JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Holidays in Sweden

This week, we celebrated holidays in Sweden. We worked on cutting and splitting wood for our stoves. We also painted a part of the ceiling in the living room.

Monday 23 October

Today, we had our first holiday at our farm in Sweden. It was epic autumn weather. This morning, we decided to stop renting out the house on the farm. It has been a burden to rent out the house. It did not feel like it was our house. Easing the house's running costs has been good, but that is unnecessary. Now is the time we stop renting out the house and start using it as if it is our own house.

The person supporting our robot lawn mover came to us this morning and picked up the mover. He will do maintenance on the lawn mover, and next year, we will get it back to cut the lawn in the spring. He has switched to Honda robot lawn movers. His advice was that as long as our mover is doing what it is supposed to, it is best to let it run.

We will get the chimney sweep service to our farmhouse tomorrow to check the chimneys. The last time they came, they obliged me to fasten the ladder on the roof. I have not done that, so this was the perfect moment. I had brought a roll of metal band with holes in it. With that, I could fasten the ladder. I was thinking that perhaps the chimney master would not be happy with this solution either, but at least I have done something. We will see, that is for tomorrow.

With the roof ladder done, I started cutting chunks of the logs we towed in February this year. I made a heap that DW can work on while I do other things. I have no idea what that will be. DW raked leaves into heaps and collected these.

It is rather intense work to cut trees into chunks. I still have the stinging feeling in my rib sometime. DW pointed out that usually, when you have a bruised rib, you will feel it when you are laughing, coughing, sneezing, and I had nothing of that. Could it not be the stinging effect of shingles of the zoster virus?

In the evening, I finished the road scene of my vfx program. It looks delightfully simple. There is a midnight blue road with mid stripes in six colors that move towards the viewer. On the side of the road are chartreuse green sound level charts that also move towards the viewer. The sound level graphs react to the sound level, so there are higher graphs if there is more sound. That is all there is to this scene.

I now made nine scenes in total. I play each scene for thirty seconds and then switch to the next scene. It is great fun to make each scene.

Tonight, I started on my next scene, fireworks. The idea came from a neighbor; he described this program as fireworks. That was flattering, but I thought it was an excellent idea anyway. The idea is to make the firework shells go off in tempo with the music. We will see how this goes.

Tuesday 24 October

This morning, we spotted a fox along the driveway! It looked like it should, with a fluffy tail. Perhaps it was a little round. Will there be fox cubs?

After breakfast, I continued to cut more chunks for the logs we towed in February. DW split the chunks with a hydraulic splitter. After lunch, she split chunks while I waited for the chimney sweeper. He never came. While waiting, I programmed the scene with fireworks. There was a bit of new territory for me; I was unsure how to achieve what I wanted. I asked Chat GPT how to do it, and it came up with a promising solution, but it did not work. I then checked the CSS documentation for the smoothing algorithm and found the one I had in mind, cubic-bezier(0.42, 0, 1.0, 1.0). Then I asked Chat GPT to give me the source, which worked! I could work on the firework algorithm forever, but something was wrong. I called the chimney company, and they pointed out I had the wrong day; they will come to us next week.

Then, I went out and cut more chunks from the logs. I finished the logs from February. I even started cutting up logs that had been lying for several years. I wrote about it on the blog, but it was so long ago. It was several years before the pandemic. I now acquired the skill to cut up the massive logs. The wood was in surprisingly good condition.

We moved all newly cut chunks under the rain roof because it would rain tomorrow. Neighbors came to us and invited us for coffee tomorrow!

In the evening, I continued programming on the fireworks. I got them firing in the tempo of the music! That means I now finished ten scenes in the VFX program.

Wednesday 25 October

The fox passed our window while we sat drinking tea in bed this morning. It lives in the chicken house on the oak tree hill.

It was raining as the weather forecast had predicted. The plan under that condition was to work on the ceiling in the living room. It has flakes of coming off. The idea is to remove the flakes, sand the places, and then paint the spots. First, we had to make room for this effort. We decided to work in one corner of the living room as a compromise. The sofa had to be moved to a new temporary place. We had a shelf with an old radio, but we decided to remove the shelf entirely so the radio could move to the server room.

With the clutter out of the way, it was time to get started, but I wanted to attach the sanding machine to a vacuum cleaner. I had to figure out how to get the hose onto the sanding machine. Perhaps cardboard from an orange juice package would help?

Yes, it worked very well! It turned out to be more handy to let the hose curve off in the other direction, but besides that, it worked fine.

I scraped off loose paint flakes and started sanding with the sanding machine. After a short while, the machine was feeling heavy. It will not be pleasant to sand the ceiling this way. It would be better if I could hold the machine more conveniently.

I went to the workshop to see if I could assemble a device to hold up the machine. If I had a drill to drill a hole in a wood block! I have to figure out how to do this another day.

In the afternoon, we went to neighbors for coffee. That was great fun.

In the evening, it was time to start to work on the next scene. The idea for this came from DW. Could you not make balloons fly and let them pop in tempo with the music? Challenge accepted.

I asked Chat GPT to make a balloon shape, but that failed spectacularly. It is amicable, but that is not enough. I wanted good-shaped balloons. To do that, I drew the balloon in GIMP and then moved over the coordinates to my program. After a couple of times adjusting, I had a balloon shape in the program. It is a little shaped like a skull, but people will not see that when I am done giving the balloons, tails, colors, etc.

