Monthly Archives: August 2013

Apartment Inspection

During the past two weeks I have spent something along the lines of 20 hours making my old apartment ready for inspection by the landlord. My weapons were cleaning agents, a mop, cleaning cloths, scouring pads, assorted solvents, spackling paste and an eraser. I didn’t have to paint the place. Today my hard work was rewarded – the landlord deemed the apartment okay with no annotations. This means that I will get most of my deposit back, which of course is great. My almost empty oil tank looks forward to a supply, and such a supply is relatively expensive 😉

Alongside all my important projects, I have a small project on stands for my Dali Lektor 3 compact speakers. It is an Ikea DIY hack, where I have combined wooden cutting boards, metal table legs, ordinary wooden boards, glue and black stain. The wires haven’t been hidden inside the legs yet, but judge for yourself:

20130829-diy-ikea-speaker-stand-120130829-diy-ikea-speaker-stand-220130829-diy-ikea-speaker-stand-3

The boards have been stained three times, giving them a thick, covering layer. I’m quite satisfied with the appearance of the stands, but I can’t help fear the day when pets or children get near them. That will be a problem for future Martin.

Tonight I’m kind of high on the good feeling that results from working in one’s garden. I’ve mowed my lawn and filled a bucket with weeds. Hah! That’s two borderline expressions in one section – getting high on weed(s)… I’m trying to make it a habit to fill a bucket with weeds when I have the time. One bucket at a time I will conquer! Take a look at my freshly mowed lawn from my kitchen:

20130829-freshly-mowed-lawn

\m/

Goodbye, Aalborg Øst

I apologize for not having written anything for quite a while, but I have been – and still are – insanely busy fixing my old apartment, moving stuff and fixing my house. By fixing I generally mean cleaning, painting, etc. Besides moving into my house, I have a long list of projects, which I have listed in an earlier post. I moved into my house on the evening of August 8, which actually means that I have been living there (here 😉 ) for 15 days tonight. I spent the first night in a sleeping bag on a thin, self-inflateable mattress, as I hadn’t moved anything into the house yet.

Even though I haven’t written for a while, I don’t plan on making this a long post. I’m relaxing in my new living room, drinking a cup of coffee and listening to some very stoned beats from Den Sorte Skole. At the moment, most of my days are 7-8 hours of work at Netic, 1.5-2.5 hours of work in the old apartment, 0.5-1 hour of shopping and driving home, and 1-2 hours of house projects. Today was no different, which means I’m pretty wasted.

I have tried being without warm water, because my oil burner and the associated pumps had lost power. The problem took quite a while to debug, and it turned out to be a human error. We had pushed the wrong buttons when debugging my outdoor lightning two days earlier. A few days later I happened to check my hot water tank and was surprised to see a low temperature yet again. This time, however, the entire house had no power. After having played around with fuses for a while in the dark, I looked in my mailbox and found a notice from the power company – they had cut the power due to unpaid bills. Moreover, they wrote that it would cost 900 DKK to get the power re-enabled, that I could only call their customer service hotline on work days between 8 AM and 4 PM, and that, after payment of the unpaid bills and the re-enabling fee, they would pretty much re-enable the power whenever they felt like it. What a shitty evening it turned out to be.

My refrigerator was 15 °C, so I had to throw its contents out. Luckily, my freezer is very well insulated, so it was still approx –10 °C. Making a long story a bit shorter, what followed was a) a trip to the hardware store to get a generator, b) finding out that the generator made way too much noise to be a viable solution, c) a trip to a nearby city for a second-hand bookcase that I had agreed on buying, d) driving around that city for some time to find a gas station, because my car was driving on fumes, and that station was somehow hard to find in the stressful situation, e) driving home with the bookcase and unloading it, f) emptying the contents of my freezer into bags, g) driving to my workplace with the frozen goods and borrowing some space in their freezer, h) driving home while cursing… It turned out to be the power company’s fault. They hadn’t processed the vacating/occupation form from the realtor. They re-enabled the power the next day and told me to ignore the notice regarding the unpaids bills and the fee.

On one of the first days, after becoming a home owner, I rented a carpet cleaner and spent approx four hours cleaning the carpet in my living room. It was definitely worth the time, money and sweat. Now the carpet has a few more years to live. The picture below shows the cleaner in the living room. It is next to a flyswatter, as I had to kill hundreds of flies during the first days.

