JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Borrowed a scaffold

The last week of 2023. We borrowed a scaffold for working in the staircase hall. Made plans for how to build the hatch. I finally go around making photos of the new road.

Monday 25 December

Today we have a compulsory holiday. That means we cannot have this day off another time when it suits us, but on this day, we have a day off whether we want it or not. In sympathy with people who have to work, shops are closed or open for just a few hours. The good thing about this scheme is that all the fun stuff you could do is closed so there are few traffic jams. Conversely, people go to each other so there are traffic jams anyway. Would it not be better if people could decide for themselves when to have a day off?

This morning, we had pancakes for breakfast. DS had made these. I think he likes to make pancakes. The wind has calmed down. It is predicted there will be another storm in a week or so, but right now, it is calm. That is nice for a change.

DW cut my hair! That was nice. DS came together with her friend. Soon after, arrived many more friends. We had four cars on the driveway. They went for a walk in the neighborhood. It was a short visit because they had to go home and make food for their families.

So then DW and DD started to make food. I helped as much as I could. It was not time to sit down and program visual effects or so.

In the evening, at ten, a neighbor further away shot fireworks. He also has animals; I wonder how he can combine keeping animals and fireworks. Perhaps it was not him, but his neighbor with the french fries shop, which would explain. The Dutch are generally keen on keeping animals, especially dogs, but they also immensely love their fireworks. Cruel people.

Our sheep was just a little upset by the fireworks. The nets are not electrified, so if they get entangled, it isn't enjoyable, but at least the animal will not get electrocuted. We have not had the electricity on for several months now. It has not been necessary.

Tuesday 26 December

It was still calm this morning; the sun even shone. What a lovely way to wake up. A day without rain is so lovely.

Today, DW prepared more meals. I made sure the dishwashers were busy. In the afternoon, we drove to PIL to meet BILs and SILs. We all brought parts of the meal so that MIL would not need to do any cooking. I think it was a success. FIL held a speech about the excellent effort.

Wednesday 27 December

I worked from home for the first part of the day. I set up my workplace in the living room until the rest of the family woke up. That part was all fine, except DD had lent my headset. No one needed to talk to me this morning, so that was okay. Eventually, DD and DW woke up, and I migrated to my office. There I got a phone.

I started on a new project today. 2018 I did a similar thing, so I decided to read about how I did that back then. I was impressed by Jens of 2018.

After work, I logged off, and we had lunch. DD decided to drive around in the neighborhood to make a film. It was moist in the air and overcast. She wanted to borrow my camera, but I was not fond of it. Her friend came, and they were off.

DD worked on sorting and cleaning wool. I suggested she write a blog post about it, and she did. I decided to work on the metal beams along corners in the staircase hall. I am finally doing it, working on the staircase hall! If there was a break from this work, it would be extensive, which would not be good.

DD went home. I think it will be until February before we see her again.

In the evening, I worked on the visual effects program. I am back at learning how to overlay in Open CV. I got a binary method working, but it is not what I want. So, I restarted investigating an earlier attempt. Mixing two images based on a floating point alpha channel is the idea. To be continued.

Thursday 28 December

Today, I woke up at the usual time. The wind is picking up. I made tea and blogged for a while in bed. Next to me, DW kept sleeping. I hope she likes cold tea as well.

I stood up and went to work in my home office, and eventually, she woke up. She likes cold tea!

The work progressed better today. I got a beginning on my new project. I could do test runs; it is always good to be able to run a program. I figured out I had to go to the office to give some plants water, but I decided to do that tomorrow.

In the evening, I programmed the visual effects program again. This time, I got the overlay with the alpha blending working! I am using this example of alpha blending. The challenge for me is that I am using c#. I had to port the code to c#, and it was not that easy because there are fewer syntactic sugars available in c#, as it appears.

My test case has been to overlay a fuzzy purple circle with a fuzzy green line on top of another image. I wanted the overlay to be smooth, which was the hard part.

After this result, I can start modeling what I want to draw on the background image. That is for another day. It does not look that fancy yet, but I am taking small steps with this project.

Friday 29 December

Today was the same pattern: I worked from home, and DW had a day off. I have now got into the new work project. I got it working so that I can start on the next phase. Before lunch, I went to the office to give plants water. Now they will survive until next week. On the way home, I bought steel wire at the hardware store. I will use that for the rain roof. I tried many materials for the rain roof and am now trying steel wire. Last time, I did not have enough wire, but that is now solved. Since I believe in this, I bought two rolls of wire. If it works well, it has been enough with one roll. Time will tell.

