Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category.

Three Year Anniversary!

Stéphanie and I had our three year anniversary today! On January 16th 2004 we went out together for the first time. We went to see Mystic River (the first time out of many that we went to the movies) and so that date has become our anniversary date.

I had told Stéphanie that I would take the day off and that we should go downtown to do some shopping… but I hadn’t told her that I wanted to shop for rings with her, engagement rings! :-) Yes, this is it — I’ve asked Stéphanie to marry me and she said yes!!

Our favorite design looked very similar to this one... We visited five shops and got somewhat disappointing service in all but the first: the shop assistant in Hingelberg really knew what she was doing and spend a lot of time educating us about the sizes, heights, widths, and shapes of the rings. I had never been wearing rings, so I more or less thought that a ring was a ring… But no, there were a lot of little things that the shop assistant could tell us that we never would have seen ourselves, such that we both need rings with a bit of rising on the side since none of us have particular wide knuckles compared to the width of the fingers… How would we have known that? :-)

We spend quite some time discussing the color of the gold — we both want a golden ring. There’s the “normal” yellow color, but we could also get a pink or rose color. To better see the color difference she urged us to take two rings and go outside to judge them in the natural light… we could easily have run away :-)

In the shop I felt like what I would expect to feel if I went to a tailor: the assistant seemed competent and knew what looked good and what didn’t. It was a bit strange but also very encouraging to hear the shop assistant and her manager quickly decide that this or that ring was correct and that this or that was wrong for me. And more importantly, it made sense when they explained to me why this or that ring was good or bad :-)

After having figured out the dimensions for our rings she wrote it all down on a card and said that we could now think a bit about it and see what kind of collections we would find in other shops around town. Somewhat strange idea I thought, but very customer friendly. But maybe she knew what the other shops had to offer…

These are apparently very popular at the moment... Because, after the first shop it went downhill: the other shops had an ugly two-color design and some plain rings from loveDsign. The shop assistants simply pulled out a box with rings, ordered by kind of profile and width. I guess there were 6 rows and 10 columns, making for some 60 sets of rings. The assistant apparently expected us to pick a set just like that. That might seem simple, but after coming from a shop where we got a throughout guidance it seemed like very poor customer service to simply present the rings and then say nothing further.

After having been to four shops and been disappointed every time we got rather tired of those mass-produced rings and the presentation of them. Sure, they are cheaper than the hand-made rings from Hingelberg, but it was like looking at a Fiat after looking at a Ferrari… The Hingelberg set with 18 carat was twice as expensive as the other rings with 14 carat. Both sets were expensive, but I think it is acceptable considering that we plan to use the engagement rings as our wedding rings too, and thus use them the rest of our lives.

Finally we went shopping for shoes — Stéphanie’s favorite shopping item :-) and had dinner at Raadhuus Kaféen which is a very cozy restaurant with good traditional Danish food. This was a super day!

Meeting the Enemy

Everybody must pay the media fee! Yesterday Stéphanie and I had an unpleasant visitor: the License Fee Guy — or whatever you want to call what we call “licensmanden” in Danish…

Since January 1st you have to pay media license fee if you have a computer that can access whatever strange stuff DR decides to put online… and yesterday one of the controllers came by and asked us if we had a TV or a computer. Well, what kind of a stupid question is that to ask people in a building with only young people?! Of course we have a computer — we have two, not counting the two laptops we’ve ended up with!

Luckily the fee is per household, so we “only” have to pay the 2,150 DKK one time and not four… :-/

For 2,000 DKK (about 350 US$) we could have made a small vacation or something similar. Now we have to pay for a service which we don’t really use. I’ve never seen anything of interest on the DR homepage (except their radio shows and I would gladly pay the 320 DKK they cost in annual fees). We also hardly ever watch the two programs broadcast by DR: DR1 or DR2.

The whole idea of having a public service station is okay, but could they please start taking the money from the taxes we pay already? A regular student has about 4,000 DKK a month after taxes. Paying 180 DKK a month for having a computer connected to the Internet comes out to 4.5%(!) of extra taxes. I think that having a media tax of, say, 1% for everybody would be much more fair. Then they could fire the people who spend their days knocking on peoples’ doors…


What a nice start of the year! I’ve just received news from SourceForge and Paypal that a happy user of PHP Shell has donated $50 to me. Very cool!

A simple GNU I’ve already used the money… for another donation: I’m now a member of the Free Software Foundation, better known as FSF. I registered to pay $60 a year since I’m still a student, and in return I get a book from RMS and a good conscience :-) If you use this button: [FSF Associate Member] to register, then I will get credit. When three people have registered through me, then I get to choose a personal greeting which RMS himself will record for me to use on an answering machine! How weird is that?! :-)

Sabro, here we come!

Outside view of a house in the same block as ours Yes, we got the answer today: we can move to a 90 m² big apartment in Sabro on the first of March 2007. The 34 m² we have now is simply too small for two people with a lot of stuff — there’s no place to put the damn things! So we’re both looking so much forward to moving to a bigger place… :-)

Things we can now finally buy since we have the space for them:

  • A dish washer! I’m really tired of washing up all the time, and so it Stéphanie

  • A full-height refrigerator/freezer. Right now we only have a half-height refrigerator with a small box for some ice cream.

  • Dance Dance Revolution pads to play StepMania :-) Out in Sabro there’s no one living below us, so we can jump up and down as much as we want…

  • More things to come as we think of them :-)

Do I live in FøTeX?!

I was just playing around with my home banking… I exported the data for the last year to OOCalc and filtered it based on the descriptive text associated with each entry. So I discovered that I’ve spend no less than 8,897.67 DKK (roughly 1,500 USD or 1,200 EUR) in the FøTeX in Storcenter Nord! And that’s for the last six months only since I was in Switzerland until Marts this year.

Spending almost 9,000 kroners on 51 shopping sprees is an average of 175 DKK per visit. Auch — FøTeX is an expensive place to enter! Comparing FøTeX to some of the cheaper super markeds I see that both Netto and Fakta average around 130 DKK per visit for me. So I could probably save some money by shopping there more often.

These statistics are wrong by an unknow factor since they only reflect the spendings I’ve made with my credit card (Dankort). So the “score” for FøTeX would be even higher if one included all the little visits I’ve made where I paid with cash. They also include the stuff I’ve bought for our lunch club, which might help to explain the many expensive visits made to FøTeX.