Monday, December 31, 2001

The last day of 2001
Holland is fully concentrating on changing their currency from the dutch gulden to the European Euro. This is a huge project, and the banks did have a busy day today, everybody is trying to get rid of their last coins and paper money. The bank money machines will be changing to Euro on 0:00 tonight, and they expect that most of the dutch people are going to get some euro's from the bank money machines tomorrow. Denmark is not going to change to the Euro yet. The people of Denmark voted against it. But they probably will change in the future. Maybe it is not that bad to see how the other countries are doing first.

ooo

We (me and my mother) made around 100 oliebollen (oilballs, sounds bad - tastes great) today, this being a typical dutch tradition. 3 out of 4 dutch people bought a ticket to the yearly New Year lottery, and is hoping to win some millions. Yes we did too !
Tomorrow I will be travelling back to Denmark again.

I saw a year overview of all the news from 2001 yesterday. There was not one positive newsitem this time, 2001 has been a year of violence and accidents. I hope 2002 will be better !

Wishing everybody all the best in 2002 !

Saturday, December 29, 2001

Blue Moon
It's blue moon right now. I had heard the term but never knew what it meant. It means that there have been 2 full moons in one month. The second full moon in that month is then called blue moon, this happens on average every 2.7 year.

It's snowing in Holland at the moment ...
Greetings from Holland
Just a short post from Holland, it has been a while since I posted something here! I can say that the weather in Holland is far more calm then the weather in Denmark. In Denmark now has covered all the country and resulted in cancelled flights from some of the airports. There has been a tremendous amount of snow there, they even said something about that here on dutch television. I hope there will be some snow left in Aarhus when I return to Denmark on the 1st of january 2002. Not that I am going to enjoy it for a long time, because I am leaving for Copenhagen on wednesday (I only have 22 hours at home), and leave for warmer temperatures on thursday.

A few days are left in Holland. I am going to bake "oliebollen" and "appelflappen" on monday. They are a kind of cakes with apples and raisins and you bake/fry them in oil. Those cakes have to be eaten at the 31st of december in Holland, it's a tradition.

Happy New Years Eve to all of you !

Sunday, December 23, 2001

Snow in Århus !
Winter in Århus


A small collection of all the snowpictures I took the last 24 hours !
Off to Holland
I have to start packing the last things in a minute. I have to take the bus 15:00 pm, but I will try to be there a bit before, because of all the snow. It has been freezing -8,4 C (24,8 F) tonight, and it is still snowing, there is a lot of snow on the roads too.

Santa/Sint Nicolas
I just heard in the radio that 2 danes have been studying Santa's background for 2 years now. Santa and the dutch Sinterklaas are actually the same person. Originally there was a saint in Turkey (Myra) that was giving gifts to the children. This saint and the gift thing became a tradition in the whole of Europe, and that's where the dutch Sinterklaas is coming from. This tradition also came to USA (brought to USA by dutch emigrants). But after some time Sinterklaas turned into Santa, and a lot of countries are now having the Santa traditions. The reason why Santa (the christmasman) looks like he looks today, is because of the Coca Cola commercials in the late 30's. There he first got pictured with red clothes, white beard and a red/white hat. Imagine what a commercial can do ! In Holland Sinterklaas is still wearing his saint (or bisshoplike) clothes.

This is the last post from Denmark for now. And this Blog will hold a bit of a low profile the next few weeks, because of holidays.

Saturday, December 22, 2001

It's white again in Århus!
Snow in Århus
Picture just taken from my balcony. :-)

Friday, December 21, 2001

Holiday
After a bit stressy day on work, I am finally having free now ! I don't really realize yet that I am not going back to work in 4 weeks, but that will come soon. Chances for a white christmas are down to 50% (depending on which site of the country you are living in), chances for a rainy christmas in Holland are 95 % :-( You can't have it all !

