Lazy Saturday

It’s a lazy Saturday, and I feel like dropping a few words on this site :-)

I’ve just been working from home – from my couch – for an hour, and now I’m listening to Dave Brubeck and John Mayer. Rather than the typical, hasty cup of instant coffe, I used my AeroPress to make an awesome, espresso-like cup using freshly grinded beans. My goal was to put summer tyres on my car today, but it will probably be postponed till tomorrow, or even Monday. I have the day off on Monday, so I have enough time for stuff like that. I need the car to be working in a few hours, so I don’t want to risk anything by rushing through the procedure.

Yesterday I biked to Madum Sø (Lake Madum) and ran around it:

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Without anything specific in mind, I had been looking forward to a run the entire day at work, but on my way home I fleshed out something concrete – it should be at Madum Sø, and I would bike the 2 x 7.3 km between my house and the lake. Leading up to it I was a bit tired, but a fun, spontaneous event like that reveals that you have more energy than you imagine. The bike got some air and oil, as it was its first time on the road after winter, and I brought some fruit and water in my backpack.

Together with a wise neighbour I have changed the hydrophore and some piping in our shared, private water supply. A hydrophore is a pressurized water buffer that prevents the pump from starting every time a tap is opened. Without one, you would have to wait for the pump to start, and the pump wouldn’t last long. That work was actually done last week. It went well, even though I had an involuntary cold bath in the process. I was below the old hydrophore when 10-20 liters of water, together with some rust, ran out of it.

I have bought a new pair of shoes for everyday use:

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It’s a pair of Gobi II from VIVOBAREFOOT, and I’m pretty satisfied with them so far. Of course leather shoes require a bit more maintenance, but that’s ok. I must admit that I’m a sucker for barefoot shoes these days. I have other types of shoes, but they have specific purposes, and, after almost a year and a half in a pair of Neo for everyday use, my feet only feel at home in barefoot shoes. I still run exclusively in Evo II.

With competent assistance from a very special tooth fairy, i.e. the wonderful girl that I’m seeing, I have been out shopping for some new clothes. Among many items, I got a nice summer jacket and some relatively tight pants, where especially the latter show off my figure a bit more than my usual, baggy, unsexy pants. I have probably lost a bit of weight, since most of my old pants have become too large. I definitely needed some new clothes, and I probably need more in a not too distant future.

That’s all for now :-)

A quick peek behind the curtain

I realize that I’m not writing a lot of interesting stuff on my blog for the time being. Filling it with easy posts solely about e.g. metal music and running wouldn’t paint a real picture of my life at the moment, so I’m not going to resolve to that.

So what have I been up to lately? Well… I’m seeing a lovely girl, I’ve been to the dentist for the first time in several years (everything ok), I’m quite busy at work, I’ve been cut into by a doctor (nothing really serious but there’s a healing process), I’ve painted inside my house and replaced a few pieces of furniture, I’ve bought and assembled furniture for my terrace, I’ve cut down a tree in my garden and turned it into firewood, I’ve become a board member of the civic association in my country town, I’m planning maintenance work on my private water supply together with a neighbour, I’m in the process of getting my car approved for two more years at the biennial, statutory inspection, I’m trying to get better at unwinding and relaxing, I’m learning to appreciate good tea (but also rediscovering the joy of good coffee), I’m expanding my cultural horizon with new genres for music, movies and series, I’m thinking about how to celebrate my 30th birthday later this year, I’m starting to do gardening, and undoubtedly more.

That’s it for now.

Here’s a small bonus for my fellow metal heads:

Running at Lake Madum

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Yesterday I had a day off and had a visit from an old friend, which I hadn’t seen in real life for a long time. It was a fantastic day and evening, but to your – either satisfaction or disappointment – I’m not going to write many words about it. Not everything has to be documented on the mighty Internet. We met at Lake Madum, where we went for a nice jog. It’s only 7 km from my house, but I had never been there before. Having a place this lovely nearby was a pleasant surprise. When we get decent summer weather, I imagine using my bike to get there and then going for a run and a swim.

Still breathing

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I’ve been quite busy for a while, which is why I haven’t posted since February 3, where I wrote about an awesome run in the dark. To be somewhat honest, it’s that typical blend of a) a lot of stuff is happening, so I don’t have time to write about it, and b) some of the stuff isn’t for everybody. Living in the moment is more important than constantly wondering about blogging or Facebook-posting.

The picture above shows hyacinths and napkins on the dinner table in my living room. The flowers were fresh when they had their “dinner of fame” ;-)
Also, the deer on the napkins suited the menu ;-)

Even though I’m usually a very positive-minded person – I’ve even been named “the eternal optimist” by a colleague (it probably wasn’t meant exclusively as a compliment) – I’ve actually been even more positive for the past few weeks. Now I have to be careful what I write… Oh noes… :-D The written word sometimes begs to be misunderstood. The reason for my exceptional happiness is that I’m dating a very sweet, beautiful, wise, interesting and creative girl. If she reads this, I fear she’ll put too much weight on the order of the adjectives. Maybe she’ll also wonder if I left some out. She shouldn’t, of course. There’s no ulterior motive – it’s nothing but a simple attempt at an unreserved compliment, left as a breadcrumb in the digital world.

Of course I’ll not reveal the identity of my princess. I know some of my colleagues have found out, but they are also quite capable detectives. Especially when I’m talking too much and giving them clues… :-)

In other news, I’m now running regularly, even 10 km at a time, and I’ve started watching House of Cards.

Let me end with a few pictures. Each of them has a small story to tell.

