Tag Archives: family

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 😉

Happy New Year!

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Not so much to say… I’m alive and well, and I think 2013 has been great. In a few hours, one year ends and another begins, just as we’ve witnessed many times before. Let’s not be too religious about it 🙂

I plan to do a lot of stuff in 2014 – no surprise 🙂 The public part includes celebrating my 30th birthday in some way, maintaining and improving my house and garden, being regularly active with running, badminton, weight training and mountainbiking, and continue working with the great colleagues at my workplace.

I hope all of you had a merry Christmas. I sure did – together with my loving family.

Happy New Year!

Edit on January 2: Here is a picture from the New Year’s Eve in Nors that I attended…

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Merry Christmas!

I’m writing these words with metal music playing in the background, my stove burning perfectly a few meters way, a handful of almonds on my coffee table and a glas of red wine within reach. Today I’ve discovered a few new bands that I will be listening to in the near future – Trivium and Aghora. I’ve also managed to get some actual stuff done today, including picking up 200 m² of vapor barrier, buying and wrapping the last Christmas present, buying groceries, washing clothes, splitting logs for the stove and changing some outdoor light bulbs.

Relatively many days have gone by since my previous post. During those days, I’ve eaten delicious, homemade pizza and tasted fine whiskies and rums at a colleague’s home, attended a friend’s 30th birthday party, attended my mother’s birthday get-together and attended a friend’s PhD defense party. At the latter party I met my former PhD supervisors, as they were also my friend’s supervisors. I only worked on my PhD for approx one year, which means that I didn’t complete it. I needed to try the “real world”, and I’ve honestly never regretted my decision. It’s three and a half years ago now. Being at the party and talking to the supervisors of course made me think about life and how you can take many paths. It was really nice to see that one of my friends – one of the co-authors on my master thesis – completed his PhD.

DIY-wise, I’ve realized that adding insulation to my attic requires me to install a vapor barrier and wind boards, which makes the project more expensive, more complicated and more time-consuming. I’m of course going to complete the project anyway. Fortunately, the work can be split into many parts.

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I’m looking forward to the Christmas holidays. Merry Christmas 🙂

Addition: Actually, another small thing happened today. While I was driving home from Hadsund with vapor barrier and groceries, a roe deer suddenly crossed the road 50 meters in front of my car. I braked hard, felt the heavy vapor barrier take off from the back seat and thought “one or more deers typically follow so do not accelerate too early”, and yes, another one followed two seconds after the first one. My heart rate was a bit elevated 🙂

Giving My Car Some Attention

I’ve had this day off work, as I wanted to use some of my vacation before 2014. I don’t think it makes sense to carry more than approx two weeks of vacation to the spring, as the spring has many holidays. I had planned to spend most of the day getting insulation for my attic, but since Bauhaus’ van was unavailable, I ended up giving my car some attention instead. I could only fit three packages of insulation in my car, so I will definitely not use it to move the remaining 60 packages…

After a weekend with my workplace’s Christmas party and my mother’s 25th anniversary in the municipal day care, a day off has been nice.

I’ve changed tyres before, but I still think today was my debut as a mechanic:

  • Changed from summer to winter tyres.
  • Filled washer fluid.
  • Changed a “position light” bulb.
  • Changed the motor oil.
  • Changed the oil filter.
  • Changed the air filter.

Parts and fluids for only 555 DKK, excluding freight. I already had the tyres and the washer fluid. I borrowed a proper jack and other accessories from a co-worker. For releasing the old oil filter I used a large pipe wrench from a neighbour.

The car actually worked afterwards 🙂

I have no pictures, party because my phone ran out of juice, and partly because my hands were dirty most of the time. If you are searching for help, hints or walkthroughs, I can recommend Google and YouTube.

Turning 29

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I turned 29 yesterday – for the first time!

Honestly, I don’t mind it. Age is just a number. I even expect not to be shaken by my 30th birthday in a year. In my universe, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. are considered more “major” numbers anyway 😉

As mentioned in a previous post, some of my geographically closest relatives visited my on Sunday, November 17, for an informal dinner and afternoon tea/coffee/cake. My purpose with the event was also to show them my house and neighbourhood. With a cloudless sky and bright sunshine the weather was at its best in quite a while. A very nice day indeed.

Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I was at work most of the day. Thanks to my co-worker Karina, my monitor had birthday flags taped to it, which meant I got a lot of greetings. Mid-afternoon I fetched some cakes from a nearby bakery.

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In the evening I helped my brother move “officially”, i.e. registering it electronically with the authorities, and I went for a short run. Some might say I have some experience regarding moving 😉 Regarding running, I have planned a schedule for the next two-three months, which will take me slowly from four to ten km.

Hmm, what else is current…? Ohh, yes, I think my car is starting to demand some kind of love. I have driven approx 20,000 km since its last service. One of the major front bulbs died, so I’ve changed the pair. The job almost made me crazy. It doesn’t end there, as I also have to change a pair of smaller bulbs, and I’ve decided to change oil, oil filter and air filter. At the same time I will make the switch to winter tyres. I might have a small hole in my exhaust system, but I’m not going to do anything about that for the time being.

I’m currently planning to add 15 or 20 cm of insulation to my attic, and I’m pondering whether or not to install some air ducts in the process. The purpose is to circulate the warm air from my stove to the rooms in the other end of the house. If I decide to install them, it should be part of the insulation job, as the ducts will be surrounded by the insulation material.

Changing my circulation pump is temporarily on hold, as I’m quite busy with other stuff and because I actually use very little electricity, all in all. I have just had my expected yearly amount lowered to 2,000 kWh, and I honestly don’t expect to reach even 1,500 kWh. The sensible thing is of course still to change the pump. Which reminds me that I need to add water to the central heating, as the pressure is quite low… Air in the pipes probably isn’t the best medium for transporting heat.

