it wasn't to unbearable, and started the long walk down to the school, where I then met Kristen who took us to the radio station. I was a little nervous as we made our way into the station, but no where near as shakey as the company I was traveling with. The girl that I was to be on the air with was a bit nervous as we approached time to go on the air. It went great, and no I didn't even begin to stutter on the air. The interview revolved around why we came to Moss, what we were studying while here, and then we were each asked one question. Kim was asked what she felt was the largest similarity between the US and Norway, and I, of course, was then asked what I thought the largest difference seemed to be. Kim answered that she was worried that she might get homesick for American music, but it turned out that there is plenty of American tunes being played on Norwegian radio. I chose the amount of environmental protection that Norway has as the largest difference, especially the difference between the car economy of the States, and bike and shoe form of travel more prevalent here. I wanted to talk more about it, but the interview was quickly coming up on some news at nine so we cut my answer short. I am sure, however, that everyone could understand what I had meant. We hope to get a copy of the audio from the station one day soon, and you can all then listen to an internationally known radio star (yeah right).

Now, it has also been quite a while since I have had any comments posted on my blog. I am beginning to think that I have lost some readers. I would like to hear from you all from time to time just to know that everyone and everything is ok at home. You can just send me an e-mail if you do not wish to get an account on here. Just let me know how everything is going.

seeya all


Sunday, July 31, 2005

another week

Well, I am writing this on Sunday night the 31 of July. It has been a very long weekend for me. It started with a field trip on Thursday that I have already told you about, and concluded with a long Sunday full of recovering from the weekend. The reason the weekend seemed so long was because we journeyed into Oslo on Friday and spent the night out on the town. We concluded the night at a friends home where we all quickly fell to sleep. We awoke the next day and borded the train for the Oslo central station where we were met with a rather peculiar sight. It just so happened that on this particular Saturday there was an enormous festival in town. That wasn't a peculiar sight in it of its self, but then we quickly realized something a bit off at this "festival". I had noticed some strangely dressed people walking around then I realized why it seemed so strange, many of them were cross dressers. We had walked right into the center of a large gay festival. Yeah that was more than an a little bit of shock. We meandered around the celebration for a while looking open mouthed at things too strange to describe. By midday Bjorn and I had enough of this place and excused ourselves to the train station and back to Moss. I had planned on going to be early that night, but surprisingly enough the RAs had other plans. Everyone piled into the common room and spent the whole night having fun, until it got nearly impossible to stay awake any longer. So, needless to say, I have spent my Sunday in bed sleeping comfortably. I now must quickly finish this blog and begin on the homework due tomorrow, not to mention the thoughts of the radio interview that I must give tomorrow. I am just a touch nervous about that. But I have continued on plenty long.

goodbye all
see you all soon


Friday, July 29, 2005

No worries

Well, here I am again. I return with the ability to waste 5 minutes of your life. To tell you all the truth, going to school here in Norway is alot like going to school in the states, boring. The only plus is that every week we do get to go on a field trip to some pretty interesting places around Norway. This weeks field trip was to Oslo. We went through a history of war museum on the Norwegians. It was pretty interesting to see the evolution from Viking swords to modern Ski Patrols. Also in Oslo we visited the Nobel Peace Center. The building has been completely revamped and turned into a modern artsy show of how much conflict can cost mankind. That was the aim of the exhibitions, although the meaning kind of left me wanting something more. It began with a presentation of the last Nobel Peace Prize winner, a lady from Kenya that has planted like 3 million trees. Now what that has to do with peace is lost on me, but she won none the less. After that presentation, we entered a circular room where the hopelessness of conflict is supposed to be shown. I read a few of George W Bush's quotes in that room, they seemed to be comments that were full of hope of saving people from tyranny, but apparently it doesn't matter what was said as much as who said it. Then we toured a display by Amnesty international. That was a display that aimed to control small arms distribution. It made sense to me that we should attempt to keep AK47s from al qeada hands. we finished with a room full of descriptions of all the past winners. You could have spent an hour in just that room and still not have read about them all. All in all, the experience there was nice, if more than a little to artsy. It art of it almost washed out the message, which was that peace is something that we should all pursue. And to that I think everyone can agree. The problem with America and the world is that we all have different ways of getting to the end.

I think that I have taken enough of all your time. I just want everyone to know that I am still alive and well running around in Norway. Didn't want anyone to worry *cough* Paige *cough*.

anyway thanks for keeping up with me.


