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October 26, 2006

Completing Gründerskolen

After getting home from Brussels there were at least one good thing waiting for me at home, a delivery slip saying that my DSL-modem had arrived! Finally I could start really using the net again, as opposed to just doing the most basic things over my 3G cellphone-connection. And then on Tuesday some guys showed up to install a wall-mounted oven in my bathroom as the floor-heating was broken when I moved in. About time I say, as winter is just around the corner and a ground-level apartment without gets really chilly along the floors, so now I've gotten everything in the apartment in order, just in time for the Wednesday arrival of Øystein and Carina from Gründerskolen, who will be staying at my place over the weekend during the Gründerskolen Fall Seminar, the completion of my days as a student!

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August 30, 2006

Leaving time

And then, all of a sudden on this Sunday morning, summer was over and people started going home to Norway, so it was also the time for goodbyes. My flight were scheduled very early on Monday morning, so to have an easier time getting to the airport then we arranged it so that I drove Carina to the airport when she left at noon on Sunday. In return I got to keep the car for an extra day so I could take myself comfortably to the airport the next morning.
When she had left I went home and started packing up all my own stuff, and despite having bought an extra 120 liter suitcase I almost couldn't fit everything! It must have been those 30 new t-shirts I've gotten myself...

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August 27, 2006

Exploration week

After a weekend of complete relaxing that let me get back on top after an intensive summer there was only this last week left of my stay in California. Since there was still plenty I had not gotten to see in the Bay area I made a decent attempt at stopping by quite a few of those I still had left. I was originally planning to do a longer trip as well since we had an entire week off, then either to L.A., Yosemite, Mexico or Canada, but circumstances forced me to abandon such plans so I ended up just driving around the Bay area instead.

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August 20, 2006

Wrapping up at work

This last week at work Marthe and I have started wrapping up our final tasks, while Arthur has come down with a stomach bug and have been staying home since last Wednesday. Since we will be going home quite soon I have also taken every chance I get to talk to get to know some new people, and this Thursday Dave came up to San Mateo to meet me for lunch as he was interested in talking about Searchforceand other things. He is one of the gentlemen I met at the Norwegian Club of SF last week, and works with the Merrill-Lynch Investment bank.

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August 17, 2006

Final exams

With our final examination and the delivery of our business plan due this Tuesday, and after prioritizing most of last week to new experiences and parties, it was really about time to put in some serious work on the plan so we could get it ready in time. So Sunday morning at 10a.m, just after a short detour to drop of mine and Øysteins rented diving equipment, the Automaton Industries team met up in the offices of PeerMe to finish up the plan that we have been working on all summer.

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August 12, 2006

Goodbye lunch, visiting Berkeley & Diving Point Lobos

After an excessive amount of partying lately it has been getting increasingly harder to get up and go to work in the mornings, but I had to get up this Friday too since summer is almost over and there was going to be a goodbye lunch with the entire company for all of us interns, so I managed to get up and go to work this last day of the week as well. When the day started nearing noon all the employees were rounded up and for once we went out with everyone present, but found that the first choice of restaurant for our lunch had been closed, so we ended up going to the Persian restaurant Shalizaar instead. We ordered served a variety of Kabobs and other really good Persian-style food, plus we got to have some fun with Samir with his glass of "doogh", a very peculiar tasting Persian drink made from yogurt, water, mint, salt and pepper served on ice...

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August 11, 2006

Partyweek part II: Open bar!

Unlike most Tuesdays, Arthur, Marthe and myself didn't have today off to study as our internship company Searchforce was having a booth at the annual Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. In addition to us almost half the company (4 people) went with us so that we could pitch our product to visitors and maybe also locate some potential corporate partners. To "help out" during the conference the company had also hired a booth-babe, one Australian girl who was visiting the states to see her boyfriend. The conference was pretty fun with lots of interesting companies attending, plenty of more or less useful give-aways and even a few games as well, so even while I didn't go to any of the sessions I had a good time there. However that was nothing compared to what came next... and I'm not talking about this weeks lecture, which actually finished up around 6p.m after a volunteer group did their business plan presentation early for a bit of feedback from the group.

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August 8, 2006

Partyweek part I: Red red wine

After putting in a lot of long hours towards studying lately, this week looks like it might become the complete opposite and maybe the most intensive week of parties so far this summer.
It all started out last Friday when Øystein called me just after I got back from work and asked if I wanted to join him and some of the other PeerMe people at Cascals for finger food and drinks. When I got over there a few of the others had been sitting there for a while already, and some others were just coming. We ended up spending six straight hours there, drinking the bar empty of our chosen brand of wine and enjoying various kinds of tapas for a final tab of more than $400 USD (!), which Tom picked up himself, as he always does whenever we go out with him.

