28/06/2013

Well, it is almost done. The new window frames and windows are in place. And I really like the result. It really looks good.

But it not only looks good, there are also other benefits. These frames and windows give a much better isolation. Something I will notice on the money that I pay for the heating. And most of all, no more draught in the house when the wind is coming from the east (that is the direction the windows of my apartment are facing).

Anyway, if everything works out as planned then today the heating and the blinds will be placed back. After that I really start cleaning everything and place it all back where it belongs.


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Today the removed the asbestos that the old window frames contained. Asbestos was in the past often used in building because of its sound absorption, its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage. But nowadays we know that the prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses including malignant lung cancer.

So I expected men in those white protection suits to remove that asbestos from the window frames. Well no (and that was kinda a small disappointment). I was explained that only the fibers of asbestos were dangerous and as long you do no damage to the structure of the asbestos (like sawing or drilling) there is no problem at all. So they simple removed the asbestos boards, packed them in plastic and that was all…

Then a phone call of Tom came in. He just remembered that there was another electric wire that maybe needed to be removed. He was right, so the wire is no also removed.

Anyway, another step done!


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Next week, when the window frames are actually replaced, there should be enough room to do the work. Therefor it was asked to clear out 1,5 meters from the windows (both in the living room, as in the bedroom). That doesn’t sound much, but you will surprised how much you have to move then. Specially in my case that also means my desk with my 2 computers, 3 monitors and all the other devices are involved. It was quite some work to get it all cleaned out.

For the living room the vertical blinds had to be removed. Something I was not looking forward to, but it turned out to be very easy. And when those are removed, you realize what things as blinds do for the atmosphere in your house. Also all the wiring (electric and TV/Network cables) had to be removed. This means that a part of my apartment is without electricity, but that is something that is not a real problem.

Most work in the bedroom was to remove my desk with all the computer stuff. Getting the curtains off was easy :-).

As already said, I had to move my computer desk. But no, I won’t sit around for a week without computer and internet. As many will know, throughout the week when Marion is abroad, we use Skype keep in touch. This is very important for both of us.
So I needed to move one of my computers to another place for this week. There was only option I could think of and that was the dinner table…

All this leaded to some new “hardware” as well. Until now I was always dependent from other, but from now I can do the drilling in the hard walls of my apartment myself. I had some good advises from Tom. He knows quite something about this kind of things.

All this moving of furniture and things was done last weekend. This is what called part 3 of this “operation”. But in the title of the article I also mention part 4…

Today the heating elements were removed so there is room to do the rest of the work that needs to be done.

Okay, up to the next part tomorrow (but to be honest, I cannot wait until all is done and my apartment is all neat and tidy again).


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So today the new window frames were delivered and placed on my balcony (that is the reason why it needed to be empty).

The frames look good, more solid. And I think the are a lot giving a lot more isolation than the current ones, what will be very nice for during the winter.

I will be off from work from next Wednesday. I will use these three working days to remove everything that is in 1.5 meter from the windows (living room and bed room). And with everything, I mean everything… electric wires and such included. That will be a lot of work and will create a big mess, but it needs to be done. In case needed, I can also use the next weekend, but I will try to keep that free so I can relax a bit.


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I love the apartment where I live, but when I am really honest, the windows frames are not the best. Which is not really strange after all these years. Well, the window frames and windows will now be replaced. But that is not something that is done in a few hours.

Today I did the first preparation: Removing everything from my balcony. This will provide the space to work and to store the things that are needed. Next Monday all that is needed to do the job will be placed on my balcony (and on the balconies of others where the windows frames and windows will be replaced).

For me that was also the opportunity to clean out the balcony. There were for instance quite some planters that were not used anymore. Those and other things I don’t use anymore are gone.


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iPhone 5…. very unexpected!

by Rob on

Last week Marion got a notice from her telecom provider that it was time to renew her subscription with them. Just like me, Marion owned a iPhone 4 and was very happy with that smartphone. And so she already decided with the renewal of her subscription she would move to the iPhone 5.

So this morning we went to Beverwijk to visit the shop of Marion’s telecom provider. It took only a little before she selected the iPhone 16Gb and the subscription she wanted.

