The evil left knee has chondromalacia.

I've had the same problem with the right knee a long while back, and the right knee is, for the most part, fine now. After lots of hard rehab/physiotherapy work on it, of course. So it is possible to fix the problem. The advantage I have now is wisdom gained from previous experience (I know what to do and what not to do) plus knowledge on nutrition for helping with recovery. I didn't have this last time...

It just sucks rotten donkey balls that I can't run in this great weather... :-(

I also have to make sure the knee healthy enough before Krav Maga starts up again in August. That should go OK as long as I don't do anything stupid, which I don't plan on doing...


Krav Maga update...

Husband of feitpingvin and I had grading on Tuesday, and passed. We're Graduate Level 1 now. I have a shiny new blue patch and a gorgeous new diploma. The diplomas for graduate level are far prettier than the ones for practitioner level :-)

It was an extremely difficult grading, both physically and mentally, and I'm lucky I passed at all. Seriously. I just "wasn't there" the way I should have been. I kept faltering on the techniques (though I was able to execute them in the end). I was feeling really tired the whole time. I was also very thirsty the whole time; this had never happened with my previous gradings. But apparently I did well when doing some rounds of kickboxing, including rounds against guys who graded to Graduate Level 5. Boxing is something I really struggle with, especially due to my eye issues, so I'm kind of happy about this...

The ordeal lasted for three hours, and aside from a few short breaks, it was very high intensity all the way. I'm still very exhausted, and my muscles are very sore, especially my shoulders, triceps, and quads. I haven't really eaten properly after all of this either, because both of us are too tired to cook, in addition to not really having much of an appetite now, which is not helping in the recovery process. At least we've had some recovery beer hehe...


freaky fuschia five fingers - so far so good (I think)

A little while ago, in some conversation with one of my net buddies, I learned about the existence of Vibram Five Fingers. Being the kind of freaky person I am, I was immediately fascinated by them. Husband of feitpingvin was equally fascinated (you see how perfect we are for each other haha). We wanted to know where I could get them in Norway. It turned out it was not possible to get them in Norway, so we turned to Denmark, as husband of feitpingvin and I were going to go there for a long weekend anyway...

I got in touch with the importer in Denmark, and arranged to meet him the Thursday of our arrival. It was the weekend of the Copenhagen Marathon, and the organizers had a big tent set up where participants could get their numbers and various vendors could sell their wares; this was where we were going to take a look at the Five Fingers! We weren't sure whether we'd buy them or not, as we didn't know whether we'd like them or if they'd fit properly. But once we tried them on... wow! They were amazing! And they looked so freakishly cool! Plus there was the added bonus of the Copenhagen Marathon discount. Each pair cost 500 DKK. Husband of feitpingvin and I got two pair each - the Sprint (freaky fuschia for me!) and the KSO.

When we bought the shoes, we were told that we had to start by walking with them for one hour, and then two hours the next day, and so on, until our feet and legs got somewhat used to them, before we started running with them. So I did that, and enjoyed how they felt on my feet, how they seemed to have a positive effect on my knees and hips, how they provoked reactions from random people... (WTF? OMG! LOLOL!)

On Friday, I ran with them for the first time. I took it easy, as I had just done a relatively heavy weights workout...

It was interesting. I started with a five minute "warmup" and then did two sets of 10 minutes (with 2 minutes walking between that). Very slowly, in order to pay attention to my technique, you know, to make sure I didn't land on my heels and all. I noticed that my calves and ankles were working a lot more than they do with regular running shoes. I also felt every damn pebble and stone... ouch ouch ouch! That was rather rough. But in all, I thought that the whole experience was a positive one.

(Of course the å fy faen de skoene! comment I got from some random person made me smile.)

The next day (Saturday), I ran for 30 minutes. It was much easier today, despite being a little sore from yesterday. I was able to run a little bit faster this time (albeit still quite slow), in addition to running non-stop for 30 minutes. The pebbles and stones weren't so bad this time. Running itself was still rough on my calves and ankles, but in a good way. I didn't notice any problems with my knees at all - a very good thing as I've been having problems with them. I felt quite good during and shortly after my run. Of course, towards the end of the day, I was really feeling the effects of the run in my calves... au aie ouch!