201402-new-shiny-shoes-and-repairing-my-beltFor years (honestly!) I didn’t have a pair of stylish, shiny, black shoes. I had a pair of brown ones, Dockers, and they were kind of beautiful in their own way. They weren’t shiny though, and they didn’t match anything. Now I have a fine, black pair suiting my black belt. On the picture I’m superglueing my belt, as it has lost some kind of screw, which I haven’t been able to buy anywhere.

 

20140216-decorating-with-firewoodVisiting my parents, I got four boxes of ready-to-use firewood for my stove. I help my dad with forest work, and in return I get firewood. Since I was expecting a special guest, and I sort of had to carry firewood inside the house anyway, I decided to be creative. It doesn’t lean against the wall.

 

 

201402-one-of-those-late-days-at-the-officeSometimes it seems I’m the last one to leave the office. This isn’t true very often, as we have a few people raising the bar, but I do have such evenings. It’s typically when I’ve been busy fixing a system that broke down unexpectedly, deploying new software to a production environment, or when I’ve been running near work.

 

 

20140218-ready-to-run-at-the-officeYes, I’m a runner. Let me put it this way: I do not run to add days to my life – I run to add life to my days. At this picture I’m at the office getting ready for a 10 km.

\m/

Good energy in cold times

Last night I persuaded myself to go for a run in the dark. I had all day to do it in sunlight – well, to be fair, in overcast daylight – but those hours were spent washing windows, splitting logs, carrying the logs inside and watching The Devil’s Rejects. I thought “If I can just run 5 km, it’s okay. No need to overdo anything.” Armed with a positive mind, Five Finger Death Punch‘s latest album and a headlamp, I worked my way through snowy, wet roads in the countryside. Without doubt, the positive energy came from a very special Saturday evening ;-) I didn’t stop until my watch showed 9 km… 170 bpm heart rate on average… Click on the picture to see the original size.

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I cannot brag about the pace, but the heart rate shows that I did my best. I’m still running in minimalistic shoes – Vivo Barefoot Evo II – which means that technique is far more important than pace. Also, it was very slippery, and these particular shoes are very smooth on the bottom. They are primarily built for dry asphalt, certainly not trails, ice or snow. I’m thinking about buying some trail shoes, but I haven’t decided which ones yet.

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The endorphins from the run combined with the documentary Spirit of the Marathon made me sign up for my biggest physical challenge in 2014 – a half marathon at Nationalpark Thy Marathon in September. I do not expect to better my personal record of approx 1h and 36m. The primary objective is to finish and to do so in a relatively respectable time, i.e. way below two hours. I think a goal will make it easier to run regularly. Maybe 2015 will finally be the year where I run a full marathon. I would like to think so.

I have just stumbled upon this old post, where I had had my longest run ever. It would be awesome to reach that level again.

Within Temptation‘s latest album, Hydra, fills my living room and now I’ll add some logs to the stove. Thanks for reading this far :-)

Adding insulation to my attic

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I have finally begun the insulation project that I have been talking about for months. In the process I’m removing the old aluminum vapor/heat barrier, installing air sealing (boards directing air flow) and a modern plastic vapor barrier. It’s a huge project. In the end there will be – from the bottom – 5 cm glass wool, a vapor barrier and then 30 cm glass wool.

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Winter in North Jutland

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It just keeps snowing… Argh. There’s 1-2 cm right after you’ve finished a spot. Let me complain a bit more: I need a bigger shovel, and I need other stuff than just meat in my freezer.

The duck pond in St. Brøndum looks quite beautiful, even though it’s not inhabited by any ducks at the moment:

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A quiet weekend

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It has been a quiet weekend, more or less. I visited my parents in Thy, where I picked up wind boards produced by my father. There are many boards and they probably weigh more than 100 kg in total, which meant I had to drive very conservatively on my way back. If you’re in doubt, they are for my ceiling insulation project, where I need to direct the wind over the layers of insulation. It was super awesome that I could “order” the boards from him, and I’m starting to understand – with additional inspiration from Bonderøven – that the process of building or fixing something is as important as the end result. It’s important to involve family and friends. I also managed to sit with my rifle in a hochsitz for a few hours in the rain (without seeing anything) and to buy some art for my many walls at a charity store. When I wanted to go to bed at my parents’ house, one of their dogs – Birko – had stolen the bed while I brushed my teeth :-)

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Actually, I had planned to start working in the attic today, Sunday, as I finally have everything I need for the first eighth of the project. It didn’t happen, though, as I had a pile of clothes that needed to be washed, the weather was suddenly suitable for a run, my conscience begged for a run, logs needed to be splitted and brought to the stove, my kitchen needed to be cleaned, a better (sturdier) toilet seat purchased the other day begged to be installed, etc. In addition, I decided to relax in an armchair this evening with a foot bath, a quietly burning stove and The Expendables 2.

As always, I’ve been digging around the net for metal stuff, and I’ve found something that means a lot to me. Back in 2003 when I started at Aalborg University, a friend introduced me to metal music. There were also other friends pointing me in the metal direction, but one friend stands out. None mentioned, none forgotten. I humbly say thank you. It was through Nightwish and Within Temptation, I learned to appreciate metal. When viewing and listening to this pot of gold – Within Temptation playing for two hours with the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands in 2008 – I seriously don’t understand why many people like the boring music that gets played on the mainstream radio stations. Being on the subject, let me wholeheartedly recommend the documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey.

Hot shortcuts to the aforementioned pot of gold:

Within Temptation will release their new album Hydra on January 31, where we will see guest performers Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish, see this Hydra-video) and Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, see this Hydra-video), among others.

That’s all I wanted to share for now ;-)