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August 4, 2006

Tv, lock-problems and Nesheim relaxed(!)

While still keeping the focus on our studies, outside of the working hours Arthur and I have also spent quite a few hours in front of the TV. We have just been lazy while watching Arthurs newly bought DVD's with full seasons of The Sopranos and Allò Allò. However to get some variety we did go to the San Jose IMAX theater today to catch Superman Returns since it was closed last time around, and it was a totally awesome way to see a movie! The really large screen lets you get into the movie in a whole new way, despite some annoying blurring along the edges of the screen caused by the conversion to the larger format (which you don't get with real IMAX movies btw). I was a bit disappointed however that there was no 3D equipment in this theater, but since less than 20 minutes of the movie would have been in 3D it didn't change the experience which I can totally recommend! It's just too bad that the IMAX theater in Oslo has been shut down...

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July 30, 2006

Wine, cheese, tapas, cake, some movies and a club!

Until now we have mostly been spending the summer going on various trips and events in smaller groups, but that changed this week with a Wine&Cheese party first, and then a Tapas-night tool Then in between this and the pressure from our work and studies which is really building up now, we also found the time to see some movies, visit Gloria and to go clubbing in San Francisco!

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July 23, 2006

Lounging, couching and a banana-BBQ..

The day after the rodeo it was back to work as usual, but since thursday nights are quite good in downtown Mountain View we squeezed in an eventful night out. For once it was not an indication of how the coming weekend would turn out, as we instead played it cool by the pool and had ourselves some nice dinners.

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July 20, 2006

Great Bulls of Fire

This week started off more or less like last week, with more work and studies to be done. However after classes on tuesday we got off early, so Øystein and I spent the extra time at Fry's looking at electronics before we went home and watched a movie at the class projector that we are taking care of this week.
Then after work on wednesday we headed straight down to Salinas near Santa Cruz to see a real life american rodeo! It was the Great Bulls of Fire show on the California Rodeo Big Week, a televised professional bullriders challenger event!

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July 17, 2006

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

This weekend it was time for another roadtrip, this time to see more of the Californian national parks and great trees, and perhaps even a redneck or two. We headed out early on friday afternoon with Øystein, Carina, Alex and myself in one car and Martin and Camilla (M's danish girlfriend) in another. We had booked accomodation at the Sequoia Motel in a small town called Three Rivers just outside the Sequoia National Park, about a 5 hour drive from the Bay Area.

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July 14, 2006

Catching up with everyday life

Since we got back from Vegas the realities of everyday life has really caught up with us, so we've had to put in quite a few hours with the books lest we'd fall too far behind on the study materials. Besides this and the internship work we have not done much lately deserving of mention, other than catching the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest up in the Century Cinema multiplex at Shoreline on friday night. It was a good movie, but it didn't even close to the first one in any aspects, but it is one of those that you just have to see.

Then the weekend was mostly spent recouperating the lost sleep from last weekend and reading study-materials by the pool, as well as talking to my Carina at home on Skype. Arthur and I also dropped by a party at Ida's place on saturday night as she had bought lots of fruits and liquor and was mixing fancy tropical drinks for everyone! Around midnight everyone went down to the Buddah Lounge to check out the nightlife, but we didn't stay long and returned to Park Place for a nachspiel instead. A couple of the guys then brought guitars as well, so we were all having a great time singing and drinking.

Come monday this week turned into a deja vù of last week, with nothing happening but working long hours, studying and reading by the pool, only interchanged with business plan meetings, lectures on tuesday, and watching the Discovery channel. This made for a very boring week, but at least we are going on a great trip this weekend! In just a few hours we are leaving for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks to stay in a real american trailer :-)

July 5, 2006

4th of July celebrations!

Yesterday was the American Indepence Day, and after sleeping in to recover from the trip to Vegas, Arthur, Øystein, Carina and myself headed into San Francisco to join in on the celebrations. We went down to Pier 39 and just took in the atmosphere as where a large crowd had gathered to see the fireworks display that were scheduled to just after nightfall. It was quite a chilly night, and as I had forgotten to bring my jacket I ended up buying a cheap buy very warm two-sided souvernir jacket at a streetside booth, so now I have one of those as well! After walking around for a few hours, darkness fell and it was time for the fireworks to begin, so we found a place out on a pier where we could watch with a nice view of the bay. The fireworks were good, but compared to what I experienced in Australia they were actually a bit dissappoing when considering the amount of people living in the Bay Area, and they were short too - lasting just over 20 minutes.
Our plan for the rest of the night was to meet up with Martin downtown, and have him show us around to some good parties that night, but we were unable to get in touch with him at all, so since we were all quite exhausted we just headed home after the fireworks-displays and called it an early night.