Monday, July 25, 2005

An interesting proposition

I was sitting at dinner today when my professor asked me to join her at her table...personally i thought "Uh oh, what did i do this time?" But the reason she called me over was much better than I had first assumed. They were preparing for the peace conference to take place here in Moss. It sounds like an exciting endeavor for the city here as kids from all over the world will be converging here to both celebrate the peaceful dissolution with Sweden in 1905 and to enjoy this peace seminar. Anyway it turns out that I have been chosen to appear on the radio with another student and describe the reason behind my coming to norway and to describe what I have learned and what my experiences are. I am more than a little nervous about all of this, but i feel that being questioned like this in an interview session can only help with my experience of things that I have never done. Well, I just thought it was a neat little tidbit that everyone would like to know. Thanks for putting up with all the writing...who knows how many of you are keeping up.


Less political...more school

Ok, so I can tell from the lack of any replies to my last couple posts that either there is nothing at all happening at home worth talking about, or it turns out that not everybody enjoys a good political debate like me...(or maybe its just that my argument was so fantastic that nobody could add or come up with a rebuttal) regardless of the reason for no comments I feel that it may be necessary to back away from the political scene for the time being anyway. I suppose I could explain the class that I am taking over here. The college I am attending is called the American College of Norway (ACN) and I am currently enrolled in a Peace Studies course that concentrates on conflict management. The class is pretty interesting, my only grudge is that everything that we are covering in class is something that I have covered over the last two semesters at UND in a much more complex class with Paul Sum. I know that most of you are thinking that I wouldn't enjoy a Peace Studies class, some may call me hawkish. I guess that is true to a point, but I also believe that what everybody wants, even hawks, is eventual peace for everyone. The difference is the methods used to achieve that peace. Now everyone in this course are, well, they are all doves. So, I think that my point of view is something that can at least add to the discussion of the class. I have so far really enjoyed both the professor and the class, yeah you can call me a nerd if you want...a political science nerd, its not like I haven't heard it before. I really have enjoyed this class, and it may actually open me up to attending similar classes back at UND. Well, that is all for now i guess. I hope everyone is doing great at home and all the crops are wonderful. I do have a question for Joey though. I was wondering how soon do we have to worry about you leaving to teach? I was hoping that I would be able to catch you in Bismarck one last time before you left, but I have no idea if that would even be possible. Anyway I better go and begin work on that fun peace studies homework.


Saturday, July 23, 2005

Catching up

Well so far I have spent the whole weekend doing exactly what I had planned on doing....nothing...and it was everything that i thought it would be. For the first time in over a month I got to sit around...catch up on all that has been happening all over the world. Read some and try to keep up with the twins. One thing that I did catch that is really the cause of this whole post was a quote by the Prime Minister of Australia. He has made some brilliant observations upon the terrorist problem that is plaguing the world. And i quote...

PRIME MINISTER HOWARD: On the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq that the first point of reference is, once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away to use a vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats. And no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen. Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.
And can I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.
Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people, by implication, suggesting we shouldn't have done that? When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy, not just in Iraq, but Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan? When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq, a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations, when Al-Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor. Now, I don't know the mind of the terrorist. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts are, and the objective facts are as I've cited, the objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And, indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life; this is about the perverted use of the principles of a great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse, through a perverted ideology, of people and their murder.

Now, whether or not you agree with my ideology or any of my beliefs is a matter for another time, but it would be incredibly difficult to a degree of impossibility to disagree with any of the statements that John Howard just made. Many people of the press place the blame of these insane terrorists upon the victim country's leaders. How can one blame Bush or Tony Blair for some idiot suicide butchers. A reporter asked Blair if he believed that his policies have put these people in the position they are in to carry out such murders.

BLAIR ANSWERS SIMPLY: Well, I think I said to you before, that I feel that people who are responsible for doing these things are the people who do them.

It is as simple as that. I do not believe, as many do, that we have been the cause of many of these attacks. Is it not obvious that these people have hated us for much longer than we have been in Iraq or Afganistan? Was the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, not correct that there were bombings and threats long before we took any action? What did we do to provoke the bombings on the towers? The first or second ones? The bombings of our African embassies? There was no cause for any of these attacks except for the fact that we live in the most prosperous country in the world...and I refuse to believe that this is a good enough reason to kill thousands of inocent people. I think that before anybody even begins to blame either Bush or Blair for any of these tragedies they need to read again what John Howard and Tony Blair have said.