Happy Holidays

Merry christmas & Happy New Year
to all of you out there !
Solhverv

It really snowed a lot yesterday, and a nice fine layer of snow was covering Århus. But I imagine that the following scenario took place :

While the snowmakers were in full action throwing snow over Århus, the upper snowmaker came in. "Guys" he said, "we have made a miscalculation. It isn't christmas yet ! So we have to change to rain mode in stead, and raise the temperature a bit too." And that's what they did, around 21:00 pm in the evening it started raining, and temperature raised to 2,7 C. This of course caused the snow to melt very shortly after, and no more white landscapes in Århus at the moment. Hopefully they will remember to put the snowmachine on again around christmastime!

Today it is Winter Solhverv. I am not quite sure where the word comes from exactly, but it means that the sun will gain time again, in other words days are getting longer again after today !

Thursday, December 20, 2001

It's 18:19 pm, and Denmark is white ! The snow is still falling ...
It's getting colder
The thermometer said -4,5 C when I was leaving for work this morning. And it is getting even colder, the weather people say. Still no snow though, will it come before christmas ?

I just checked the site of Copenhagen airport, they actually have a nice panorama view site where you can see most parts of the airport. But this is the airport I am going to fly from on my way to Gambia/Senegal. We are flying at 7:15 am, and have to be at the airport 6:00 am, very early ! Luckily one of the people of the group going on holiday is living in Copenhagen, so we can sleep there the night before ! Very convenient !

There is only 1½ day left on work, and I actually did finish most of my todo list, so that's good.

ooo

I got your XMAS postcard all the way from Canada Desiree ! Thanks ! Hope you will receive mine soon too ! Post from Holland is still slow, cards posted for 1½ week ago stil haven't arrived. So my stack of received christmascards is not that high (yet?)

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Pixies and Gnomes - a more detailed study

I have been reading some books about pixies or gnomes as they also are called lately. Mainly because they show up everywhere in Denmark around christmastime. And there are a lot of stories that go around about those funny little people. They seem to live in everybody's house, that is if you treat them right. Treating them right in Denmark means that you have to give them a portion of rice porridge regulary, some want to have a portion every day, and very important, don' forget to put a bit of butter on it, they love that. So if you take care of them that way they wil stay in your house, and actually look after your house too. They will repair things if they get broken, and when you live on a farm they will look after the animals too.
Picture of a Gnome

Gnomes are very strong, and can become very old. There are stories going around about people that didn't treat them right, they ended bad, and they always regret that they didn't look after their Gnome better.

If you are interested in reading some books about Gnomes, I really can recommend you the following one:
The ultimate Gnome book

This book is made by a dutch painter/drawer Rien Poortvliet and dutch writer Will Huygens, and the pictures are fantastic. It is very richely illustrated, and the stories are great. As soon as you start reading the book you get drawn into the world of Gnomes, and learn all about how they life, their relation to nature and their ability to communicate with animals.

The books is also available in English at Amazon So if you still are looking for a christmaspresent, this is definetely an option !

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

A sudden moment of inspiration
So I redesigned this site a bit, because when the inspiration finally is there, you better use it. Who knows when it comes again ? I am satisfied with it, for now. And you'll probably have to do with it until the end of january.

I really love Blogger, but the only problem I have is that I regulary loose links to my archives. Ofcourse I can republish them, but it is weird anyway. Does anybody out there have the same problems ? And an even better question is : Do you know how to solve it ?

PS Did I mention I am having a holiday pretty soon ? :-)
Warming up...
For those not knowing where Senegal is located :

Gambia is the very thin stripe you can see on the bottom of Senegal.

Famous Senegal musician : Youssou N'Dour He has played together with Peter Gabriel on So (one of my favourite cd's), but has and he is also known for the big hit "Seven Seconds" together with Neneh Cherry. But he also has made a lot of albums himself.
3½ days to go at work
I don't really have much time to write these days. It is very busy at work, people always seem to need a lot of work done just before christmas. But after that, I won't be at work for 4 weeks ! I can't remember that I have had such a long period not being at the office. Will I be able to find the office at all the 21st of january 2002 ? Wow, that sounds very away, the 21st of january :-)

I arranged my travel insurance and got some thoughts about my grandfathers surprise-Xmas-parcel. So there are only 2 todo things left : deliver some loaned books to the library (otherwise it's going to be an expensive bill from them) and arrange the anti-fly-scareness pills with my doctor. I also need to buy some extra smartmedia cards for my camera, I don't like to stand in the middle of nowhere without having enough space for my pictures. The same goes for batteries, I have to take a lot of them with me too. And just in case, I will take my normal (=Non digital) camera with me too. So whatever happens, it must be possible to get some good pictures home with me.

