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I miss you!

Today is the 6 week mark of my wife and I coming home from out anniversary weekend to find my big black bum, Smokey had died. It still hurts but the pain is more of a sweet pain where I remember the wonderful 9 years I had him. I cannot write this without tears trickling down my face but I guess that is not so bad. We don't know what happened on that Sunday, March 17th but I know I will never forget. The fear that struck when he did not come to greet us and the pain when I found him dead in our bedroom. I miss you buddy! You were the best dog I could ever have wished for. I feel robbed of many years with you! I feel cheated that I will never see you get old, grey and lazy but I am also very grateful for the years I had with you. Thank you!

Been a long time since my last post

So a lot has happened since my last post on this blog. - I quit my job at Danske Bank - I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina - I got a new job as a contractor with Wells Fargo Securities - I have sold my old Ford Focus station wagon (well my uncle Finn sold it for me) - I have bought a brand new VW Golf R - I had to give up on AT&T and my Nokia N9 (damn I miss that phone) - I replaced it with a Samsung Galaxy S3 (nice phone but not half as cool as my N9) Life is good in the US but of course I miss Denmark too. - I miss being able to wear jeans and a tshirt to work - I miss the weather (it is not supposed to be 23 degrees celcius in January) - I miss seeing snow - I miss being able to say whatever I want (my son got in trouble at school for saying "that sucks") - I miss Danish politics but at least I don't have to worry about what I am going to vote - I miss Danish driving rules (damn I hate all those friggin stop signs over here) - I miss my family. I miss being able to call them whenever I think of it, now I have to factor in time difference and crap - I miss my friends - I miss speaking Danish I do like it here but I am Danish and I believe I will always be Danish no matter how long I live in the US.

Oops I did it again

Sunday I was gonna go do the 13.3 km run through Dyrehaven known as Eremitageløbet. The race starts a 11:00 but since I live out in BFD (bum f... Denmark) I got up at 7 am to be able to be on the train at 8:23. Well of course the train from Copenhagen to Kalundborg was late which made the train from Kalundborg to Copenhagen late due to there only being one track between Kalundborg and Holbæk. Well I was at our local train station (Svebølle) at 8:15 and I got my ticket at all was good. That the train was 7 min late coming to my station was no biggie (I thought I had plenty of time). My planned arrival at Klampenborg station was 10:25 so even if I was a little late for my connecting train in Copenhagen I should still have plenty of time to catch the next one and have time to get there before the race start. Well the train ride went smoothly until we got to Regstrup where the train operator announced in the speakers that we would have to wait 7-8 min before leaving due to another late train (funny how one late train makes all the other trains late as well even though they can pass each other at the stations). Well after about 10 min and us not moving he announced that the train before us had broken down on Holbæk station and there was no way of knowing when we could leave. Then the ticket guy came running through the train asking everyone where they were going (at this point I had called my wife and she was getting the kids in the car to come pick me up). After 5 min wait more the train operator announced that we would go to Holbæk and couple to the train in front and we would be on our way. Once we had gotten moving he announced that coupling up to the train in front would take 20-25 min. Well we finally made it to Holbæk station about 30 min late I am guessing. I got off there and waited for my wife to pick me up. When she picked me up at 9:50 or so the train still had not left Holbæk (about 1 hour after it was originally supposed to leave Holbæk station). My wife kindly drove me up to my run, I was there 10 min before my group started. So DSB. I have used you 2 times within the past 8 months or so. Last time you made me sit and wait on Odense station for an hour and this time you made me have to get my wife to come pick me up. I have filed my request for compensation but I am sure you are going to deny it so that not only will I have wasted DKK 121,- on a train ticket that didn't get me to my destination but I will also have wasted the money on an envelop and a stamp to send in my request. I can't honestly believe I was once again stupid enough to think that DSB as a company would be able to get me where I needed to go on time. I think a 30 year old Trabant is more reliable than your trains and I know for a fact that both of our cars are. Thank you once again for nothing. I hope it will take me at least a year before I am stupid enough to try traveling with your crap trains again.