IMG_0984

I have decided to get rid of the red curtains. They work, are clean and definitely not worn out, but I don’t like them and want a more modern style.

I wanted music for the house cleaning, so my stereo was one of the first things to be connected 🙂

IMG_0988

You cannot be a home owner without a proper ladder. I still think it’s one of my best purchases. It can be morphed into many shapes. I’m curious to find out just how long the locking mechanisms will work…

IMG_0990

One day at work I received a big concrete block, which would be put on top of my chimney, after having resealed it with new mortar. Being an it guy, I of course had to order stuff like that online 🙂 Okay, to be honest, I couldn’t find a suitable chimney top in any of the local hardware stores that I visited.

IMG_0993

It was possible to fit the 30+ kg concrete block, measuring 81×81 cm, in my Aygo. Not easy but possible. I have lifted a lot of heavy stuff during the past two weeks, and my Aygo has transported it without complaining.

IMG_0994

I’m in the process of painting some boards in my garage. They will eventually replace some boards on the ends of the roof of my house. The paint was insanely expensive. To be precise, I’m only in the first phase on the picture – I’m painting them with primer.

IMG_0997

In order to save some money, I bought a second-hand lawn mower. So far I have mowed my lawn twice, and the mower has started on the first attempt every time. What a fine, little mower for only 300 DKK. My goal was to use it this season out, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t be able to cope with the next season as well. In the picture below I’m transporting it from its previous home in Hammel.

IMG_0998

Now I’ve started painting the boards with actual paint. I’ve chosen a dark grey for the wood work on the house and a light grey for the windows and doors. That’s not the entire story, but that’s it for this post.

IMG_1001

The final picture shows a part of my living room. My couches, coffee table, armchair, lamp, stereo and tv have been placed. It’s not the final placement for e.g. the speakers, and the tv isn’t even connected yet. At the time of writing this, it still isn’t connected. I plan on hiding cables etc. in one of the cabinets in the bookcase.

IMG_1011

A huge thank you goes out to my parents and brother for helping me out. They have fixed my chimney, helped move my stuff, helped paint my living room and hallway, helped clean many of my rooms, and they have brought food. They will of course be rewarded.

Also, I want to thank my colleague Jan, with whom I have discussed many details and competed regarding loan fees and move-in date.

Have a nice weekend out there.

Back from Amsterdam and OHM

I’m back from a great week in the Netherlands, where I, in the company of good friends, visited Amsterdam and attended OHM. Before completing the lists of talks that I started in my previous post, I will share a few pictures.

Thomas and yours truly enjoying a beer at Café Captein & Co on Sunday, July 28:

20130728-thomas-and-yours-truly-at-cafe-captein-and-co

It was one of the first beers that day, and it was the beginning of a small pub crawl…

Edward, yours truly and others (hmm, I don’t exactly remember who) getting ready for dinner with a 9.5% Westmalle at OHM on Friday, August 2:

20130802-getting-ready-for-dinner-at-ohm

Some of us visited the OHM lounge in the evening:

20130802-chilling-in-the-ohm-lounge

Thomas on the floor, Jacob and Kim on the couch. A very cozy place.

While waiting for dinner to be served at the camp site restaurant just outside OHM, we had some random, geeky fun:

20130803-geek-fun

The picture shows Jacob, yours truly, Thomas and Georg. Edward is behind the camera. It was on Saturday, August 3. Note the funny name of the beer – Texels Skuumkoppe. It is a local beer, as it is brewed on the island Texel.

Awesome and semi-awesome talks I attended at OHM:

Missed talks that I will watch later:

The video recordings from the tents are not processed yet, but the OHM guys have promised that they will be, in a not so distant future…

It feels good to be home again. I think I’ve socialized plenty for the time being and now I need some privacy. Also, I’ve missed my favorite music genre – metal. We have mostly been listening to pop and light rock in the car.

Let me end by mentioning that I find Amsterdam a lot more cozy and inviting than London. I compare Amsterdam to London, as I visited the latter in February. Do not forget to rent a boat and sail through the canals when you visit Amsterdam! It’s certainly worth it.

OHM – Observe, Hack, Make

Yours truly having a cold beer in a very hot tent:

mt-ohm

My small, blue, crappy, non-waterproof tent in front of Georg’s gigantic one:

mt-ohm-tents

Awesome talks I’ve attended:

Missed talks that I should watch later:

Update: The two lists are complete in my next post.