Seems like a lot of people are travelling home these christmas days. I can not promise that I will write regulary the next 4 weeks. I can write a bit from Holland, but in Senegal we don't even have electricity the places we are staying, so an internetconnection is wishful thinking up there.

But as said before, there are still 3½ days to go at work first ...

Monday, December 17, 2001

Are you insane ? (Put your loudspeakers on!) I am !
Bloggers Christmascard exchange program
At the moment I have an agreement with 3 people to exchange XMAS postcards, nice !

If you still like to participate in the Blogger Christmascard exchange, send me an email with your address, and I will mail you my address. I will publish your postcard in this blog !

The post to Denmark must be very slow, because I haven't even received the postcard from my mother yet. It normally takes 3 days from Holland to Denmark by postal mail, but it has been over a week now, and it still hasn't arrived !
Working at home today
Temp: 2,7 C (36,8 F) - a sunny winterday
I am working at home today, I need to do a lot of work before my christmasholiday and it can be a little distracting sitting at the office. And I won'tbe on the office until the 21st of January 2002 , because of my trip home to Holland and my holiday to Senegal in January. I'm looking forward to it, I didn't really have a summerholiday this year, so I need one soon. And it's nice to travel from the darkness of Denmark to the sunlight, and 25 degrees warmth of Senegal !

There are some things I need to get settled though:
I need to finish my surpriseparcel for my grandfather (christmas gift)
I need to ask my docter for some anti-flyiing-scareness pills :-)
I need to arrange a special travel insurance for my Senegal trip

Now I've written it down, so hopefully I won't forget.

Saturday, December 15, 2001

At this moment my outside thermometer says -1 C (30,2 F).
The weather experts say that there is a 90% for a white christmas in Denmark ! That would be nice, even though I will spent christmas in Holland. But who knows, maybe we will get some snow down there too. I was in the city today, normally saturdays are a bit crowded times to be in the city, but today it beats everything I have seen before. I have trying to buy some things twice, but ran quickly out of the shops again because of very long queues inside the shop. I will try again another time, the shops are open every day now, including sundays.

ooo

I can see that my weblog gets hits because people are searching for the word "Berlingske". Berlingske is the danish newspaper that has written the story about three famous dutch footballplayers having some fun with a famous danish lady stripper Kira Eggers the night before they should play the footballgame against Denmark in Copenhagen. So what I would say. But it seems that some people in Holland are a bit angry about this story.

ooo

I saw Innocence today, I expected a little bit more from this movie, so I give it a 7 out of 10.

Friday, December 14, 2001

OK, now this is cool, you can download the internet here ! No more hassle with slow connections and telephone bills, just download the internet on your pc ! *<| ;-)
Sometimes things really get improved !

Now it's possible to run a webversion of ICQ, which means you can use it at work without your firewall blocking it. Go to the ICQ Lite website. And if you want to say hi, I am number : 30841379 :-)
Time for a commercial break

Filmfreak Co-bloggers wanted
We are still looking for cobloggers for our FilmFreaks blog. So if you are a bit of a filmfreak, go to the cinema regulary, and like to write a short comment on the film you have seen, then let us know ! We are currently 2 filmfreaks, Edward from London, and me from Denmark.

Bloggers Christmascard exchange program
As previously mentioned in my blog, I like to receive (paper) christmascards from all over the world. So if you like to exchange a card , send me your postal address and I'll send you a card and my address !

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Harry Potter
I just returned from the cinema, I finally saw Harry Potter and I am impressed. It was better then I expected, very nice special effects, good cast (Robby Coltrane is perfect as one of the wizards, and so is Allan RIckman (he is the perfect bad guy, even though he turned out to be one of the good ones in the end in this movie). I had hoped on a bigger role of John Cleese, but you can't have it all. I will give it a 9 out of 10, and if you haven't seen it yet, be sure you will. I like those adventure stories, I also liked films like The Never Ending story a lot.

