Monthly Archives: October 2012

Bone with a hole

Today I’ve made the dish ossobuco, which is Italian for “bone with a hole”. It was my first attempt ever at ossobuco, and I think it was a succes.

It was a simple version, where I used additional carrots and leeks rather than making gremolata, risotto or mashed potatoes. It simmered for three hours, which made the meat and the bone separate. It would have been a prettier dish, if the veal shanks were still complete… Nonetheless, I have rarely eaten so tender and tasty meat.

The picture below shows the shanks the moment after they have been browned – a delicious sight!

Oktoberfest

On Friday, October 26, I attended Oktoberfest at Aalborg University’s main bar, Wunderbar, together with Thomas Bøgholm, Georg Sluyterman and Kenneth Holleufer. In the above picture we have just been to Føtex to buy some long, Oktoberfest-themed socks for Thomas. The clerk in Føtex went out of her way to help us find something suitable, but it wasn’t possible to find something quite perfect… Well, into the basket with some colorful ski socks and some beers and off we went 🙂

I hate hangovers, especially the ones where you only have yourself to blame 🙁

500 km in two days

Today and yesterday I’ve had my baptism of fire on the Danish freeway. Before yesterday, I hadn’t driven more than 10 coherent km on the freeway since I trained for my driver’s license ten years ago.

In general I think my Aygo handles freeway speeds just fine. I’m certainly able to follow and overtake most of the other cars. For example, around noon today, I drove from a meeting in downtown Århus to my home in Aalborg in one hour and 17 minutes. That’s 123.2 km, which yields an average of 96 km/h. Not bad at all, at least for a “cabin scooter”.

You might say that modern mini cars, including the Aygo, ensure that driving never gets boring 😉 At freeway speeds, a firm grip on the steering wheel – with both hands! – together with the motor and wind noise, will certainly keep you awake and sharp.

Finally, I have to add that my Aygo struggles a bit to maintain 130 km/h uphill and into the wind. If I had to commute between Aalborg and Århus every day I would choose a heavier and more powerful car. Luckily, I don’t.

Music from my childhood

My childhood took place in the late 80s, the 90s and the early 00s. Of course, some women say that all men are still children, and I think there’s some truth to that… The difference lies in the price of our toys… Anyways, to literally get back on track, I have a lot of good memories from my childhood, and some of them are from the times when my parents played records on the turntable in their living room.

R.E.M. – Monty Got a Raw Deal

Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing

Roxette – Joyride

R.E.M. – Losing My Religion

Dire Straits – Walk of Life

Roxette – How Do You Do!

Trail running

   

I have been out trail running yesterday and today. It’s a nice diversion from running on asphalt in the city. You really have to focus on feet placement, and your heart rate is raced up and down continuously. It is with the sight and smell of nature, it is with a bit of risk, and it is with a minimum of equipment, by which I primarily mean without music. I do, however, rarely look at my GPS watch while running in nature – I just want the runs to count in my overall statistics.

Yesterday it was 7.4 km in FiveFingers on the mountain bike route in Kongshøj Skov. Today it was 8.7 km in ordinary running shoes – Asics GT-2160 – on the yellow route in a very muddy Lundby Bakker and Lundby Krat in the rain. Now my Asics are almost as dirty as they were after Xtreme Mandehørm last weekend.

My next goal was a half marathon at Thy Trail Marathon on February 23, 2013, but unfortunately there is no room for more participants. It’s a great event, which I know for sure as I ran it this year, so I should have made up my mind faster. Damn. Running has become so damn popular 😀

Copenhagen Marathon 2013 is still my next huge goal, and, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I have already bought my ticket. I look forward to the event with great enthusiasm and have created a preliminary training plan. Still, I need to find a half marathon of some sort to run around the New Year or in January or February… Hmm, I wonder what it will be…

Let me conclude by showing you two egoistic mood pictures. My good friend Edward Angelo Cerullo in Norway recently sent me a nice Moose of Norway hat to keep my ears warm in winter 🙂 Thanks! I like it! 🙂 The picture to the right shows how impractical rain and mud can be 😉

   

I’m happy that my cold sore is finally starting to disappear…

Laughing all the way to the bank

With regard to the Danish environment tax on vehicles, I’m paying the lowest possible rate. I pay 278.44 DKK every six months, which, using today’s exchange rates, equals approx 37 EUR or 48 USD.