Friday, July 22, 2005

First week

Well, this I finished my first week of school here in Norway without an incident. We went on a field trip yesterday to a humongous museum near Lillehammer called Maihaugen. It was pretty neat. We got to see how people lived here in Norway since the middle ages. This museum was in two parts. One part was indoors and just showed the progression from the stone age until today of Norwegian society, and the second part was outdoors and very cool. The second part we toured a few houses and a stave church and a school all from hundreds of years ago. We then came back here to school and threw a little party for everyone to attend. It was pretty fun. It was a rather late night. I managed to pick myself up a cold too. I think it is from the lack of sleep. Since we have a three day weekend though i think I will get all caught up. I also get to do some real homework on this weekend so mom can quit worrying. I also got to go watch a good American movie the other day...War of the Worlds. It was pretty good. Not fantastic by any means. But i guess that is all the news I have for now.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Talk about busy

Hey everyone,

I know it has been quite a while since my last post...well only a few days but thats a while in my book, anyway it has been pretty busy. Got back to Norway and immediately had to start class the next day. I thought the class sounded pretty fun while in the class room but then I went to do the homework. Wow, really really boring stuff. And I am used to boring, I am going into political science after all, but this thing is ridiculous. We must read about about an agreement that was made between the Palistinians and the Israelis, but the majority of the talks happened here in Norway. Seems pretty cool right, WRONG. First of all, the deal only held out for like 2 years or something. It didn't work in other words. So what is the point of studying how to make a political deal that failed I ask you. (sigh). The amount of reading and the time I spend in class has been more than I do for 5 classes in UND. Yuck. Other than that...We are taking our first field trip tomorrow (and yes I do realize how juvenile and elementary that sounds) but I think it should be fun, if for no other reason that to get outta Moss for a day.

Well, I better be goin.

Hope everything is goin great at home,


Sunday, July 17, 2005

Home sweet Norway

Well we made it with the only oops being the lost gifts. No lost lost passports...just one lil oops. I am back in Moss and class starts in the morning. What a scary thing to say. I have been traveling for so long it seems weird to stay here and rest...i even watched a little TV and a movie here. Like being back in the states. We got some good pizza and plopped down in front of the TV. We actually thought we were back in the states today when we stopped into a burgerking and saw baseball pictures on the walls, we got free refills and we didnt have to pay extra for ketchup...weird stuff. Well, I thought i would just update you on the final stint of our travels and now I need to go to bed because I have (add a shutter here) class tomorrow. Goodnight all and I will occasionally post for the next month at least. And hey drop me a message when you get the chance.


Well back to business as usual

well after the whole train fiasco that i had in Berlin we did make it to Copenhagen. We met some English *mates* on the train yesterday and they decided to stay in the same hostel as was cheaper. Anyway it was kinda cool walking around a city in Europe and, having already been there, show others around...weird feeling in when in Copenhagen. It felt good though, we are seasoned travelers now so we know what we are doing. I am currently awaiting a train to Oslo because unfortunately our travels have come to a close. We are going back to school and back to business as usual. I know that a few of you readers were really pumped about the new Harry Potter book coming out and I broke down and bought it because i needed something for the train. Um other than that I just want everybody to know that I will continue posting on this website from Norway and I am thinking I will even when I get home. I met alot of friends here in Europe and this is the best way to keep in contact that i can think I like to tell stories and I figured lets write it down so that I can get some feedback on them. Especially from people like Phil who i dont see enough of...and whose opinion i really respect. Well i have takin enough time, the train is coming soon so this is where I leave you until i reach Moss and school.

goodbye for now

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Not exactly

Well i just posted...or so i thought and now i will give it another chance

you all can first of all restrain yourselves from getting mad at me, cuz trust me, nobody is more pissed than me.

I left all of your gifts and all of my souvinirs on the stupid train from Paris. By the time that i realized it I ran back but obviously it was gone. Everything from my shotglasses and cups to my mom and grandmas rosaries. Tay and Linz i am sorry too had some pretty cool freakin gifts for you but your brother it turns out is an idiot and leaves all that cash in a bag on a stupid train. Goll dangit. I know you guys wont be mad at me at all...cept mom...but i am just totally mad cuz i know how much you would have liked what i had gotten for you. I am soooo mad at myself...cannot believe i did that...I am on my way to Kopenhagen soon on my next train and i still just cannot believe i forgot all of that stuff...hope you all forgive your idiot of a brother and i will beat myself up about it. There was so much great stuff and memories that i just left on the stupid train...IDIOT. I'm soooo sorry guys.



trust me before I even write this that there is nobody more mad about what i just did than myself. We finally got outta Paris and caught a train to Berlin where we are waiting until our train for Kopenhagen leaves. Anyway I am again going to appologize because Blake it turns out is an idiot. After taking the night train to Berlin I was so happy to get off the train I failed to realize that I had left my bag full of gifts on the train. A whole bunch of moneys worth. By the time I realized and took off back to the train it was gone. I am sooooo sorry. I had planned on giving my mom and grandma both rosaries from Notre Dame and my sisters each had gifts from Paris and Rome and Paige lost another gift as well. I have made this whole trip without so much as an incident, and then when ON THE WAY HOME I lost everything that would have been givin away...all the fun stuff. Man i just feel terrible...i wanted everyone to get a gift and be so happy and then i just left that grocery bag on the train. I know half of you are reading this and can't believe I did that and i know half of you are surprised that this is the first time i forgot a bunch of stuff. The worst thing is that I was so looking forward to presenting the gifts that now it seems like I have let everyone down. I'm soooo sorry everyone I feel terrible...and I lost a bunch of money too.