I rested on Sunday. Well, not really. I did a rather brutal weights/strength workout on Sunday. I couldn't do calf presses because my calves were in so much pain. Husband of feitpingvin eventually gave my calves a massage before I went to bed, and I was screaming in agony the whole time. I probably sounded like a pig being slaughtered. Our windows were open (it's been friggin' warm these days). I wonder if anyone called the cops to report that a woman was being abused...

(By the way... any advice on how to receive massages? I'm not good at this. I really can't deal well with them, but I know that sports massages would be good for me. Urgh... )

Today, I ran for just under 30 minutes. Average speed still quite slow, around 10 km/h. The pebbles were not a problem this time, larger stones were nasty but not as nasty as on Friday. But the pain in my calves just got to be too much in the end, although it wasn't too bad at the start. Hmmf. I know this will get better, as it's muscular pain, and muscles get stronger eventually. But hmmf, they won't get better today. They're still killing me. I think I just might drop this type of running until I'm done with Krav Maga grading... urk...


our babies!

We have babies! Sweet little babies! Husband of feitpingvin and I have adopted FOUR African penguins from SANCCOB! Wheeee!

OK, we don't actually have them with us (duh), but by contributing to the care and rehabilitation of penguins and other South African coastal birds, these penguins are "ours" :-) Too bad tourists can't go to see the colonies at Robben Island or Dyer Island. It would have been fun to go over there and look for them!

Here are our flightless feathered sweethearts:

Aurora (R-4791)

Age upon arrival at SANCCOB: juvenile
Date admitted: 9 August 2007
Reason for admission: Oiled
Weight on arrival: 2.38 kg.
Area found: Dyer Island
Date released: 28 Aug 2007
Weight on release: 2.78 kg.
Release site: Robben Island

Pengdora (F401)
Age upon arrival at SANCCOB: Chick
Date admitted: 28 October 2007
Reason for admission: Abandoned (by moulting parents)
Weight on arrival: 1.76 kg.
Area found: Dyer Island
Date released: 29 November 2007
Weight on release: 2.78 kg.
Release site: Robben Island

Wolfgang (A12572)
Age upon arrival at SANCCOB: Blue
Date admitted: 3 November 2007
Reason for admission: Abandoned (by moulting parents)
Weight on arrival: 1.86 kg.
Area found: Dyer Island
Date released: 5 December 2007
Weight on release: 2.5 kg.
Release site: Dyer Island

Pingu (F427)
Age upon arrival at SANCCOB: Chick
Date admitted: 28 October 2007
Reason for admission: Abandoned (by moulting parents)
Weight on arrival: 2.36 kg.
Area found: Dyer Island
Date released: 29 November 2007
Weight on release: 3.04 kg.
Release site: Robben Island


battered and bruised

We had a seminar with *the* Eyal Yanilov today, from 9 am to 5 pm. OK, our lunch break was for an hour and a half, and we really didn't start until 9:30, but we ended after 5 pm. The last thing on the agenda was kind of a mind-over-matter 10 minutes of nastiness where we had to hold a certain position for those 10 minutes... ugh... and everything in between, well, it was up to us really, but in my usual style, I tried to get the most out of everything, and now my body is feeling it...

I'm happy though. I learned some new things. It was nice seeing Eyal again. He's an excellent instructor and has a pleasant sense of humor...

The bruises on my arms are a bit strange. I look like I've been bitten by a lot of very large mosquitoes...


quack quack nom nom

As tradition dictates, husband of feitpingvin and I celebrated my recent birthday by going out to eat at a gourmet restaurant. This year, we went to Le Canard (anda/the duck), which has one star in the Michelin guide.

The restaurant itself is located in Briskeby, one of the posh parts of Oslo. The dining room is spacious and airy; there is ample space between the tables. The tables are also spacious (you're not elbow-to-elbow with the person next to you, and there's plenty of room for the food and wine), and the chairs are very comfortable. Leading to the dining room is a bar with a fireplace; it is possible to come just to sit at the bar and enjoy a glass of wine or whatever.

Anyway, we started the evening with a glass of champagne, which we sipped as we studied the menu. This was served along with a little plate of thin potato chips with a truffle cream; I was told that the truffles used were winter truffles from Piemonte. I really don't know what truffles are supposed to taste like (for some reason, I think "mushroomy") and while the cream did have a distinct flavor, it wasn't an overwhelming flavor...

