Day 747, The end of winter and Facebook.

Day 747-1

Spring is finally here; the temperature is a few degrees above zero during the day now and is saw the first buds waking up from their winter sleep.  Living closer to nature makes me more aware of the different seasons and the winter season last a good 5 months here so its nice that the light is coming back and that it is all green again pretty soon.

I did also some spring cleaning and not only in my house. I left Facebook a couple of weeks ago after many years. I guess all the commotion surrounding Facebook the last few weeks was the final straw, I just don’t trust them anymore. I am not so afraid that they misuse my data, I mostly posted for work and almost never look at the feed let alone fill out stupid quizzes or liked stuff. The only reason why I didn’t move away from it earlier is because Facebook is like a shortcut to a lot of old friends and I had some nice group with my buddies from the Marines for instance. Those things I will miss but I don’t like it that Facebook has more or less a monopoly and therefore it can do what it wants. Read this article and you understand my doubts about this young guy in charge of a company that has the power to change people’s minds and elections.

If it was up to me than I would make Facebook into a phone book where the contacts that you already have are available for other apps to use. The big problem for a new social platform is that your friends are not on there. If all my friends were also visible on a new Opensource Facebook alternative for instance I could interact with them with the rule-set of my app and not that of Facebook.

Facebook is not invented to bring you and your friends together, Facebook is invented to make money, and you know what that does with people.

Day 633, Midnight darkness.

Day 633-1

The sun is always low on the horizon when you live close to the polar circle. For a while I lived in a place called Gratangen, 50 km above Narvik. There we lived a couple hundred kilometers above the polar circle and therefore the sun would disappear during a big part of the winter. You would see some light shining over the edge of the world, but you would not feel any sunshine for a couple of months. Gratangen lies in a small fjord with mountains all around, somewhere in January we would see the first sunlight hitting the top of the mountains and slowly working its way down during the next weeks. It is strange if you never have lived in a place like that, the excitement when you see the sun for the first time again. We new when that was about to happen, when the sunlight finely hit the first houses on the sloop of the mountain, that was during work most of the time, but the first weekend we would drive to Narvik and on the way over we would see the sun. I really loved those dark winter days, many people ask about it: is it not depressive, how long are the winters? I never had problems with it, the summers where mush harder for me. In the summer I could still see the sun around midnight from my Living room, no darkness for many months, no waiting for the light to come back.

I made this little video on 30 June 2008 not so far from Narvik, Norway I like the winters but seeing the midnight sun is also special.

Day 621

Day 621-1

A Winter Eden

A winter garden in an alder swamp,
Where conies now come out to sun and romp,
As near a paradise as it can be
And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.

It lifts existence on a plane of snow
One level higher than the earth below,
One level nearer heaven overhead,
And last year’s berries shining scarlet red.

It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast
Where he can stretch and hold his highest feat
On some wild apple tree’s young tender bark,
What well may prove the year’s high girdle mark.

So near to paradise all pairing ends:
Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
Content with bud-inspecting. They presume
To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.

A feather-hammer gives a double knock.
This Eden day is done at two o’clock.
An hour of winter day might seem too short
To make it worth life’s while to wake and sport.

Robert Frost