There was one thing I found strange however, which is that while americans are often very nationalistic I didn't see any people displaying even a single american flag on their national day. This is made even more ironic since the flag is beeing religiously portrayed at almost every building on all other days of the year. Strange people these americans :-)

July 4, 2006

Vegas, baby. Vegas!

We had planned to leave on our roadtrip to Las Vegas at about 9a.m in the morning, but as usual with such plans they didn't quite happen the way we intended. Since both me and Carina were staying at Alex's place from the reception last night we had to get up and find our way back to Mountain View to pack our stuff before we could get on our way, so before everything were in order the clock was nearing 11a.m already, and then we also had to stop at SafeWay to stock up on food an water for the days in the desert.

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June 30, 2006

Keeping busy

Finally it was Tuesday again, and with that a day off to study and prepare for the classes with Nesheim, so I had a chance to sleep in and then call my Carina <3 in Norway on Skype before hitting the books and reviewing the lectures on video. I didn't have time to finish up everything before the lecture, but the test today was quite simple so it was all good, and afterwards a bunch of us headed to the Great Mall again where I got myself a couple of new O'Neil and Quicksilver t-shirts, and Øystein and I found a Asian/Cajun-fastfood crossover place at the Great Foodcourt and had dinner there before heading back home to get some more work done on the business plan.

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June 26, 2006

San Francisco gay pride weekend!

Weekend once again, and this time it is the San Francisco gay pride weekend! This of course means that we had to go to downtown SF to check out the parties and watch all the crazies, and not to mention to take in the big Pride Parade on sunday morning!

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June 24, 2006

Studying harder!

And without warning our third week in Silicon Valley were upon us, and now we are starting to feel the combined pressure of work and classes mounting. After work on monday this meant that we had to get together our group and start working on our business plan, which again means that we had to get our act together and clean up the apartment as well since our group consists of Carina and Marthe in addition to Øystein, Arthur and myself who are sharing an apartment, and they were coming over to start working on the business plan for Øysteins idea, which I naturally can't discuss due to patent issues.

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June 18, 2006

Daytour to Napa and an real gun show

Yesterday half of the Norwegians here took a road trip north to visit a Napa valley, the most fameous winery-district in America. From Mountain View it is about a two hour drive to the city of Napa, so we arrived there just before noon. There we were advised at a bike rental-place to go a bit further into the valley and rent bikes in the township of a Yountville instead, as it was supposed to be a much nicer and more rural area compared to Napa itself, and that was good advice indeed!

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June 17, 2006

Another week of work and parties

And suddenly a second busy week in San Francisco has come and gone. By now we are starting to get settled in at work, but we found that the preparations required for the classes with Nesheim was quite extensive so we asked and got to have tuesdays off from work to study and prepare. Also we've been trying out a range of different lunch-places in the San Mateo area and have been trying to socialize a bit in the evenings as well.

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June 9, 2006

A week of shopping, parties and some work

As the story goes, everything is bigger in the United States. Of course this includes both driving distances, the size of stores and the amounts contained in a pack of food. A direct result of this is that shopping takes us a large amount of time, simply due to the fact that the shops take so long to get to and walk through!

Also it appears that the days here in California won't consist of nearly as much relaxation by the pool as it was in Australia. There's something going on literally *all* the time so I barely even have time to blog!

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June 4, 2006

Livin' in California!

And now I've finally arrived in the sunshine state!
After a hectic couple of weeks just before leaving Trondheim we managed to get everything packed and my new cellphone did indeed arrive the very same morning that we left, on the 1st of June. That was incredibly lucky, and twice so since NAF in Trondheim didn't manage to fix me up with a 12V->230V power inverter in time, but I still managed to get one from NAF in Drammen, so everything worked out perfectly in the end!

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April 4, 2006

Gathering with Gründerskolen

Last weekend I went back to Oslo again, this time driving with Carina to move lots of her stuff back to Lier. The reason for the trip was an interview at the american embassy to get my student visa as well as a weekend gathering with all of the students going to Gründerskolen (Norwegian School of Entrepreneurship) this year. The interview was scheduled on thursday morning, so Carina and I drove down from Trondheim early on wednesday the 29th of March.

When we left I still had a bit of the flu since eating at Szechuan, so to prevent my allergy to cats from making me worse, and since I had to meet up at the embassy early thursday morning, I spent the nights from wednesday to friday at Marlenes place in Oslo and only stopped shortly in Lier to unload the car and have dinner. In addtition I haven't seen Marlene since we were in Australia together two years ago, so it was nice to finally get a chance to catch up again too.

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