Monday, March 31, 2008

The will to live

I don't know if I can be bothered to wake up tomorrow, it'll just be the same as today...

Except that I get to have 2 meals with my colleagues instead of the usual 1.

I weighed myself on Saturday and there is no change - 105,4kg.

Bathed in mud

I finally got to ride my new bike at the weekend and it was great. Mostly great anyway. The weather has been rubbish here for a week or so and the forest was even wetter and muddier than when I was last there a couple of weeks ago and to be honest slimy mud is not my greatest strength. The ride up there was fine, a bit of a tail wind and the locked out forks work a treat, then I hit some of the forest roads and was amazed how well the bike rides, the 29" wheels seem to eat up plenty of the bumps and the Scandium/Carbon mix of the frame seems very forgiving. I was very happy and enjoying getting sprayed with mud from head to toe. That was until I fell off. I fall of my mountainbike more or less every time I ride it and it is not generally a problem, firstly because my older bikes already carry plenty of battle scars and partly because the others doesn't have flat bars. Unfortunately the new one does have flat bars and that means that when they get turned around by falling off, the bars/brake levers/shifters come in for contact with the top tube and take off paint and generally ding it.

No real harm was done, but it is sad to see ding-age right were you look at the frame whilst riding on your bike that you have spent less than 2 hours sitting on.

Sunday's clean up and a little touch up paint have helped a little and the fact that it is sooooo nice to ride mean that I am not too annoyed about it, but it is a shame and now I have to work out how to avoid future damage...

Friday, March 28, 2008

White Trash Mexican Food

The concept of White Trash Mexican Food (WTMF) was first introduced to my by Jason over at The Soiled Chamois and frankly I think it is the perfect description of what we make here "chez nous". As they say, "fun comes in yellow boxes" and we can't get any proper ingredients in our sub standard supermarkets here in the developing world.

A couple of nights ago I made my famous tacos, the usual minced beef, a packet of mixed spices called smoked garlic and chili with some added peppers and onion served on the finest crispy taco shells.

J absolutely loves them and on Wednesday night ate 3 whole tacos full with spicy meaty goodness (or badness depending on your health preferences)
WRM thinks that J looks like Bruce Willis in his "wife beater" vest, especially as there is usually food down the front, I think it just adds to the trailer trash image.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The New Commute

I have let the train take the strain on the way to work the last couple of days and frankly it is rather nice. However, when I get to the station near my office there seems to be a small problem that I have to wait 10 - 15 minutes for a bus to take me the last mile or so to the office. I think I may have to find an old bike to leave at the station here so that I can just ride backwards and forwards, time will tell.
The really nice thing is that it is taking me well under and hour to get from home to the office and that means that I can pick up J in the afternoon without leaving just after lunch.

Tomorrow we have another scan for the baby and I am hoping that we will get some pictures that I can put up here for you to see. Other than that there is not too much to report today, last night I rode my bike in the basement for 45 minutes and tonight I am planning another ride, maybe longer than last night if I can find anything interesting to watch on DVD.
My new bike sits behind me feeling sorry for itself because I have not had a chance to ride it properly yet. I am planning to change that this weekend...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Recovery

During the long weekend we did a lot of eating, from my home made chocolate truffle cake (½kg chocolate, ½ litre cream etc) to roast pork, steaks and burgers to home made hot cross buns and of course Easter eggs. I was expecting to get a nasty shock when I weighed myself this morning, but the result was exactly the same as last week 105,6kg. This may be as a result of the 5 hours cycling I have managed to fit in since Thursday even though it has snowed more or less every day. I felt particularly virtuous last night as I climbed on board the trainer at 9 o'clock for an hour of pedaling.

My new job seems to be shaping up OK, there is still an awful lot for me to find out and as yet I haven't really done anything, but my PC is getting into shape and I have all of my personal stuff here now.