fogive me


Friday, July 15, 2005

having a little trouble getting out of paris

first of all the bastille day firworks under the eiffel tower were amazing but we didnt get to climb the tower because of this. sucky huh. Yeah havin some troubles typing here in france so give me a break the letters are all over. well we couldnt find a place to stay in amsterdam plus we are running slow so wanted to go to kopenhavn to be half way back...except the train was full so we are going to berlin again for a night before norway...i am really stressin out about this return trip and cant wait to get back to norzway then home..

well i a, leavin now

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

In beautiful Paris

Hey i know at least one reader is jealous of this post...Linz I'm talkin to you.

I just got to Paris today after a night train from was so sad to leave such a beautiful place. I almost could have lived on that rocky beach for the rest of my life. We went to the Louvre today and it was ridiculously packed in there so we did the touristy thing and hit the main sites and then jetted outta there. Its too bad that we weren't willing to tough out the crowds but it was insane in there. And we were there at a low time. We saw the famous Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace...and of course the very famous Mona Lisa. It was actually less impressive than the other two, and it was hard to see because of the crowds of insane tourists. We managed a few pictures then hit the road. We started the day pretty rocky though. We got here and wandered around the city looking for our Hotel and couldn't find it. We were then sent on a wild goose chase all around Montemarte looking for it. It was not a fun walk. We finally find the place which i had managed to book for last night and tonight instead of tonight and tomorrow...idiot. So we got everything all cleared up and went and ate at this classy little restaraunt down the street. The perfect French restaraunt if you can imagine one. A very friendly staff, but it was a bit overpriced. We got a hot ham and cheese with an egg on top...fantastic food. Called the Croque had the egg...the Croque Monsieur did not.

Then we traveled by metro to Notre Dame, but not before taking a couple of wrong trains...I really suck at this train catching thing. So we got there and waited in a ridiculous line for a while but was not dissappointed upon entering the Cathedral. Amazing is all I can say. I lit a candle for Grandpa Doug there which I thought was pretty amazing in itself. It was so nice there but the south tower was getting repaired so there are some scaffolding outside that messes with the view...but still fantastic. we then hit the Louvre and walked around all over town going in small little shops before we were both beat and decided to rest at the Hotel, which is right near the famous Moulin Rouge if you can believe that. Tomorrow is Bastille Day (a day to celebrate the revolution reaching the Bastille in Paris) kinda like the fourth of July. We plan on making it to the parade tomorrow near the arch downtown. It should be fun. Then tomorrow night there is supposed to be a great fireworks show by the Eiffel tower which we havent seen yet because we wanted to see in then. Should be an unbelievable day. I hope.

Hope all is well at home and the calf is takin care of by mom. Oh and the raking...some bailing...not to mention the rest of your chores. I will be here in France enjoying myself...thanks mom.

bye all

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A long night

well I made it all the way to Nice so far and I haven't got into any trouble yet so I think that you guys can quit telling me to be safe...always my first priority over here is to not say anything to offend the locals and to not get pickpocketed. I have managed to do both thus far so maybe you guys can sleep at night and not worry.

We are off to Monaco today and to book a train to Paris. Very exciting stuff. But the night was even better. For the last few nights we have been going to this small pub called Wayne's. It is small but in the back there are a bunch of tables and things in front of a stage where live bands play every night. We ran into a friend of ours from Rome...he just happened to be staying in our hostel here in town, so we took him with us to the Pub. The band kinda stunk right away then they started to play some good old American rock like the Chili Peppers and Green Day so that was cool. Had a blast. Now I hear that Monaco is just this beautiful place with the richest people you'll ever see. Juliano told me that over there the Porche is like a common. Hope everyone is doing fine and that the rain keeps coming when it needs to.


Monday, July 11, 2005


I do not even want to try to explain how great that is so we will just say that i did it and loved it. NO WORDS. the rest of the day i spent on the beach talking with bj and Megan (a girl i met from the states) we are now planning on finding someplace to eat and grab some heinickin and head to the shore...of the mediterranean. thats all for now