Good night!

Making things happen

I’m sitting here on my soft couch, with my legs horizontol, on a Sunday evening, staring into the lively flames in my awesome stove. I’m pretty tired from an eventful weekend, where I spent all of Saturday and the morning of Sunday preparing for a visit from a large part of my family on Sunday afternoon. Some of the evenings of the previous days were also utilized. The occasion was my birthday (in nine days) and my purchase of real estate. It was the geographically closest part of the family, or sort of.

I’ve built an extra table, fixed my lawn mower, splitted logs, washed clothes, done a lot of shopping, borrowed tableware, mowed my lawn, cleaned my windows, vacuumed, dusted, set the tables with tableware etc., put together two large cream/fruit cakes, and probably other stuff that I don’t remember. Just fixing the lawn mower involved sharpening its knife and changing its air filter, spark plug, oil and gasoline. Using a sandpaper roundel on my angle grinder, the knife went from utterly dull to very deadly.

I’m starting to get the hang of using my stove. I light it by removing most ash residue in the burning area, opening all secondary air intakes and then placing two thin logs at the bottom, some kindling on top of them and two or three firelighters between the kindling. The door is kept slightly ajar, while this pile burns down and gets the stove warmed up. I let the pile turn almost into embers before proceeding. Then I add two logs, still relatively thin ones, close the door and open the primary air intake at the bottom (the “choke valve” if you compare the stove to a combustion engine). While these two logs burn down, the primary air intake is open. Since my stove has Aduro-tronic, I have to force this using the Aduro key. Now, after probably 30 to 60 minutes, the stove is ready to burn bigger logs and without forced primary air. I wait until there is almost only embers left before adding new logs. The trick, or challenge, is to wait as long as possible without letting the stove lose some of its heat. When adding new logs I use Aduro-tronic to open the primary air intake for approx six minutes. I might have to extend this period at some point by turning a screw somewhere inside the stove.

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A family member gave me an idea today, which I’m considering. When I’m adding insulation to the attic at some point in the early spring, it would be a great idea to install some piping and a blower to move hot air from the living room to the other end of the house. The piping would be in attic and be isolated. The only visible installations would be two or three air ducts. The blower would be controlled by a thermostat. It turns out my brother has some experience installing this kind of things.

Over and out. Party hard. Don’t use “fate” as an excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen. \m/

Connecting my stove, part 3 of 4

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After a few naive attempts with messy newsprint and a too large piece of wood, I have managed to start the first real fire in my stove. The suction from the chimney seems to work, and the oil burner’s blower doesn’t seem to disturb the fire. If anything, the blower generates more suction for the fire as well. I ignite the fire using only firelighters and kindling. In this particular case I’ve ignited top-down, which worked well.

Here’s ten seconds of video 🙂

Realistically, the final part of the saga – the house warming – will not happen in 2013.

Oh, and what else is new? Let me tell you… I attended the awesome Aalborg Metal Festival on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday and Monday (yesterday) I visited my parents for Mortensaften, where we had delicious duck, caramelised potatoes, prunes, Risalamande, etc.

Excuse me – I have to add a new piece of wood to the fire 🙂

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.

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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 🙂

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

One of those weeks

I’m slacking on my couch thinking back on the past week… I have been quite busy, at least work-wise. For some reason, however, my list of assigned tasks/changes/service requests/etc. has grown from 18 to 34. *sigh* 🙂

I’m not really accustomed to saying no or saying “Listen, that sounds mighty exciting, and I would love to set that up, but I’m swamped as it is.” or “What’s the priority? Is it allowed preempt task X and Y, because it sort of has to, if you want it done.”. In my experience, most people want to please others, and I’m no different. Saying no hurts. You also feel a bit inadequate. People are poking at your limits.

Maybe the title of this post is misleading. “One of those weeks” sounds like a recurring event, and this week has actually been somewhat special. My musings above should indicate that. The only recurring thing, which probably everybody can relate to, is that I’m a little worn out and need the weekend 🙂

Being busy isn’t all bad. It indicates that I have something to do, which isn’t a given in any industry these days. Also, during the week I got the chance to play with FreeBSD and CARP for a customer. Lovely software. Easy to set up and it just works. No matter what you think about virtualization in the server room, it’s an awesome invention for testing stuff. In this case I installed VirtualBox and created three guests with FreeBSD 9.1. Using the camera in my phone, I created the following two videos:

Simple test of FreeBSD 9.1 and CARP – part 1 of 2

Simple test of FreeBSD 9.1 and CARP – part 2 of 2

Have a nice weekend wherever you are! I will be cleaning my apartment, washing clothes, getting a visit from my parents (and maybe my brother) and looking at a house. The house is located in the small village Store Brøndum (a funny name for a rather small village…), which is in the countryside. It’s approximately midway between Aalborg and Hadsund. I don’t want to unveil more at this point.

Party on if you’re at Copenhell \m/

Pictures

Here is a glimpse of the end of May and the beginning of June.

My parents’ two dogs, Asterix and Birko:

  

A few pictures from Aalborg Carnival 2013 on May 25:

     

  

Georg bought – and almost ate – a Whopper burger with nine beef patties 🙂
According to this article, that’s 9 x 113.4 = 1,020.6 grams of beef patty!

On June 5, I ran 10 km (actually 9,85 km) in 49 minutes and 22 seconds at the event Grundlovsløbet in the city Hjørring:

Hopefully that will mark the time in 2013 where I got back into a somewhat stable running rhythm.