After we picked up J last night we went to have a look at some Saabs. They are odd cars, but I think I like that about them and we can get a much newer Saab for our money than a Volvo and it will certainly seem suitably irrational to my Boulder readers not to buy Japanese. The issue with the ones we saw last night was that they were all black, but that is something we can easily overcome by looking around. The next step is a test drive and J seems very excited about buying more new cars.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My very own desk

For the first time since December 2000 I now have my own desk. I even have a docking station and a monitor so that I am not working on a laptop all the time. My only gripe is that this keyboard has a loose key that vibrates all the time whilst I am typing...

My new PC is quite a nice looking hp number and I got the customary buch of flowers and a thermo cup with DSV on it. These thermocups are quite cool as they are like a porcelain version of a thermos so the outside stays cool and your coffee hot.

We have had a very relaxing Easter break with G&G visiting. The weather was more or less completely rubbish, but we had enough sun for a bike ride on Thursday and a walk on Saturday. Thakfully the sun is shining today and it looks like I may be able to get back out on my bike at the weekend if not before. Tonight, however, I guess I'll have to hit the trainer in the basment to get some miles in infor front of the TV.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Ben

It has been snowing all day here so we've had a play inside day. G&G have just gone out to feed the ducks whilst we start cooking again...

Brother Ben is 32 today, I hope he has a great day and we may get him a gift at some point.

I'm going down to the cellar to ride my bike in a moment to mentally prepare myself for starting my new job tomorrow. I'll report back how I get on.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Snow and Birthdays

We are languishing under a few centimetres of snow here in Denmark, but it has not really had too much of an impact on our plans. Yesterday we went to Roskilde and did the Viking Ship Museum and the Cathedral. J was his usual self and had fun throwing stones areound the museum before having to buy a packet of paper napkins before we left the gift shop.

Today we have done a little food shopping this morning and G&G have headed off to Copenhagen. This evening we are going to T&Bs to celebrate T's birthday. Happy Birthday to her!

The new bike is still sitting pristine in the basement as the weather is not conducive to a test ride, but I have been back on the trainer to keep working towards my first goal of the year at the beginning of May. I think I am still some way from a decent 12 hours of hard riding, or even gentle riding at the moment.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

She's done!

I finished the new bike thias afternoon and it looks fantastic. It is a little heavier than I was hoping, but I am pretty sure that is down to the wheels. What can you expect for £125 for the wheels tyres and tubes?

I'm loking forward to having a proper test ride at some point in the Easter break unless the weather is as bad as predicted.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bike building

The bike building continues a pace in the basement with now only one problem that I need to address at the bike shop. I can't fit the fancy new bottom bracket without a special tool. Actually I can't tighten the rear disc brake because I can't quite reach it with the tool that I have. Otherwise it is more or less done.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A weighty issue

I forgot to post my weight last week which was a genuine oversight rather than an excuse. I weighed myself yesterday and have reached 105,6kg so there is some steady progress. I am also pretty pleased that I seem to be getting into reasonable shape and there appears to have been some movement of mass from the lard around my middle to the muscles on my legs.

Recipe for feeing like a new man (almost)

This has been a good weekend and by the end of Sunday I felt like a new man.
My new frame arrived on Friday (the rest of the stuff - wheels, brakes, gears etc arrived this morning) so that was really nice to get my hands on and it looks great. Saturday I managed a 1½ hour ride which was nice to blow away the cobwebs and see the sights around Ringsted.
Sunday was the better day though. I spent the morning cooking lemon roast chicken with some proper roast potatoes followed by home made treacle sponge and custard. I had forgotten how good that is and the cold custard was delicious in the evening with some of MKs fruit salad.
I went out on my old mountainbike for 2½ hours in the afternoon and had a blast getting muddy and sweaty. I can't wait to have the new bike finished and get out on that but it may be a week or two as there are predictions of snow all over Easter.
The day was capped off with some smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for supper and a relatively early night.

Pic of the bike at least to follow...

And here they are. There are still plenty of bits missing, but it's taking shape

I need to cut the steerer tube down a bit, but note those nice carbon fibre bars...