Complaint about DSB

Once again I made the mistake of thinking that it would be a good idea to take the train somewhere here in Denmark. I was going from my home i Viskinge to Bred on Fyn to pick up our new car. Sadly there are no really good connections from my home town that way so I got a lift by car to Slagelse. I was at Slagelse train station around 10 min before planned departure. I went to the kiosk and bough my ticket (kr. 171,-) and went down to wait for my train. When I got to the platform the screen said that my train was 25 minutes late. Already here I knew I was fucked. I knew that by my schedule I had around 15 minutes before my connecting train in Odense meaning that I would be around 10 minutes late. Well finally my train arrived and just as expected I was around 10 minutes late for my train to Bred so I had the pleasure of waiting 50 minutes for my next train. So a train trip that should have taken 1 hour 7 minutes ended up taking 2 hours 7 minutes. I don't know what the problem was and honestly I don't give a shit either. I am just bound to hate public transportation. I don't know how DSB or the Danish government can possibly think that they can convince Danes to primarily use public transportation. First off taking the train is way too expensive. I you are 2 people I would say that you break even taking the car and more people than that it is definitely cheaper than the train and you are not at the mercy of DSB. Secondly it always takes longer to go anywhere by train especially if you include waiting time at either end and transportation too and from the station. So once again a big f... you to DSB and their lousy service. I may try the train again in another 6-12 months if I have no other option.

Busy busy busy

The beginning of this year has been very busy for me. Starting my new job has been both challenging and very interesting. I am really enjoying it. Then I have been out on paternity leave for 3 weeks after the arrival of little Erik. I really thought that I would have time to catch up and do some of all the stuff I have been neglecting but no such luck. Getting back to work was very nice but also a little stressful. I have finally been getting some runs in again but I haven't taken the time to upload them until now. Here are links to them. I hope I will be better about getting runs in and post about it here.

Happy New Year

Happy new year to the few people who actually drops by here. I hope you will have a just as exciting 2010 as I will. I am looking forward to starting my new job on Monday and of course I am looking forward to the arrival of "Fenris" in February. Godt Nytår!!

Random email

As most people I get lot of spam email although a lot is caught by greylisting and spamassassin some random emails still make it to my inbox. Today I received a new one and I feel I need to put it here on my blog to share it with everyone. ----------------------- email begin ----------------------- From: "Elena" Subject: Letter to Denmark To: Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 23:03:17 +0300 Hi, My name is Elena, I have 32 years and I write from Russian province. I work in library and I can use computer after work when possible. I find your address in internet and decided to write you this letter in despair. I have daughter Angelina, she have 8 years, his father has abandoned us and we live with my mother. Due to financial crisis recently my mother lost job and our situation became very difficult. Prices for gas and electricity is very high in our region and we can not use it to heat our home anymore. Winter is coming and weather becoming colder every day. We very afraid and we do not know what to do. The only available possibility for us to heat our home is to use portable wood burning oven. We have enough wood in our region and this oven will heat our home all winter for minimal cost. Unfortunately, we can not buy this oven in our town because it's price 8190 Russian roubles (equivalent of 191 Euro) and we cannot afford it. If you have an old portable oven and if you do not use it anymore, we'll be very grateful if you can donate it for us and organize transport of this oven to our address (200km from Moscow). This ovens are different, they made from cast-iron and weight 100-150kg. I'll wait your answer. Elena and my family. Russia ----------------------- email end ----------------------- Now don't get me wrong, I do feel very bad for poor Elena, her daughter and her mother. That being said does she have the faintest idea how much it would cost me to ship a 100-150kg cast iron wood burning oven to Russia? I think it would probably be cheaper for me to buy her and her family plane tickets and let them stay at our house for the winter. Maybe I should reply back to her and offer that as an option?

Finally done!

On October 5th I handed in my thesis and today I did my thesis defense. I personally felt that it went very well and I guess my adviser and the external examiner didn't mind it too much ether since I got a 10. To most foreigners it probably wont mean very much but I do think that most Danes think that a 10 i a very acceptable grade. I can therefore now call myself cand.polyt. or civilingeniør or say I have a MSc. in Engineering (or I at least will when I get my diploma). Now ahead awaits real life with a 9am to 5pm job but also a better paycheck than what I have been used to.