So now that I have see the film I changed to a new poll today. I chose the Lord of the Rings movie this time. Hopefully I will get as many responses also this time.

Remember to watch the sky tonight, because it is Geminides evening, which means more then a hundred shooting stars per hour.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Copenhagen and back
Today has been a train day. I have spent 6 hours in the train (Århus - Copenhagen and back) to have a 6 hours meeting in Copenhagen. But sitting in a train in Denmark is actually quite comfortable. The only thing is that I had to stand up way too early (5:30) and was home very late (19.30) so it was a very long day.

In Copenhagen I had a very international meeting with 2 danes, one person from Finland, one from Norway, one from Iceland and one from Sweden. Being dutch my self that makes 6 nationalities ! It was an interesting meeting, even though I had to concentrate very hard to understand the mix of danish/swedish/norwegian language. The person from Iceland spoke norwegian, and the one from finland spoke swedish, so we managed !

Now I just returned from some julehygge(=christmascosiness in danish) at one of my bikingfriends house. Most of our bikingclub were gathered to drink Gløgg (the danish Gluhwein) and eat Æbleskiver, both being traditionally danish christmas things to do. Æbleskiver are a bit special though. Æbleskiver can be translated to "appleslices". But the funny thing is : there is no apple in it at all, and they don't look like slices but they are round balls. So how did the danes come up with this name ?

It was an exhausting day, so I am off to bed already now. Goodnight to whoever is reading this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

For those who like to watch the sky at night, tonight you can see another meteor-rain. If the sky is clear, you can see hundreds of meteors per hour, at the end of the evening (tuesday - European time).

Oops : Not tonight ! But the night of thursday ! (Thanks to my mom who always pays attention !)
And another picture of mine is submitted to the mirror project!.

Monday, December 10, 2001

My pictures
Some of my Copenhagen pictures have become a part of the following website (with my permission ofcourse) : Magnus Westergaard translation services
All the pictures used on the site are taken by me, in Copenhagen, summer 2001. I like the black & white design, and the pictures fit well into it.
Christmascards with Christmas

In Holland sending christmascards has become a hype. The postal office is actually selling a special christmasstamp around christmas time, so people can send a christmas card for half the price of what it normally would cost to send a postcard. The results of this is a tremendous amount of postcards being sent around in Holland. Everybody sends cards to all of his family and friends. And people expect to get one in return.

In Denmark sending postcards is not as big a thing as it is in Holland. Some people do send a postcard, other people prefer to meet for a drink and wish each other happy holidays personally. Don't be offended if you don't get a postcard in return, even though you have send one yourself. (I still get offended though
! I always blacklist people that did not return a card, there are a lot of danes on the list!)

I have received my first christmascards. One from one of my penpals, Olli from Finland. Lots of months can pass without writing to each other, but not a christmas goes by without sending each other a christmascard. Good tradition ! The other cards are from my grandparents (when you open the card it plays all kind of christmassongs) and from another dutch in Denmark (Yvonne).

But if you are reading this and like to get a postcard from Denmark, mail me your postal address and you'll get one. What's the trick you ask ? You have to send one in return ofcourse ! I love to receive cards ! I can actually promise that your card will be shown on this blog (if you like) !
Lessons of annoyance
Sitting at work (at 17:35 PM) way too late, being hungry, and having an M&M (the chocolatethings) machine in front of me that only accepts 2 kroner coins, I have 5 kroner coins, I have 20 kroner coins, but no 2 kroner coins. Of course not ...! Sigh .... It's hard to be a programmer.

Saturday, December 08, 2001

I received my first christmaspresent by post today (I bought it myself, but I am happy with it anyway :-):

CD Single: Sommerdag ved stranden
The Summerdag ved stranden cd single


I currently own 32 TV-2 cd's and cd singles, and also a big stack of LP's and singles, but there are still missing some. There are some I haven't even heard before because I don't have a record player anymore ! But that doesn't spoil the sport of collecting them all anyway, and one day I probably will buy a cheap record player.