Friday, March 14, 2008

The New Job and things

The meal at Spicylicious last night was pretty good and not bat value by Danish standards, the food was good and the service was also good, the only downside being that we were sat next to the 2 Italians making the coffee and they are genetically unable to be anything other than noisy. All of that banging and grinding their beans was somewhat distracting!

I generally don't write about work much here, but as I am starting a new job in a week or so then perhaps it is worth a mention.

My spell in my current job has been relatively short and involved rather more travel than I had hoped, but that, it seems, is life these days. My new job will be with DSV who are a large transport and logistics company. I am going to be a project manager running the roll-out of SAP financials around Europe. Certainly a big challenge and I am looking forward to it.

Apparently all of my new bike parts are now on their way to me, I expect them to be here before Easter so I will have a bit of time to put it together and maybe have a ride or two...

I'd love to get J one of these BMW bikes, but they cost almost as much as my bike

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A night off and the executive car

Tonight will be a rare-ish treat as J is being babysat by K&L so we can have an evening out. MK is meeting me at the airport and we have booked a table at Spicylicious. Apparently we should be in for some good Thai food by Danish standards so I am looking forward to it, I just hope the restaurant has a few more features than their website which has to be one of the most uninspiring I have ever seen.

As I have little to do whilst winding down in the current job I have taken the opportunity to look at some cars and whilst we seem to have decided that we want a bit more luxury and an estate (station wagon in some part of the world), we have still not really decided what to get.

Volvos look nice and it seems that they are a solid used car to buy, but they are expensive. For the same money as a V70 we can get a 2 year younger Saab 9-5 estate. Hmm, temptingly Swedish, solid and go for ever and ever and ever... There is a dealer in Ringsted so we may have to go and take a look

Had I mentioned that I am starting a new job after Easter? No I didn't think so, more on that tomorrow but in the meantime, I am going here

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I just found this Jersey on-line, it is the same brand as my new bike and I rather like it so I thought I'd share...

There will be blood

I had a evening alone in Aalborg last night so after a tortured visit to the gym during which I had to endure Guns 'n' Roses at full blast on repeat for nearly an hour I decided to treat myself with a trip to the cinema

This is not a film for those looking for some light hearted fun (or a light romantic comedy for that matter) but it is quite astonishing.

The film follows the life of Daniel Plainview who is an oil-man in California as the oil industry is being born and his fight to succeed in a rather cut-throat manner. I don't want to give too much away in case any of you want to see it.

Daniel Day Lewis is absolutely incredible and carries the whole film as there is barely a scene without him. That is not to say that the other actors are poor, just that in the end you'll only really remember him.

I left not feeling inspired or uplifted, just a little numb having seen this mans life portrayed in such an intense way that it was almost exhausting. My recommendations may not be worth a great deal given the Oscars success that the film has had, but now that I reflect on it a day later, I can see that it really is a remarkable film.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Aalborg again

I am back in Aalborg and it is another miserable day weather wise, on a brighter note, it may be the last time that I have to come here.

The fridge arrived later in afternoon than I had hoped yesterday so by the time I had taken the door off and re-hung it to open the other way it was time to fetch J from nursery. That meant that I missed the sunshine and an opportunity to get out on my bike which was a shame. I did get one the trainer in the basement for an hour before bed though.

The fridge is as exciting as we were hoping, it is big and white with several shelves and a light that probably goes off when the door is closed. The best thing about it is that it is cold inside.

J had his ears checked this morning by the guy who put the drains in them last year. Apparently one of them is blocked up so we will have the fun of syringing his ears morning and night for the next 2 weeks. I'm not sure who will hate that the most...

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Fridge coming today... hopefully

As you may recall we ordered a new fridge a couple of weeks ago and it is due to be delivered today. I have moved the old one out of the was as I can do that myself and I am hoping that the delivery guy will put the new one more of less in place because I doubt I'll be able to move it myself and MK shouldn't be humping white goods in her condition.