Handed in my thesis

Today I finally handed in my masters thesis at the Technical University of Denmark. The title of the paper is "Interactive Questionnaires on Mobile Devices". It has been an interesting process writing my thesis and I hope I have done a good job on it. Hopefully I will do my thesis defense later this month so I can finally say that I am done with my M.Sc. in Engineering (majoring in computer science).

Afternoon run with Twig in the jogger

After Angel picked Twig up from daycare today I decided to take the little man for a run in the jogger. It was a very nice day for it, little wind and the sun was shining. As always it was hard to run with the jogger but both Twig and I enjoyed it. Distance: 5.34 km Time: 27m:30s Average speed: 05:09 min/km Average heart rate: 173 bpm URL:

Kalundborg kommune's new trash system

Let me start out. About a month ago our kommune (city/county region) implemented a new trash system. Our old system was a trash can with a powerful paper bag to hold the trash. When they came to pick it up they took the entire paper bag out leaving nothing behind. It was nice, clean and it worked. The new system is a two compartment plastic container with 2 wheels and a lid. One compartment is for all the biodegradable stuff like food, the other compartment is for everything else. Inside we have two bins, a small bin for the bio stuff which we get some special biodegradable cornstarch bags and for the regular trash we just use regular plastic bags. Our trash is picked up every two weeks so we will end up with 2 week old rotting food at the bottom of our trash can. Within the first week my wife foresaw issues with the bio bags. When we would put them in the bio compartment they would have a tendency to get stuck. We both had a feeling this would lead to problems. This morning I was helping my wife load up the car so she and a friend could go on a little trip. My wife who is not very squeamish went to put something in our trash can and I hear her yelling "eww eww eww". She comes back to me and tells me that our trash can is crawling with maggots. I know how she feels about maggots so I of course assume she is exaggerating. I go to investigate and I have to conclude she is right. Our trash can is literally crawling with maggots. The reason why? We had 4 bags stuck at the bottom of the biodegradable compartment in a soup of what I assume is rainwater, rotten food and maggots. The bags made from cornstarch looked like they had started decomposing already. I then go inside to find a phone number to call about this. I find it, call and get to talk to a lady who's only responses are: "Yes, we know there is a problem.", "We are working on it.", "Can't you take out the bags put them in trash bag and dump them in the regular waste compartment?" and "You will have to clean out your trash can yourself." I have now finished cleaning out our trash can gotten the bags into a new trash bag and done as instructed. I have never in my life been this close to throwing up though from sight and smell. I have cleaned up dog shit, dog puke, human shit and human puke but never before have I gagged like this thinking I was gonna throw up. I spoke to one of my neighbors and he says that this problem has been the hot topic in the local news paper he subscribes to so we are obviously not the only ones who have had this problem. If I ever experience something this gross every again I will start bagging up the biodegradable stuff myself and take it to the dump where it will go into the container for stuff going to the incinerator. I certainly don't ever want to have to deal with maggots in my trash like that ever again. Another option is of course that I remove the compartment divider from the trash can and put it all in heavy sealed plastic bags. My big questions are: How on earth can you implement a system like this? Why didn't you do a test group first to work out the kinks in a new system before implementing it? Who on earth was the architect that designed the trash cans? Maybe he should have consulted an engineer? Who thought that having 2 week old rotting food in bags that can rot themselves was a good idea? Maybe they should have tried to leave food remnants in a trash can like this in the summer heat for 2 weeks just to test the idea? I have many more questions but right now I just wish for the old trash system to be used again. I can't see any good, bad or mediocre fixes that would real solve these problems. Thanks a lot Kalundborg kommune, what brilliant trash system you came up with!!!

A blog

I have long been wanting to make my own blog but never got around to it. Now finally I have done something about it. Today I downloaded Serendipity, installed and configured it. It was actually very easy. Over the next couple of months or something I will post about my running, bicycling and maybe also swimming at one point. Since I am also a computer nerd I will most likely include nerd post about computers and computer related issues. It is also possible I will write about other stuff if I feel I have something to write about. If you read it I hope you will enjoy, if you don't that is your prerogative and I can't say you will hurt my feelings. /Mark