Ok, enough tv-2 addiction talk for today. I'm off to bed.
My 22 days of fame are over. I am no longer a Blog of Note at Blogger. This is very obvious when I am looking at my sitehits, they are dropping big time. Hopefully some of the visitors will return again. No matter what, it was a nice experience thanks.

ooo

I was in the cinema today and saw En kort en lang for the second time. It was just as good as the first time, and I will probably see it again. it's a movie that gives you a happy feeling when you leave the cinema.
En Kort en Lang


There are lots of interesting movies on the way. Here is my to see list:
Harry Potter (still pending)
Lord of the Rings
Vanilla Sky - interesting with Tom Cruise, from the maker of Jerry Maquire
From Hell - with Johnny Depp
Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain (an award winning French movie, an Oscar outsider)
Serendipity (with John Cusack, just a good old romantic comedy, nice to see sometimes)
P.O.V. (Point of View) Danish film with Ulrich Thomsen, one of my old time favourite danish actors
Innocence (Australian/Belgian film)
Spy Game with Brad Pitt and Robert Redford (did you know that Robert Redford is 64 years old ? He still looks good !)
Don't say a word (with Michael Douglas and the dutch Famke Jansen, got good critics here in Denmark)
Elling (a new norwegian film, a mix between Rain Man and One flew over the cuckoo's nest)

I going to be busy! Not all the movies in this list are currently running in Denmark, some of them are released in january or later. If you already have seen one of those movies (Denmark is not always the fastest with releasing movies) you are welcome to comment it !
Since everybody is having an arttest on his blog, here's mine. I actually do like this picture, but it is a bit weird !

If I were a work of art, I would be Edvard Munch's The Scream.

I express the subconscious troubles and anxieties of the world. I hold my head and let loose the primal terror of my innermost fears, surrounded by a lurid landscape which reflects my feeble grasp on reality.

Which work of art would you be?


The Art Test

Friday, December 07, 2001

Another Tina Dickow link (Thanks Desiree)!
Here you can find a stream realvideo concert of Tina Dickow:http://www.sitemusique.com

I have no idea why this is laying on a french website, even though they write that they have a mirror site in Denmark, the danish mirrorsitedoesn't have this concert.

But they have a concert from Tobias Trier though ... (just to make it even more confusing :-)
To them interested in hearing the music I heard yesterday :

Som Steffen Brandt's songs : http://www.tv-2.dk/biografen.html
Tina Dickow : http://www.tinadickow.dk/lyd.asp (just click the javascript error away)

Tina Dickow sings in english, Steffen Brandt only sings in Danish though.

And Francis, those free bikes you are talking about, they only have them in Copenhagen. There you can just take any of the free bikes available, and those tires never get flat ! They have been talking about to introduce them in Århus too, but until now it hasn't been much more then talking.

Thursday, December 06, 2001

The concert was GREAT !
Now I know, Tina Dickow is the danish Alannis Morisette (and that's a compliment). Here one of the pictures I took of Steffen Brandt, a bit more story comes tomorrow. If you like to see the other pictures go here. There is also a story but it is in danish only. I have to practise my danish now and then, also in writing. And since tv-2 mostly is known by danes only, I have decided to keep that part of my homepage in danish.

Steffen Brandt in action

How lucky can you be
I have 2 bikes, and one of them stood with a flat tire after work yesterday. Well that can happen. So today I took my other bike, and guess what, after a long day at work I was ready to jump on my bike but this one had a flat tire too! This is getting a bit too much. This time I couldn't pump it up so it could hold the way home, so I had to walk home today. I haven't had time to repair either one of them, so I am going to take the first bike, pump it up, take a bicyclepump with me, and try to reach the concert without too much problems.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

