All posts by Arjen

A blog about a Dutch guy with just too damn much time on his hands. A life of work, anime, WoW and boredom.

New life, new house…

Well, guess that’s that. A year ago I was still engaged to be married and today I’m alone, living in my own house in a small village. It just didn’t work anymore. I know it’s for the best, but… Yeah, still getting back on my feet.

I’m living in a much older house now. Built in the sixties. Still needs a whole lot of work. Everything that can be painted, needs to be painted. Already did the walls in the livingroom, kitchen, hallway downstairs, both toilets, bedroom and a wall in the attic. Everything wood needs to be done eventually… which means, every single door and doorframe in the house too. Honestly, I didn’t notice how bad the paintwork was when I viewed the house. And to think there’s only… 10 doors in the house. Ugh.

But, geek as I am, first things I did was, apart from internet, getting my Domoticz stuff running. Turns out, if you have an older house… you can’t really use all the stuff you used before. All my Z-Wave switches that were mounted behind the wall switches, can’t be used anymore. Simply no room. So apart from a few wallplugs and a switch outdoors… no more Z-Wave. But I obviously want some automation, so hello Zigbee. Rather different, has it’s quirks, but the Ikea Trafri stuff works reasonable well. Expensive, but not nearly as expensive als Hue.

Oh, wait. Let’s not forget my Z-Wave smoke detectors! Pieces of junk. Already had 2 “fires in the attic”, ofcourse both in the middle of the night. Had to replace the batteries twice in the past 3 months. So those 2 have got to go. Didn’t even get a notification when the damned thing went off and that’s the whole purpose of getting Z-Wave ones!

So, lots left to be done around the house. Lots of furniture to be bought too. But that’s by no means the only thing that changed in my life. I obviously got out of a relationship… and I’ve fallen in love again. With… someone I’ve known for 13 years, but haven’t met yet. Yeah, you read that right. She’s British, I’ve met her online and she’s one of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the honour of knowing. God, I hope I get to meet her soon… if only life wasn’t being a complete and total bitch over there.

The garden, fase 1

Haven’t really posted much since we started the search for our house… Never even posted we found the house. We’ve been living there for over a year now. So far, most of our efforts have been inside the house. New kitchen and stuff.

But now it was time to start with the back yard. It was a total mess. Only thing I’d done about it was putting up the garden fence again. But there’s a lot of height difference. A maximum of 30cm, but if we’d have to fill up the whole yard it would have been too costly, and there’d be a difference at the gate at the back of the yard. So, we decided to build a wooden terrace of about 3m to compensate half the difference. The rest of the yard will have to be filled for about 10cm on average. So…. first to remove the tiles:

That took a while… but, second day, this was the result. A little bit of equalizing and I could start drilling holes and hitting poles!

Yeah, that was a bit harder than I expected. And to be fair, I have a hell of a lot of poles left. There were supposed to be a lot more there, but it was a rediculous amount. And since I’m using Bankirai wood, I expect it to be a bit more sturdy compared to Douglas wood.

So, lots of drilling and hitting poles with my bigass hammer…. and this happens:

Hitting and hitting and all of a sudden the pole nearly vanishes… turns out, there’s a space beneath the ground near the house. I either had to dig up the whole lot and put concrete in… or get me 9 longer poles. Guess what the easiest option was? Yep, 9 more poles!

After that I could start with the beams! And the first board, which I had to cut out a bunch to fit with the window and door. And more boards to follow…

 

And yeah, that’s a broken drill. Bankirai is freakin’ hard! No way to get it out and unscrewing the screws damages the boards… so, a hammer. It’s beneath the future loungeset, so it’s fine.

So, after 8 days of work, on Saturday afternoon, all the boards were screwed on. Time to build the loungeset and relax, was getting way too hot to continue!

Sunday morning, time for some lights! We got a bunch of LED lights, 6 in the last board on top and 4 in the board on the front side. There’s a switch in the livingroom. I’m thinking about putting a z-wave switch in there to automate it, but for now, this works just fine!

Fase 2 is a border, which I’ll be building with the tiles I got from the old terrace. They’re pretty much bricks. So, some concrete as a foundation and building a border with those bricks and glue. Was considering making it out of wood too, but… stone is a bit better when it’s filled with earth.

Fase 3 with be a shitload of sand and earth to make the rest of the yard about 10cm higher. Some grass between the terrace and the shed. And on the side of the shed, those tiles will return.

Househunting!

Yeap, that’s right, Jolien and I are looking to buy a house!

In Almere, because of her job. But… somehow every nice place we see gets bought right before we want to have a look at it. Really annoying. We’ll get there!

 

 

New job!

For the past 7 years I have been working at my current employer, Unet. Last year, the company was bought by one of our competitors, Eurofiber. Eurofiber is one of the major fiber companies in the Netherlands, Unet was a small fry compared to them. Unet still exists as a separate company and brand, but our fiber network is a part of the Eurofiber network now. So, it kind of made sense that the two people at Unet who work exclusively with the fiber network moved to Eurofiber.

Which is exactly what is going to happen now. Starting February 1st, I will me a Eurofiber employee. I will be starting there as a Network Designer, which means, I will be doing only a small part of the job I had at Unet. But, the current workload is just… impossible. That will change too, and I cannot even say how happy I am with that. Whether or not I will like the job or not, not being under that much stress will be great!

But, this all means there will be plenty of changes for me. For starters, I will be driving back and forth to Maarssen daily, instead of the other side of Almere. Not ideal, but I can live with that. Financially, well, let me just say, it is not a bad move for me. At all.

And there’s other changes: my current Internet connection is supplied by my employer. That will have to change, so, bye-bye Unet, hello different FTTH provider. Yes, that also means this website (and my other websites) will be offline during a transition that will definitely come. And my phone! My currently company-supplied iPhone will be gone and I already got me a HTC One (M8). Amazing device, but a bit bigger than expected… Most of you should already have my new number anyway.

So, plenty of changes in the immediate future! Let us hope they are all for the better!

Living together

So, basically my life got flipped, turned upside down, the last couple of weeks.

Not exactly as planned, but my girlfriend moved in with me! Yeah baby! 😉 So, the past 2 weeks my flat has been packed with stacks of boxes. The stacks have been getting smaller and smaller every day, thank god!

It still needs a lot of getting used to, but… I love it. I love her. Yeap, we made a good call 🙂