We ended up ordering the 6-course menu of the week. No regrets at all! Here's what we got:

Amuse bouche
Warm king crab salad, topped with foam. A tasty start!

First course
Butternut squash soup, scallop (from Trøndelag), mushroom & truffle ravioli
Wine: Albarino 2007 Lagar de Costa Rias Baixas

This was my favorite dish. Everything was perfect - the soup was pleasantly sweet and creamy, the ravioli was perfectly cooked, and the ravioli filling was very tasty, as with the scallop (I love scallops!). I enjoyed the wine almost as much as I enjoyed the food; it's one I plan on buying in the future. It had some fruity sweetness but at the same time it had a pleasant bitterness (grapefruit/pomelo peel) that made it a perfect match to complement the sweetness of the butternut squash. It's also something I could very easily and happily quaff on its own.

Second course
Roast halibut (from Langesund), braised endive, caper & clam beurre noisette
Wine: Chablis Dom. Chantemerle 2006

Halibut is one of my favorite fishes. I wasn't overly crazy about the sides, but the fish itself and the bit of shellfish that was with the side dishes were perfect. The wine was an excellent match, but it's not one I could drink on its own.

Third course

Cocoa crusted sweetbreads, parsnip puree & licorice jus
Wine: dom. Michel Juillet Mercurey Clos des Barraults 2005

OK, so sweetbreads are the thymus gland of the animal (veal in this case) and that kind of thing freaks some people out, but I think they're quite OK. The sweetbreads we were served were very delicate and pleasant, and the parsnips and liquorice sauce were an excellent complement. The wine was also an excellent match. I'm also interested in buying some of the wine. It was served from a half bottle; our waiter told us that wine matures faster in a half bottle.

Cleaning the palate

Shaved ice flavored with Earl grey tea and cranberry. Mmm...

Fourth (main) course

Venison from Røros with caramelized apple, red cabbage, chestnut & red wine jus
Wine: Chocapalha 2001 Vinho Tinto

Delicious! The venison was so tender that it melted in my mouth. The only "complaint" I have is that the wine (which was amazing!) was better suited to the caramelized apples than to the venison itself. Not that it was a bad match, but I think it could have been a little better. (And yeah, I want to buy this wine too! :)

Fifth course
Cheese from Affineur H. Mons
Wine: S.A. Prüm 2007 Riesling Spätlese Graacher Himmel

Cheese is one of those things where we always have to make sure they don't throw in anything that will make us sick. I can't eat blue cheese, husband of feitpingvin can't eat chèvre. So I got the chèvre, he got the Roquefort, along with some other very tasty cheeses (don't remember what they were... grr... there's one in particular I'd like to sink my teeth into again), as well as some nut bread and apricot jam. Yum yum! And the Riesling... sweet but not nasty sweet, balancing well with the tanginess of the cheeses. I love how Riesling is versatile like that...

A little cone filled with a refreshing apple and basil sorbet. This was quite cute!

Sixth course
Chocolate crème brulee, passionfruit sorbet & foam
Wine: Capitel Santa Libera 2004 Recioto Classico

The chocolate crème brûlée was amazing, and I really liked that they didn't spare the vanilla. The passionfruit sorbet was pleasantly tart; I'd like to be able to make something like that at home! It was served with some kind of crispy chocolate "ribbon." We also got some kind of passionfruit mousse topped with chocolate cream. The wine was nice too...

We ended the evening with coffee - I got amaretto coffee and husband of feitpingvin got an Irish coffee - and petits fours.

It was a very enjoyable evening. As were were on our way out, husband of feitpingvin and our waiter discussed whiskies (he had commented the bottles that were at the bar), and our waiter let husband of feitpingvin taste a Bruichladdich from 1973 :) He says it was absolutely lovely.

My general impression is that Le Canard is more on the "traditional" side of gourmet, unlike Restaurant Oscarsgate (also with one Michelin star) is a bit more "playful creative" (we got a gourmet mini hot dog there, among other things). Not that I'm going to complain about it ;-) It's nice to try the different places with their different ways of doing things...

Next up... Bagatelle? Or The Fat Duck? (to continue on the duck theme hehe)


the war on pink

So pink is damaging for girls but blue is not damaging for boys?

I think some of these "commentators" take themselves too seriously. They go on and on as if every single thing out there for every friggin' female is pink. Sheesh...



After the 9th time, I think I have the hang of it :-P