Thursday, November 27, 2014

Many many changes...

We are currently in the process of moving. This will be the first time that we live in a house and not in a apartment. This is one of the many changes that we are making at this stage of our lives. Our house is located 60 km from where live and thus a good way out of the city where we work.

I am currently also in the process of changing jobs and will soon be out of my current network and in a whole new environment. This is both exciting and scary but also not the first (and definitely not the last) time I will make this kind of change.

Soon we will also add some kind of pet to our lives. Since we have more space, we thought that it may be a good idea to try a higher order vertebrate rather than increasing the ant colonies (side-note: I am planning to keep some bees to continue the theme of social insect companion animals).

Getting used to having a car, again,  has also been interesting. It was very nice to use public transport and bicycles for the last 5 years, but living a bit more on the country does require access to a personal transportation device with more space than a bicycle basket.

All these changes are not as extensive, compared to moving to Sweden 5 years ago. There are however many similarities including how we feel. Again we are at the beginning of a new adventure and we will keep you updated on any exciting developments...


Monday, November 17, 2014

Weight loss via Nintendo

One year ago, just before Christmas, we bought a Nintendo Wii Fit U system. Over the preceding 4 years in Sweden we were able to afford more cheese than we could while living in South Africa. This had an effect on our weight. The problem was, of course, not only cheese but our general eating habits. We were not inactive and walked or cycled everywhere but was able to treat ourselves a bit more often.

We thus decided that we wanted to change our habits and an excellent way for us was using the Wii Fit U. It consists of a scale, a step counted and software that are on on the WiiU.
Wii Fit U digital scale

The best bit for us is probably the nice way that the data is presented. Each time you weigh a couple things are measured and stored. Additionally, the amount and type of exercise are recorded as well as the daily activity via the step-counter. Nice graphs are presented and this is probably the best motivation that helped for losing weight.
Weight loss over 11 months
Nice bar-chart from step-counter

I thus lost 10 kg and are a bit more flexible and fit that one year ago. Carina lost 7 kg and our percentage weight loss is quite similar. Another big change was our eating habits. Since getting the Wii, we try to think before just eating things with loads of calories (because we know exactly how many hours it would take to burn those calories again). 

We can recommend the Wii Fit U for anyone who want to lose a bit of weight and see the results displayed with interactive graphs.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nintendo handheld games.

I have always been a fan of Nintendo handheld games. I cannot remember at what age I got my first Game and Watch but recently it was reunited with the others that I obtained over the years.

Below are the games that I currently have and includes:
1. A Mickey and Donald - Game and Watch that my parent bought me many years ago
2. A Donkey Kong - Game and Watch
3. A Game Boy that I bought after saving for a long time
4. A Nintendo 3DS that Carina bought me a few years ago

All of these have provided me with many hours of fun :)


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Scarf Blanket

When you are moving you discover a number of things that are in deep storage. This happened last week when we found a bag of winter clothes that went AWOL for at least 2 years. The bag contained, among other things, a number of scarves that my mom lovingly knitted...
Scarf heap

My mom is an extremely prolific knitter. Over the last 5 years in Sweden we accumulated close to 20 scarves. This is not the only thing she makes. Her output includes gloves, hats, shawls, blankets etc. These items are distributed globally to me and Carina, my sibling and her spouse, friends and family, their tiny offspring and to kids in rural areas who probably are the most appreciative.

Looking at the heap of scarves I felt a bit sorry that most were deemed to go back into storage. I rarely wear a scarf while Carina have a few favorites picked out. While packing them away I noticed that they are much softer than any of the blankets we own and I got an idea to make a blanket from them.

I thus went to a shop where a flock of technicolored sheep exploded. On closer inspection I found that alpacas were also involved and can therefore recommend this shop (YlloTyll) to anyone who need to purchase any wool or related products. In the shop, I found the gender bias extremely skewed (especially for a country claiming high levels of equality). The people where however extremely helpful and after explaining what I wanted to do I got a few balls of wool and other wool manipulation tools.

Back home I set to work to assemble the blanket from the 13 chosen scarves:
13 Scarves pre-assembly

First four assembled

One pane completed

Second pane completed
Finished scarf blanket

I have tested the blanket a few times and it is extremely difficult to get out from under it to face the world. I would thus deem the project successful. It is by far the softest and best blanket we ever owned - thanks Mom.