Sunday, July 10, 2005

workin sucks

I thought I had better post twice today...just to rub in the absolute best day of the entire trip that I have had. To sum up all I did today was the south of France...on the Mediterranean the sun...watching girls...swimming in salt about amazing. It is kind of wierd sitting on a beach much fun. The salt water was surprisingly easy to swim in. It takes half the work that a swimming pool or lake takes to swim. I can see why people do it. I havent showered yet because I am loving the fresh from the beach smell...yes just like Kramer on Seinfeld. Our hostel here is a little sketchy, but we have already met a guy from Brazil that i think may be the coolest guy I know. He, Bjorn, and I spent all day on the beach or walking the boardwalk...the whole day. It was the most relaxing and fun we have rush...just the sun and some guys hangin out. Even managed to sit under an umbrella and have a drink...just like the Corona comercials. Now I really can't wait to come home because if I am ever sitting by the lake I can say, "This is nothing like the South of France. The mediterranean sea is much better to swim in." It will be great. "Man, I remember this beach I was on in the South of France..." Never thought I would ever say that. Relaxin and swimming and hanging out with a Brazillian. Never thought I would ever do that here...and it is everything that I dreamed it could be. Anyone jealous of the sun and sea. Thanks to everyone for all the replies. I really like to hear from each of you, it is fun to know what you are all up to as well. And thanks Carol for the message.

take care

Hey all...Nice is nice

terrible terrible pun i know... We just arrived here in beautiful Nice and have quickly realized we should have checked the weather station before deciding to come. Turns out that it is a rainy drizzly day here we haven't had a chance to do any exploring or go to the beach yet. The whole plan for Nice is to sit on the beach all day and relax. We have been so busy running to all the famous sites it seems like we haven't got a chance to really sit down and say, "Hey we are on vacation in Europe." It is better than raking or putting in bin floors, but I think we really do need these days to let the trip actually sink in. We are then planning on seeing both Paris and Amsterdam, and I thought today that we definately need to see one of the most important sites in Europe...the beaches of Normandy. I have heard that the memorial there is fantastic.

We got to see quite possibly the most famous site from Roman times yesterday...the Coloseum and it was very impressive. The tour guide we had put something into perspective though, the Colloseum's diameter was shorter than the length of Saint Peters Basillica. My jaw about hit the floor. I thought the church was big, but that is just ridiculous. We also made a little mistake while trying to find a famous fountain in Rome...we threw our coins in some dinky little guy then later found the huge one and thought...oops. Only to bj and me could that happen. But we did manage to see the fountain and the Colloseum and Constantine's Arch so it was a good day.

Thanks to everyone for writing me...and Tay, rest assured that your gift is in my hands. Hope I can get it all the way home without wrecking the dang thing. Mom we went to the Vatican yesterday before we left and were planning on buying you a rosary there but for some reason they were closed. I'm so sorry. I did pick you up a little something elsewhere in Rome but the rosary would have been nicer. think you deserve a gift huh, Yeah right. You will have to e-mail the itinerary so I know when they will be in Paris because I will be there in a few days. Hope everyone else is doing fine, and Cor I hope you at least won some blackjack to pay for your trip. I better go because this is costing me dearly so goodbye.


Friday, July 08, 2005

Another one of many great days

Talk about a fun filled day. We got up late this morning after a rather late night...(read into that as much as you will)...and took off for the older part of Rome. We hopped on a city tour bus that took us to every site in the city...but we are still planning on doing some other tours and things tomorrow because we both want to spend some more time around the Colloseum. Talk about some amazingly beautiful buildings and sites...its enough to make a person never want to leave...I do plan on throwing a coin in the fountain in the city because they say that you are then guaranteed a return to Rome...i hope its true. We have decided to alter our travel plans in light of the attacks yesterday. We have decided to go to Florence tomorrow and spend a day there and then to Nice...gotta see a French beach if you are here. Oh and the beautiful girls that we see walking down the street...I love the Italians...did get our first site of armpit hair on an old lady though...not good.

We actually just got done swimming here at the camp and more beautiful girls there...And after swimming we played a little foosball with a Ragae band...the stories i can tell after this trip...Never have I played foosball with a foreigner before this. He killed me...but bj is good also so we held our own. We sat down outside a restaurant today...fabulous lasagna...but the thing was that we got serenaded by a accordian player...he was good and played the song you always here when you see Italy on a movie or was great...But i suppose i have taken up enough of your time...I am guessing you all have better things to do than sit around and read some boring stories about two punks across the ocean...but you do it anyway...sorry. Thanks to everyone who keeps writing me I enjoy hearing about home too. I will try to post pictures as soon as I get to Norway but I am not making any promises. They are beautiful though and I will rub them in all your faces later.