Suddenly Marion asked me when I have to renew my subscription or so. I told that would be in a month or so, on which the sales-person told that I already could renew already now. But the thing is, that I had reserved the tax-money that I will get back (which was already confirmed, but not paid out yet). So I told that I have to wait until I received that money.
Well, it seemed that was not what Marion wanted to hear. She told the sales-person to renew my subscription as well with the same iPhone 5 she had. As she said, she an iPhone 5, I an iPhone 5. I wanted to object, but the look in Marion’s eyes just said one thing: “Don’t!!!”.

So now I am the owner of an iPhone 5. And I must admit that I’m very happy with it. I love this kind of gadgets… and Marion knows that!

One thing we did clever, Marion’s iPhone is white of color, while mine is black again. This will prevent that we take all the time the wrong iPhone :-)

Only thing we didn’t know and just found out, when you get a new sim and the phone number doesn’t change, you cannot do any bank transactions for 48 hours. This because the smartphone is part of the authorization process that our bank uses. Not a real big problem, neither of us has a payment that must be done with 48 hours.

Thank you, Marion…


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Maybe a weird combination… backup’s and tea. Well, not for me… at least not today. Let me explain. Today two packages were delivered to my house. The first package contained two external hard disks (see how fast they gather dust, they were not for more than 5 minutes on that desk)…

Backup’s of my computers at are very important to me (as it should be for everyone, I think). Many items that are important to me are stored on my main computer.
Main computers? Yes, I have two computers running. But second one is mostly only used for things as Skype, IRC and other chat-programs. Specially Skype is important to me, because Marion and I use that very often to talk when she is away for her work. But on that computer nothing important is stored. For important things that computer is connected through the network to my computer.

But, as already said, on the main computer many things are stored that I really don’t want to lose. Important documents as my tax forms. But maybe even more important to me are all my photographs are stored there. My “digital archive” (I scan all important correspondence) is on that computer and to that all other documents from many years back. And not less important is the e-mail over also many years. And there are more items that I don’t want to lose. So yes, backup’s are important to me.

My backup’s are managed like this: There is an 3.5 inch external 1Tb hard disk always connect to the main computer (of course encrypted… as all the hard disks, external and internal). When I store for instance new photographs on the computer, I can make directly a fast backup of to that external hard disk. I use DirSync Pro for that, a very handy and clever free utility.

Then there are two 2.5 inch external hard disks. Once per week a complete backup of all important files is written to one of those disks. The most recent backup is stored outside my house and those two hard disk are rotated all the time. And yes, these hard disks are also encrypted. And again I use DirSync Pro for this.

But recently the two 2.5 inch external hard disks I just started to give out of disk space errors (mostly caused by my photographs). When I saw these two 1Tb 2.5 external hard disk for a very reasonable price, my decision was fast made (specially because they small (2.5 inch), get power through USB and they are fast (USB 3.0). This will make it for some time possible again to make good backup. And that is very important to me.

The first disk is being encrypted now (connected to my second computer), a process that will take about 10 hours.

The other package that I received today was containing tea…

During the weekends Marion and I both hardly drink any coffee. Most likely that to compensate the coffee we drink during at work. instead of that we drink tea. And for some reason we both don’t really like tea from bags. The flavor of tea bags is somehow not that nice as loose tea. Add to that of loose tea there are so many more flavors and mixtures.

So I have always several loose teas at home. And once per year I replace all what is left over with new fresh teas. And that are the teas that arrived today. It was more than time to get fresh teas again.
I always try to buy some different kinds of tea like green, black, white rooibos or oolong teas. Also some herb teas as always very nice. For instance nettle tea is very delicious and healthy as well.

Maybe Marion and I like tea so much because, apart from the very nice tastes, we some time ago had a Japanese tea ceremony (we were guided throughout the ceremony by an experience person). I have to say that this made a very deep impression on both of us. There is so much respect for tradition and history in such a tea ceremony. One of the goals of the tea ceremony is to break away from every days affairs. It pleases the mind and helps to relax. To be free from what makes the normal way of life less pleasant.
Since then we have been to some workshops about the Japanese tea ceremony and with all we learn we have our own tea ceremonies at times. Very welcome relaxing moments in a very busy life….

And Marion and I both think that tea must come along with honey :-).


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