That’s somewhere between one tenth and one fifth of what most of my vehicle-owning colleagues and friends pay 🙂

What else is new? Oh, yeah, I’ve started cycling to work again. The Aygo has been duly inaugurated and I can’t really defend to continue using it to drive that one kilometer back and forth. I’m also still using my bike to get to the fitness center, even though that’s a round trip of 8.5 to 12 km, depending on the chosen route. Well, one might even claim that the range is [8.5;∞[, but you know what I mean…

Totally unrelated, I have washed my running shoes in Rodalon (a disinfectant – benzalkonium chloride). It was necessary to get rid of the smell they picked up during the “obstacle race” Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg 2012. Apparently, washing your running shoes in a washing machine might make the their glue disintegrate. So far, I can vouch for the Rodalon approach – the mixing ratio and the procedure is on the bottle.

Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg 2012

Yesterday I participated in Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg 2012 together with two friends – Hans Jacob Møller and Morten Klingenberg. I know Hans from my time as a system administrator at Telenor, and I know Morten through Hans. The name of our team is Tror du det er for sjov jeg drikker?, which can be translated to something along the lines of Do you think I drink for fun?. It is inspired by the Danish heavy metal band Red Warszawa, who has an awesome song with that title 🙂

We ran through muddy, smelly, ice-cold ponds (or small lakes – in one of which the water reached my shoulders and I considered swimming), climbed over containers, slided through tubes into mud, jumped and climbed obstacles, crawled under ropes and nets, ran up steep hills, crawled up steep slopes, rolled around in mud and ran through several kilometers of muddy, slippery forest trails. The route is announced to be 12.2 km, but it seems most people’s GPS watches measured it to be approx 11 km.

  

The final hurdle is to walk – or run or swim – through a container filled with water, which is actually very nice, as you’re cooled down and some of the mud is washed off. Morten was fastest with 1h 10m 41s, whereas Hans and I finished in 1h 15m 1s and 1h 12m 48s, respectively. The team diploma and my personal diploma:

   

After the race we drank beer at breakneck speed while enjoying the hot whirlpool in Nørresundby Idrætscenter. All races should end like that. Awesome!

The evening featured a huge, Oktoberfest-inspired party with delicious food, even more beer, drunken nail-punching competitions, award ceremony, boxing and comedy. The comedy was performed by the well-known, Danish comedian Frank Hvam, and it was very entertaining. We ended the great day and evening with nice Hoegaarden wheat beer pints at The Irish House. Xtreme Mandehørm is now a tradition 😉

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any pictures of Morten, but the photographers have certainly caught Hans in some xtreme situations 😉

      

Today I have had a hangover and have been annoyed by the cold that started to haunt me a few days ago. I’ve managed to wash my seriously nasty running clothes, watch old episodes of NCIS, do grocery shopping, rust protect my Aygo, run 5 km in FiveFingers and write this post.

My first car

Surprise, surprise! After having talked about cars and insurance for a while, I have bought a car! Tried and paid yesterday, delivered today. I have mostly kept the news to myself and a handful of people on IRC – until now 🙂

It’s a Toyota Aygo and it’s my first car.

The facts: 1.0 L, 3 cylinders, 68 bhp, petrol, 21.7 km/L*, 51 mpg*, 2008, 69,000 km, passed MOT in April, metallic ranch grey, 560 DKK/year in environment tax.

Update: Okay, so I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to use the car for. Before I list the applications, I must state that I fully admit that a car is a luxury thing for me. I’m almost 28, and I’ve coped without a car before today, and I’m still able to cope without one. The applications do, however, remind me that a car is a freakin’ nice invention 🙂

  • Visiting my parents in Thy (the x-bus, i.e. the direct bus line, no longer stops in their town)
  • Going hunting (the buses are still in their garage that early, they do not drive to my particular hunting spots, and, generally, I do not want to bring weapons and game in the bus…)
  • Driving to work-related meetings out of town, e.g. in Århus
  • Visiting friends who live out in the country (or just not in Aalborg)
  • Going shopping and buying things that are difficult or impossible to carry on a bike (even though I have carried the most crazy things on my bike…)
  • Driving to the countryside for running or mountain biking (I need to figure out how to bring my mountain bike)
  • Driving to the fitness center when it’s raining (I see the irony, but it’s better to drive there in a car and do weight training than to stay at home)

*) Very theoretical!