To old rome

Well i just got up and thought i would see how worried mom was...very worried as it turns out. Thanks to everyone for posting...and i know you were all thinking about your friends abroad too. We actually went to a pub here in our campground we are staying in, last night with a couple of englishmen and its true what they said about the tragedy...that we are disconected from the events because of our travel. I think that the result would have been greater if I wasnt in some foreign country with no Fox news to watch. I have met many brits but they seem to all feel the same way...disconected. I want to mention that we actually stayed in a Hotel in Munich and sheets were clean but we only bought a single room so Bjorn was a trooper and slept on the floor...and would not believe the clubs over here...i havent been in one but they are everywhere...right next to the ritziest hotel in munich there was a dirty looking club...wierd huh. Hil i like hearing from the sistine chapel there are no pictures allowed but in the rest of the vatican it is perfectly fine...i loved the art of michaelangelo and the humongous saint peters basilica. the time is running out on my computer so i better send this...

goodbye all

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Another terrible act

Today would have been a great day...i say would have been because as you all have obviously heard there were some dispicable acts of not even terror of murder today in London. These acts show exactly what Bush said today in a shows the absolute contrast between people of our countries taking part in the conference in scotland and trying to figure out how best to help those that need it in places like Africa, contrast that with the murder of innocent men, women, and children in London and tell me who are the righteous in the world. Tell me who does what is right in the world. I have no doubt in my mind that we will see some swift movement by both the Brits and Americans to bring these murderers to justice (i almost called them perpetrators but they do not deserve the dignity of a title like that).

Bjorn and I spent the day so far in the Vatican...again i can swear that words will not describe the beauty that we saw in the Sistine Chapel. I will show everyone pics and tell you more about it later. I just wanted mom and everyone to know that we are cancelling our plans to London and taking a side trip somewhere else instead.

Goodbye all

While in Rome

Hey everyone

If anyone is wondering who this Andy guy is, he is a great American who one day plans to be president...with me as vice...then i will continue his work and become president after his eight years. Bj and i met him in Berlin and we managed to hang out a few nights and talk some politics...if that surprises anyone.

Andy...good work on the research and I think the military service will come in handy while running for long as you do not make up stories and earn a purple heart for doing nothing. That could cost ya...haha.

anyway i suppose i better go...the cost of internet is very exorbatant...(my word of the day). But Rome is beautiful...i cant use any superlatives to describe the land around here. beautiful and i have yet to see the vatican. Until next time...bye bye


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Long day and a long much needed rest

We arrived in munich after an extremely long train ride. we wondered around looking for a place to stay and found a tiny little pile of a hotel for cheap so there we stayed. Hey it was cheap. Anyway we both slept until late this morning...thank goodness. We awoke to the cleaning lady wanting us to check out. Second time thats happened. Anyway we checked out and headed to go tour Dachau...a concentration camp. That is a place that you don't want to visit twice but something that everyone needs to see. Its amazing the kind of things they had to endure in a place like that. Anyway we are on our way to Rome tonight on a night train and will hopefully will awake tomorrow ready to find our way around the town. this is the most exciting part of traveling...the new town...and not only that but its bloody ROME. I can't wait...i would skip over all of the rest of the trip just to see it i think. Anyway its time to leave when bjorn starts correcting my grammer...the nerve. So i will hopefully be reporting back that we made a successful journey and are enjoying the mediteranean and the sites in rome. Until then goodbye


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

lazy days

I realize that lately my posts may have been more than a little rushed and not all that interesting. Well i want to try to fix that. The fourth of july was a blast and we spent it with the soldiers and a couple other acquaintances that we have met. Of course we spent the whole night at an Irish pub ironically called Irish Pub. It was fun and there were some terrible karoke singers there. Today we are boarding a train to Munich...yay another train. We will only stay one night in Munich because time is running short already. We do plan on seeing dachau and hopefully a castle too. I hope that everyone had a fantastic fourth of july and please don't hesitate to tell stories. I would still like to here comments from you all...maybe with the exception of corey and jon. You two are great...i hope that you enjoyed home and there were no injuries out on the water. Well i'm off to catch a train...I love europe everything sounds so exotic and fantastic...the best part is that when i do go home i can read on the news about germany and then say...well back when i was in Berlin... It will be great.
With that i bid you all a farewell till next time.


Monday, July 04, 2005

amazing day

well we just got done with our last tour of town. we ate at the top of the famous tv tower and it was fantastic. An amazing view of the city. Berlin is an amazing place with such unbelievable history. We went to the history museum and took a bunch of pictures of town. very very cool. the soldiers want to get together tonight at our favorite bar i think and celebrate the fourth. I'm pretty excited, i would like to be at a lake too, but i think that i'll enjoy myself here. i hope that everyone is having fun, and dad you would call my young amazingly built uncles fat...haha. well i think i'm off thanks Laur and the uncles and all my buddies for writing to me, its a lot of fun to know that you are all jealous. Dad i was going to buy you a furry hat from checkpoint charlie but decided i didn't have room, a beerstein i looked at as well. um anyway i better go argue some politics because i'm sick of listening to the crazy talk.

bye everyone

fourth of july baby

alright everyone,

Today is the fourth of july and the plan is to go see some museums but most definately go to the most popular American sight, checkpoint charlie. The wierd thing is that they are planning on building a large office structure over the spot where all the crosses are. I'm not sure if there is anything that we can do about that but if you could at least show that we really enjoyed everything about checkpoint charlie then maybe we could change them wrecking the whole thing. Last nightwe ran into a bunch of American soldiers back from Iraq and stationed here in germany, talk about a great bunch of people. And all you liberals can read this and be mad but those soldiers know how to appreciate life, and their country and they love their president. So don't tell me about guantanamo or anything else because if it takes some torture to save even one person like the soldiers i just met then i say go for it.