A dogs mind
Since my mother moved away from my childhoods house (and our dogs childhoodhouse too) our dog Boomer (see the picture a bit further on this page) really hasn't been himself until now. He feels a bit lost in his new neighborhood and is afraid for all the new dogs he meets there. So my mother felt a bit sorry for him and decided to buy him a Doggy Bag. Doggy Bag is the name of a kind of sitting bag, but especially made for dogs. It's the Roll Royce model in pillows especially made for dogs.
Do you think Boomer is even considering using it ? Not really ...
I bought a ticket for the Tina Dickow concert tomorrow, in Train in Århus. I have seen Tina Dickow in the Århus festival week last summer, and she reminds me a bit about Ilse de Lange a dutch singer. But ofcourse the main reason for seeing the concert is the promised guest appearance of Steffen Brandt. I will probably take my camera with me.
Is this going to be the way to move in the future ? Might be I can sell my bike soon !

Tuesday, December 04, 2001

When you have a dog it's always nice to come home.
Boomer the dog, always happy when you're coming home
Boomer watching the front door, nobody passes without being welcomed in a total enthusiastic way. It doesn't matter if you have been away for 2 minutes or 2 months he is just as happy.
I have only be out of Denmark for 4 days, but while I was away, the danish christmascrazyness has exploded. There is not a place from which you cannot see a christmastree or any other kind of christmaslight, and the city of Århus is totally transferred into a christmaslook. Last sunday the gigantic christmastree on Rådhuspladsen is lighted. I will try to take some pictures soon.
TV-2 talk
Two small things from the TV-2 front. First : Steffen Brandt (tv2) is giving a guest appearance at the Tina Dickow concert in Train in Århus on thursday. I am considering very much to go and see it.

The other thing is that I just bought another TV-2 cd for my growing collection. This time it is a promotion single from the Amerika album called Sommerdag ved stranden (A sommerday at the beach). Since this seems to be a very limited edition cd, I decided to buy it, despite of it's high price. Thanks to Jesper!

Monday, December 03, 2001

Sinterklaas (Part 4 ?)
A little bit more then. I have eaten lots of Sinterklaascandy/cakes etc this weekend and we have drawn tickets for the Sinterklaas party. Normal dutch people celabrate this as said before on the 5th of december, but because I am not in Holland on that date, we moved it to the first day of christmas. Otherwise I get way to confused, if I don't get presents with christmas, 'cause that's how the danes do it !

But I drew my grandfather's list this year, which means I have to buy him a present and I have to make hime a surprise parcel. Normally you should keep it secret, not telling anyone whoms name you drew, but since my mother is the only one with internet (and she already knows) it is ok to write it here. Might be I need some help in making the poem or getting ideas for the surprisethingy. At this moment I am thinking about making an airplane cockpit, my grandfather is totally addicted to a certain flightsimulator pc game, so that might be something. He also bought a new subwoofer surround sound set for his computer, and that sound is better then my stereoset ! Now you are wondering how old my grandfather is. He is 87, and still going strong !
Back home in Denmark
After an exhausting weekend I am back home in Århus again.

VERY Hot news in Holland : Holland coach Louis van Gaal has quit his job. Now that's what I call good news. The most amazing thing is that while there is a war going on in Afghanistan, and lots of bad things were happening in Israel, the speech of Louis van Gaal (the one where he resigned) was broadcasted live on dutch television (as if it is that important!) And I think I have seen parts of this speech nearly all weekend on all different tv channels. This is just football we are talking about, someone lost track of importance some where. To finish the football talk, Ajax coach (Ajax that got kicked out of the UEFA cup rounds by FCK(øbenhavn) Co Adriaanse is fired. Maybe Co and Louis can start a little club together.

I visited a bookmarket in Holland, and came home with about 10 books (those markets are dangerous). Apart from a good book about photogtraphy, and a Harry Potter (part I) I mostly bought books from dutch writers (Youp van 't Hek, Kees van Kooten and Freek de Jonge). Reading dutch books still is the easiest for me.

And talking about Harry Potter, no I didn't see the movie (we didn't have time) ! So I am going to see it this week here in Århus. This is all for now, good night from Århus.

Saturday, December 01, 2001

1st December 2001 - World Aids day

Link & Think : World Aids day project

In danish:
Aids in Africa

In english:
www.unaids.org
www.aids.org
www.aidsquilt.org