Then I went on making the tail. That was more challenging. I did not understand the function for bezier curves, and it is tough to program something if you don't understand it. In my rude attempts, I got tails with kinks and wanted smooth, randomly curved tails. I was dreaming of bezier curves that night.

Thursday 26 October

Today, we decided to get paint for the ceiling. It was drizzly weather and not that warm. Let us say the kind of weather you hope for in the middle of summer when it is too hot to think.

We went into town and brought things that cluttered the house because we used them for renting out. We almost forgot to bring flakes of paint from the ceiling in the living room, so we had to go back. I brought some large flakes.

First, we brought stuff to the second-hand shop and then had a tour there, where we bought a couple of "new" things: A foldable crate can come in handy anytime. Pillowcases: we lost many of them this summer, but now we have a replacement. All good, valuable things.

Next, we went to the paint shop. They analyzed the flakes. The salesperson was surprised by the brittleness of the flakes. This was not the usual paint. He had small bottles with solvents, and he dipped a cotton swab in the solvents and then gently swabbed the flakes.

Without any exact answer on what the paint was, he guessed on a form of oil-based paint, and for that, he suggested an oil emulsion water-based paint. The brand for that in this shop was Jotun Lady Supreme.

The color was "Eggvit". That is a funny name because it combines the English word for Eggs and the Swedish word for White. No worries, we can live with that.

We bought two wooden sticks in another shop and a 22-millimeter drill. I think I can make something more accessible to sand the ceiling. We will see. We also bought gloves for me. I am a glove-consuming person.

On the way home, we passed by DM and DF. We told them that we decided to stop renting out the house.

In the evening, I programmed the balloon scene of the vfx program. The first thing I did was to understand the input for bezier curves. My new algorithm first generated the direction of the first control point directly under the balloon. The second control point had to be on the same side but could be randomly far out. The fourth point, the endpoint of the first segment, is placed directly under the start point. Then, the following control point is always in the same line as the third and endpoints. This is also the starting point of the loop, making more segments like this. This way, there is always a unique tail under every balloon.

I had great fun with this. When it was time to start programming shrapnels from when popping a balloon, we went to bed.

Friday 27 October

Today, it was more of the same but different. I used the drill we bought yesterday to make a hole in a wood block. The stick in the hole. Then, I mounted the sanding machine onto the block of wood.

The original idea was to have the machine resting on the floor. It would have been brilliant if the distance between the floor and the ceiling had been precisely the same in all places, but I discovered that that was not the case.

I figured out I could make a hook on my belt and a hole in one of the sticks. That way, I was more mobile and had no issue with the floor being not exactly the same distance. The dried paint is surprisingly hard. I worked with this method for some time.

DW split the last pieces of the heap of tree trunks. It was not epic autumn weather, but it was nice enough.

After a couple of hours, I didn't know how long, I got a feeling in my hands. It was as if both my hands had metal springs in them, and when tapping, the springs started vibrating. The nerves were not happy with the treatment. I stopped working on the sanding project, a bit terrified.

In the evening, I worked on popping balloons in my vfx program. It went really well! With that, the balloon scene was finished.

Saturday 28 October

This morning, we got a visit from neighbors to our farm. It was the first time we invited them for coffee. We should have done that earlier, but it did not happen due to various things. It was delightful to chat with them. They will build a new house, so in a way, they are in the early stages of a similar process as we are.

Then, we went to the city to buy a dedicated roof sanding machine. That took some while. The new machine has a spinning disk, so it is not oscillating back and forth. My idea was that working with such a machine would not hurt the nerves in my hands.

I unpacked the machine and started sanding the roof when we came home. The vacuum cleaner's hose fits directly into the machine's hose, so no unique solution was necessary.

The spinning disk is 225 millimeters in diameter. That is a little less than nine inches (8.8"). It has a little harder time getting into more minor cracks, although I also found methods for that. I hung the machine in the belt this time as well. We had not bought any protective glasses, and occasionally, I got stuff in my eyes. At first, I might run the machine too fast, and then I got hot flakes in my eyes.

It went faster with this machine, but the most important thing was that it did not vibrate, so my nerves hurt. I tried the other oscillating machine, and my nerves started protesting immediately.

It was not effortless to operate the machine. I was exhausted when I was done with the machine. That did not stop me from starting on the next scene in the evening, in which I will try to port a program doing fluid simulation!

Sunday 29 October

Last night, we entered wintertime or daylight saving time. The clocks are set back one hour. It was rainy today. That did not matter because I was set up to work on the ceiling. DW was sorting out more clutter we didn't want or need.

In the afternoon, it had rained the entire day, and I had finished painting the current patch of the living room ceiling. That is about one-third of the entire ceiling.

We were pleased with the result but must return to this project and do other parts.

DW composed an email to our most returning customers. We debated back and forth on the content but finally decided on a neutral, concise message. I understand that it is not pleasant that we stop renting out this cottage, but it is time for us to make this move.

In the evening, I worked on porting the fluid simulation program. Apparently, I lost the things I did yesterday, so I had to redo it again.

I am so pleased that parts of the ceiling are painted. We have done a great job splitting chunks of wood. All that work in combination with actually enjoying the holiday. Great week!

But wait a moment! How did it go with the sheep this week? They were treated very well by our neighbor and DS. They injected Hannah and Selma as long as there were needles. Merida is also doing fine under the supervision of DS.

But wait a moment! How did it go with the bruised rib of you, Jens? Well, I think there was no bruised rib. I had pain from Shingles. That is now almost over.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.