Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.

Dad with brain

Tonight the son (age 3) drew a picture of me. Apparently I have a very large head and eyes on the side. The black lines in the middle of the head is my brain.

Dad with brain

New bank, new car?

The appraisal of the house is scheduled for Monday and the bank accounts are all in place and the new credit cards should be sent our way soon. So if the house gets appraised at the right price it looks like we are changing banks.

Our local auto dealer called and said he had just the car for us – a blue Mitsubishi Colt from 2005 that has gone 80.000km and has just had a full checkup. The price (after swapping in our old car) will be 77.500DKR. We can stop by next Friday and take it for a spin. Hopefully it will be a nice ride and we can get a car with air-conditioning for the summer.

Setting the bank change into motion

We have decided to change banks to Jyske Bank. Now we just need to get our house appraised to find out if they can take over our loan – hopefully this will just be a formality, but with the current economic climate I have no idea how they set the value on a house compared to when we built it.

I have managed to talk the banker into cutting 1.000DKR of the initial cost of switching banks. The remaining 1.400DKR are for the mortgage bond and apparently there was no way I could get out of that.

Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly.

Now to find account numbers, documentation that we are who we claim to be, and other stuff needed for the switch.

Looking into banks

Send Your BoyI feel like we have been with the same bank for quite a while now and I am not sure we’re getting the best deal. On top of that there are some other minor annoyances (lousy online banking, have to have a certain amount of money set aside, etc.).

So I started looking for another bank.

First up was Jyske Bank.

Pretty neat online banking, apps for Android and iPhone, lower rates on our loan (6.55% vs 8% at our current bank). On the negative side they have to most painful meeting rooms I have ever been in. There is some sort of force trendiness going on. High chairs for the meeting room table (that is actually a converted fussball table), football jerseys hanging on the coat rack which made it nearly impossible to hang my coat, etc., etc. If all this football stuff actually felt like a personal touch it would have been great – but clearly it was simply done by an interior designer.

But I’m not going to hold their design against them since we only rarely use the physical bank.

All in all it seems reasonable and we will be able to free up some money. The cost of changing banks will be 2.400DKR plus whatever conversion will be needed on our loan.

The bank adviser will get back to me with a more detailed offer later.

New(ish) Stuff

Today brought some new(ish) stuff and potential new(ish) stuff.

First we bought a new used bed for the son. This meant we needed a new mattress – fortunately the one in the daughter’s bed was perfect… So we had to buy a new mattress for her (which was probably a good thing as she had pretty much outgrown it and needed one that was more springy).

We also went to look at a possible new(ish) car. However when we arrived it turned out the car had already been sold… Car salesmen cannot be trusted! However he did have two new cars of the same make and model coming in next week so we still have a shot. The car is a Mitsubishi Colt from 2009 that has gone about 20.000km and although he could only give us a rough estimate the price seems reasonable enough (~115.000DKK with an extra set of tires and after taking our old car in exchange) . Now we just need to find out how much cash we can get our hands on, how much we need to borrow from the bank, and if we would be better off buying a completely new car.

And all of this needs to be done so sensibly that the wife is confident there will be enough money in our budget to go on vacations in the coming years.

Oddly specific pickup time

The mailman tried to deliver a package the other day when I wasn’t home so instead it ended up in the 24 hour pickup box. As usual he dropped a note that said from what time I could pick it up. And for some reason it was from the next day at 10:01 – and not a minute sooner apparently!

Vacation part 4 of 4: Prince Live in Concert!

The wife and I went to see Prince live in concert in Herning on Friday Oct. 22. We left the kids at home with my mother, and everyone had a great time.

We had been looking forward to it and contrary to other concert you were explicitly allowed to bring your digital camera – just not any “professional equipment”. So I brought along my cellphone and our old Canon Ixus 40. However when we got to the security check we were asked to store the camera along with our jackets. It seems that Mr. Prince didn’t quite like the idea of 14.000 people with cameras. Cell phones were still allowed which is strange since a lot of phones now have quite good cameras (just not my phone). The point is: crappy pictures, sorry.

Our seats were great, Prince and the entire band were amazing. That guy knows how to put on a show. Not a single dull moment and the evening was filled with great songs. However he could have played for a few more hours when you look at the hits. Even though he played many great songs there were many more that he didn’t play.

The parking however was horrible. We arrived early so we got stuck way in the back and were therefor the last get out after the show.

Note to self: Eclipse + Maven + Tomcat

I decided once again to try out Maven but this time I wanted to use it from Eclipse and get everything automatically setup for a proper web project with automatic deploy in a Tomcat.

The first lesson was not to use the system installed version of Eclipse – it just proved too difficult when adding plugins not in the system repositories (Fedora in this case). So off to eclipse.org to get the latest version of Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers.

Next I went looking for a Maven plugin to Eclipse and found m2eclipse. The important part for creating a successful web project is to install both m2eclispe Core and m2eclipse Extras. Read the m2eclipse installation instructions.

When creating a new project in Eclipse select “Maven/Maven Project”. For the archetype I selected “maven-archetype-webapp”. Go to the project properties and look in the “Project Facets” to configure the needed version of the Servlet API, etc. On one project I created I had to manually edit the .project file to get the “Project Facets” entry – I had to add the line

<nature>org.eclipse.wst.common.project.facet.core.nature</nature>

to convince Eclipse that I had in fact created a web project.

Now open the “Servers” view and add a new Tomcat server. Right click this new server and select “Add and Remove…”. In the new dialog box add the new project. Now click the server to start it and it should automatically deploy the new project.

Plus-plus bricks

The son announced last week that he no longer wanted to go to kindergarten and that he was ready for school. The reason behind this was that he had found out the school had plus-plus bricks.

As we didn’t really feel he was in fact ready for school we instead decided to buy 1200 plus-plus bricks.

The first thing the son built was a turtle (he did eventually add some more color):

I built a robot and the daughter built a smaller robot:

The onset of insanity

I am starting to feel like these are the ramblings of Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now! or Jack from the Shining. All camping and no relaxation makes me a dull boy…

At least the weather is nice today – a bit windy, but the sun is shining. And even though I think everything suck right now the wife and kids are having the best vacation ever.

The best news of the day was that we are going home a day earlier than planned as the in-laws are coming to pick up their mobile home today.

Tonight I sleep in my own bed in a house with solid walls and roof.