Other than that we are moving to another new hostel closer to the museums here in Berlin. I'm pretty excited to go see all of the sites before we leave to i better get going. I hope everyone is having a great fourth and keep in mind that we live in a country like no other. Have fun.


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Hey we're travelin

well we finally hit the road out of scandinavia and are in duetscher territory. I'm excited about the tours we plan on taking tomorrow. We want to see the whole city of berlin, but its huge. There are so many things that you must see when here that we will have a full couple of days. The train ride was uneventful, and it turned out i booked the hostel wrong but we were lucky and got a room anyway. Right now I am typing on the weirdest set up keyboard so its taking forever.

Tay i wanted to say thanks for the reply and i hope bball camp and bible camp went well. Have fun campin with everyone. I better get going, but thanks to everyone who said hi, its nice to here from you all too...even the canadian...kiddin joe. I suppose i better go find something to do, don't want to be stuck inside on a beautiful day in Germany.

Goodbye all



Well its about ten in the morning and I have over an hour to head to the train station for Berlin and I thought I would tell everyone about the night on the town. On our way into Kobenhavn we met a bunch of Englishmen who were loud and obnoxious, just my sort. We had talked for a while and they told us some good places to see in the town. We went out to eat early in the night and found the prices here more to our liking. We met a couple of guys from Holland at our hostel and we were off to have a night on the town. We asked the bus driver to stop and tell us where the fun nightspots were and he was happy to do so. We walked down a small street with our friends and found a rather large Irish pub (bar for you back home) and went in and listened to the band. Then the surprise of the night happened, as we made our way back to the bar there were about 8 loud obnoxious Englishmen. Unbelievably we had met these same guys on the train. We decided to follow the businessmen around for the night because we figured they may offer to buy a drink. They did one better however and they bought our way into a popular dance club where they played a lot of older American music. It wasn't hard for Bjorn and I to make our way to the dance floor and have a whole lot of fun. To end the night the Englishmen left for their hotel and I climbed in a cab for the hostel. All in all, it was a great day. However, i'm not sure that i can have great days like that to often though, i will most definately be sleeping on the train. Well until the next stop i guess you'll hear back.


Thursday, June 30, 2005

Today, first good day

hi all,

First of all, I would seriously like to thank all of my "friends" who are posting some comments. Yeah I have one, thanks Hil, to the rest of you...I don't write this for my own good. I write this because I guess I wrongly assumed you would enjoy hearing some of my stories...yeah here comes the guilt trip. Get off you butts and make a profile and write some responses. Please, I need the encouragement to go on.

Ok, enough of that. Now, today was a great day. I finally got over my jet lag and slept in a little bit. It was excellent. Bjorn and I grabbed our backpacks and headed into Oslo to grab his railpass at the fedex. We then returned to the center of Oslo to find out if there were any trains headed to any other country. We were actually looking for the train to Kopenhaven (Copenhagen for all you non-euro speakers) We found out that we couldn't leave until 7:00 on Friday, which was fine with us because we toured the viking museum here in Oslo, and journeyed around the town seeing sites. Bjorn's emergency repair on the geek piece will hopefully hold up until we return to the states (boy i love the way that sounds comin outta me "when i get home to the states"). We heard of a humongous rock festival near Kopenhaven and were excited to find out that the foo fighters, greenday, and audioslave all were there. It turns out though that you couldn't buy a one day pass and we didn't want to buy a week pass for one night. So we decided to skip the festival and see what the town has to offer. We had quite a bit of trouble finding a place to stay because of this massive party, but finally found a hostel on the cheap.

Well, I think I may have blathered on plenty long, but just to describe those pictures from yesterday, the one with the boardwalk near the water is Moss, where my college is, and the other one was taken on a good lookout point above Oslo.