Watch this space for exciting fridge updates over the coming hours or maybe days...

In the meantime, this is how it feels to finally work out how to pedal a red plastic tractor

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Dragging around car showrooms

This morning we took J for a trip to look at some cars. Unfortunately the first place we stopped at had some very big puddles so he spent the morning with wet trousers. Never mind.

We have now examined Mazdas 5 and 6, the 5 was horrid and the six is very nice, but too expensive for us. Toyotas Corola Verso and Avensis estate the same as Mazda, nasty or too expensive. Then Opel Astra and Safira, Astra was boring and the Zafira seats didn't go far enough back for my long legs. Then we stopped at Ford again to check out the C-Max and the Focus estate, both of which seemed OK so now we need to decide ow much to spend and on what. The big estates are about 370 000kr (£35k of $70k) the Focus, C-Max and Astra are about 280 000kr (£26k or $52k) and apparently our car is worth about 130 000kr (£12k or $24k)

So far it looks like we are tempted to go for something like a 7 year old Volvo V70 with about 50k miles on it or a slightly newer Japanese estate like a Mazda or a Toyota for about 250 000kr.

That is until tomorrow when we change our minds again...

Friday, March 07, 2008

All action in Ringsted

Yesterday the new outlet mall opened in Ringsted and what a delight of pikeys it was too. We had a bit of time on our hands in the afternoon so we went along to take a look. There is a Nike outlet, Le Cruiset, Puma, Levis and a bunch of other boring places. Our first impressions where not to bother again for a while, but it wasn't too bad. We stopped for a coffee, but left before being served because the signs of incompetence were so clear that I could more or less guarantee that if we got what we ordered it would be crap as it appeared that nobody in the coffee shop had a clue what they were doing.

On a brighter note though the part for my new bike have started arriving, unfortunately they are mostly boring parts and there is no sign of the frame being available for a while yet...

Thursday, March 06, 2008


We've been out today so I'm posting later than usual.
We're totally sick of our noisy car that rattles and has warning lights coming on and going off every other day so we are looking at new cars.
So far we are pretty interested in the Ford C-max but we are still to look at Honda, Mazda and Toyota before deciding. VW has already been knocked off the list and Volvo was never on it!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Back to basics

Having hear that some of my bike parts are already on their way here and given the reminder that I did not quite make my dieting goals for the end of February I decided to re-evaluate my tactics.

I found a really useful article by Scott Saifer who is a well know coach and thought the rules were so good that I would share them (or at least some of them) with you all.

A warning: hunger is your body's way of letting you know that you are losing weight, that you are in a mode of metabolism in which you are metabolizing your own fat and muscle tissues for fuel. YOU MUST EXPERIENCE SOME HUNGER TO LOSE WEIGHT OR FAT.

Rule Number 1: Cut out all processed sugars. This is the hardest rule to follow, but probably also the most important. Do not eat white table sugar, cookies, cake, donuts, sports drinks, sports energy foods (except during exercise), jam, jelly... Avoid sweetened bread, and anything else that tastes sweet from added sugar.

Rule #1A: Reduce your consumption of high glycemic index foods if you want to lose weight and you are exercising seven hours per week or less. Cut out the potatoes, white flour, white bread, bananas and other starches.

Rule #2: Balance in every meal. Every meal should include some low-fat protein source (fish, poultry, pork, tofu,tempeh, beans, yogurt, cottage cheese...), some low or moderate glycemic index complex carbohydrate source(whole wheat pasta or bread, brown rice, oats, corn...), a little bit of fat (it's okay to sauté but not deep fry), and a lot of vegetables or fruit.

Rule #3: Drink water and lots of it. Drink water before you eat. Urine would ideally be clear and colorless most of the time. Avoid both sugar waters (sodas, lemonade, sports drinks) and fruit juices. Orange juice has about as many sugar calories as Coca-Cola.