I want to thank Dad for the sarcastic e-mail, but I'm sure if you really want a hat like that the Kremlin will send me home with one after my trial. And Darren you know that I have never spoken a true word in my life so...

hope everyone's summer is going great, i'd like to hear about them but nobody posts back, JUST DO IT.

signed a long ways from home

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Some pics

The newest development

hi all

I am happy to say that Bjorn and I have finally begun traveling. We made it to Oslo today without incident and met up with a relative of his. She was busy with work so she pointed us down the street with the most sites to see while she finished some work that needed to be completed. We journeyed to the top of the ski jump near Oslo which offered an amazing view of the city and fjord on which it sits. Oslo is an amazing city, and one of my friends was quick to point out that it is the 10th most expensive city in the world, so we dont plan on spending too much time shopping in the city, sorry girls. Both Bjorn and i hope to get into the city pretty early again tomorrow and view many of the museums that are scattered all over. As the day wound down today, we decided to have some Norwegian ice cream boats. They were just a boat cone filled with ice cream and some strawberry in the middle. They were tasty but quite hard. This is where the next little snag happened. As Bjorn took his second bite of ice cream he managed to rip apart some nerd gear in his mouth, and by nerd gear i mean he had a permanent retainer cemented into his mouth in high school some time. As I sit and write this very message on his cousins computer, Bjorn is on his way to get some emergency work done on the retainer. Not being a surgery and pain lover, I decided to stay away from the dental office and read. I would maybe think about sleeping, but the sky wont get dark here for several many more hours even though it is already getting close to eight. I will let you all know how both Bjorn and his retainer are as soon as possible, until then adios.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Waiting Patiently

well here i am again
The surprising thing is that i haven't exactly moved since my last entry. I'm still here in Moss, Norway with Bjorn waiting for his rail pass to be sent over from his desk in his room in Wisconsin. We are meeting a few students from the ACN that were taking classes last semester and are planning on attending UND in the fall and spring semesters. It is interesting to talk with them, but other than the few kids that we have met we are both pretty bored. There are not too many things to do here in Moss especially considering that we will be taking tours when we return here for school so we don't want necessarily to take the same tour twice. We will hopefully begin our next leg of the trip in a couple days an be on our way to some fantastic memories. I'll try updating again sometime when we have actually achieved some travel around Europe.


Monday, June 27, 2005

A Rocky Start

Well hello again everyone from the two travelers, Bjorn and Blake.

The journey began well enough, I made it to Grand Forks without a hitch. That is where things began to go wrong. I woke up in the morning expecting to buy the few items that i had yet to purchase before i boarded the plane, but it was sunday morning and apparently nothing opens until noon. So, i said forget about that stuff and finally arived at the airport with plenty of time to spare becuase it turns out that there was a thunderstorm moving through and my flight had been delayed. At this point i realized that I would miss my flight out of Minneapolis if we didn't make up any time in the air. Well we actually lost more time in the air because we had to fly south to fargo to get around the storm. Bjorn was more that a little worried as he boarded the plane in Minnesota. He climbed off his plane in Amsterdam and quickly boarded his flight to Oslo, where he waited for me for several hours. Finally, he gave up on me and left for the college in Moss. Meanwhile i was in Minneapolis until 9:00 on sunday night. So my flights were around 6 hours behind Bjorn. When i finally did arrive in Oslo after traveling all that way, missing my flight, waiting forever for my rescheduled flight, sitting next to a rather large lady on the plane, it was nice to hear my name called on the loudspeaker to know that someone was in fact looking for me. Bjorn had talked with the service desk and the nice guy had written down my name and the address and phone number of the school in moss. He was a big help as he put me on the right track to finally meeting up with Bjorn at the college which was lucky in itself because he just happened to be walking across the street when i arrived.

Well, that was the first day of our travels, what else could go wrong, right? Bjorn actually left his Europass at home so now we must try to figure out how to solve that dilemma before we leave for Copenhagen. Wish us luck, but right now I want to tell my mom and Paige both to quit their worrying about me, cuz cuz i know you are. We're off to the train station to figure out what to do next. I'll try to check back as soon as i can, and Hilary, lets not get carried away with this cool business.

blake and bjorn

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Preparation for whats to come

Well, hello to everyone who found this site easily. I'm just testing this thing out to make sure I know exactly what I am doing so it won't be too difficult to figure when I am out and about. I leave for Moss, Norway on June 26th. Hopefully I can get there without anything too exciting happening. I am beginning to get more than a little nervous about the trip and incredibly excited. I will be going over with a good friend of mine from Wisconsin that I met in college, Bjorn Anderson. With a name like that you know he'll fit in pretty well. The plan is to fly into Oslo, hop a bus to our school in Moss and drop off the books and anything that we feel is unnecessary for the next few weeks because we plan on then hopping a ferry to Denmark and a train to wherever and see everything that we possibly can fit in while touring for around 20 days. Anyone who knows me knows that I have never had a chance to travel like this so I can't imagine how much fun it will be. Well, that is all the information I have right now i guess, anybody have any questions or just want to keep in touch just e-mail me or reply here on this blog, that would be great. I return to Grand Forks on August 20 and that's like 3 days before classes start here so I will be rushing around. I will be sure to try to keep in touch with anybody who writes me, and i will hopefully be updating this website occasionally with pictures and stories, none of them fabricated Darren.