Rule #4: Lot's of vegetables. Eat a balanced mix of protein and carbohydrate foods from the beginning of the meal, but if you're still not comfortably full after having eaten enough protein and carbohydrate complete the meal with raw, steamed or boiled vegetables and salads.
often get similar total amounts of sugar, fat people get it as added sugar while thin people get it in fruits.

Rule #5: No matter what your mother said, and no matter how many children are starving in Africa, you don't have to clean your plate. Never eat to the point where you are uncomfortably full. Always leave the table still able to eat more.

Rule #6: Eat in courses. Take a small amount of food on your plate at one time. After you finish, ask yourself if you are still hungry. If you are, take another small serving of something else. Don’t take the whole loaf, package or pot of anything to the table or couch with you.

Rule #7: Don't eat to be polite. You don't need to try a little bit of everything that someone makes when you are a guest. Heap on the praise for what you do eat and then declare yourself full.

Rule #8: In restaurants, assemble a meal out of salads and appetizers. Given the huge portions in many restaurants, you can get enough nutrition from salads or an appetizer-sized portions. Order the smallest pizza that might satisfy you. You can always get a salad to fill you up.

Rule #9: Don't go overboard. Anything that makes your diet difficult to stick to increases the chances that you won't be successful in losing weight or in keeping it off. It's better to lose half a pound or a pound per week until you reach your target weight than to lose two or three pounds a week for two or three weeks.

Rule #10: Identify your triggers. Many people diet well until some emotional situation comes up and then look for comfort in food. Do you eat in response to stress? Boredom? Relationship troubles? Fatigue? Try to identify what’s happening before you finish the whole box. Go for a walk or call a friend instead of overeating.

Rule #11: Weigh yourself daily, but average the weight weekly. Your weight will fluctuate by a few pounds from day to day. Rather than being concerned about your weight each morning, keep track of your average weight for each week. That will be a good indication that you are really gaining or losing weight.

I am not sure if I can stick to all of these but they seem like good common sense to me so I'll see what I can do...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sleepy day

I watched The Terminal on television last night and foolishly went to bed rather late as a result and then couldn't get to sleep. As a result of this wild living the alarm clock came as a horrible shock to my system at 5:00 this morning but I could not ignore it as I had to be out of the house at 5:30 to get a 7:00 flight to sunny Aalborg.

There was ice on the car for almost the first time this winter and the roads were a little slippery, but I got the airport on time and now I am struggling to stay awake during the dark hours of the afternoon. My flight home this evening is at 6:15 so I should be home by 8:00 in time for a little light exercise before an early night and hopefully more than the 4 hours of sleep I seem to have had last night.

If any of you are wondering who Jason who comments here is, then have a look at his blog here or at the link over there on the right. He's partly responsible for my choice of new bike and is certainly faster on his Salsa than I will be on mine.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Nearly forgot

I am 106,4kg and 24% fat although that may have gone up this evening given the amount of cheese that we ate this evening...

The trigger has been pulled!

It's on it's way!

Salsa Mamasita

XT groupset

Rockshox Reba race fork

Along with some potentially suspect on-one wheels, a pimp red headset with matching QR skewers. I am recycling the stem and seatpost from my collection to stay within budget and I can't wait to get all the bits and build them up.
I must express how grateful I am to MK for letting me waste so much of our money on this. She is of course happy to see me happy with my new toy, but just in case she was feeling left out, you will notice that in the last week she has had two new rugs and a new fridge.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another rug and a fridge

We made a foolish mistake on Saturday; we went to Ikea along with half of the other residents of Denmark. The main task was to find a bed for J, we chose one and then were not too shocked to find that they were out of stock.
We did, however, manage to get another rug, this time for the hall to replace the white one. I can't believe that a white rug got stains on it, can you?

You might think that after all of that excitement (which included a portion of Swedish meatballs and losing J for 5 minutes) we would be shopped out. But you'd be wrong!

On Saturday evening we bought a new fridge on-line. If I tell you that it is made by Bosch, is 1,55m tall and looks like this then you know as much about it as us.

We can't wait to experience all of it's amazing chilling potential.