I continued working on my new project at home until 5 PM, then logged out for the last time this year.

In the evening, I continued on my visual effects program. This time, I learned how to cut off a part of the mask so that only a part of the overlay was painted on the background. I also got that working. Now, I have all the methods to draw the things I want. Now starts the fun part: to actually draw things.

There were nice clouds and a full moon when we went to bed. DW could take a nice photo with her new FairPhone, but my old Samsung A70 could not. I could, of course, take out my DSLR, but I went to bed instead.

Here is a podcast tips section! I did one on 16 August 2023, so this is my second podcast tip:


Podcast name and link


Ukraine: The Latest

This is still my top information source on what is going on in Ukraine.

Legal AF

This is a podcast with an in-depth analysis of what is happening in the USA in the trials around Donald Trump. It is complex, but Legal AF is doing a great job of explaining it.


There is an ad block in the podcast that I don't like so much, but I usually skip past it.

Ukraine without hype

Here, I suggest listening to episode 66 about Russia's hand behind the Polish truckers' blockade of Ukraine.

This week in Ukraine

This is news about Ukraine, from Ukraine.


Saturday 30 December

It was a beautiful morning. It did not rain today, and that felt a little unusual.

I brought the paper garbage bin to the collection point. A person moved bins away because he wanted to use the space to sell typical Dutch deep-fried doughnut balls. A neighbor arrived, and we helped with the bins.

Then I went back and met other neighbors. It is actually really social here.

We also wanted to have a walk, so we went out for a walk, which was really lovely. We walked through a nearby forest. Incredibly, we have such a large forest near our house! It was rather wet and had a lot of clay, so we had to walk carefully.

The next event of the day, and the main event of the day, was that we went to borrow a room scaffold, as they are called here. It will be essential for the first part of plastering the staircase walls.

We borrowed the scaffold from our plumber and had a chance to visit his new workshop, which was great. We made use of our large trailer to transport the scaffold.

With that, we had done all the intensive things of the day. Not at all, then we went shopping at two different shops. Many people were in the shop, but we got what we wanted.

With that, I had to take a power nap.

In the evening, I programmed the visual effects. While doing that, our friends at the french fries shop or the landscape specialist next door decided to put on a short fireworks show. Our sheep did not like that and tried to flee, which is dumb because they could get entangled in fences. Luckily for us, they stopped on time. We decided to close the fencing around them.

It does not feel right to close the fencing. It is not right, but we have to. Sheep running can be harmed more easily than sheep that are standing still. In our first plan, we would have the enclosure much narrower, but then it feels like they should be there only briefly. The problem is neighbors that shoot fireworks occasionally the week leading up to New Year's Eve make the period so much longer that having the sheep in a narrow shute is not viable. Now, they have the enclosure around the rain roof, which seems the most practical solution. They had one week to get used to it, so they were okay with the arrangement.

I almost went to our neighbors to talk to them, but DW thought it was pointless. So I did not do that.

Sunday 31 December

The last day of the year. Since we had a scaffold, I thought I would climb on it and work with it, but that did not happen. We got a hatch towards the storage space above the bathroom. I had one idea of going about that hatch, and DW had another. It took some time to figure out what each one had in mind. My initial idea was simplicity and not so much the aesthetic side of it all. DW wanted it to look good. I also had the idea of making the wall first and then figuring out how to do the hatch. We got simple hinges, but they would make the construction outermost ugly. Then we had newer fancy hinges that you have in regular kitchen cupboards, etc. I have not worked with these before, so I will learn how to do that. In general, it is better to reverse the process when using fancy hinges: Make the hatch door first, then model the rest of the wall around it. That way, the surfaces can meet snugly with the door, which would be great.

This discussion took a really long time. We fetched a plate of 22.9-millimeter poplar multiplex from the container to use for the door.

It was sunny and not that bad weather when we got out to get the Poplar multiplex plate. I decided to make before- and after shots of the road. Actually, now I made the after shots only. The road has been finished for a couple of weeks now, but I have not had time to take photos of it at a moment when the weather is okay.

This was the moment I had waited for. I had to figure out where I had made the before pictures to make proper after pictures. That took some time. It became a social event when neighbors passed by, wishing people a happy new year.

This was the dirt road before 15 November 2023.

This is the road today.

We are pleased with the result. Do not worry; new irritations are replacing old irritations. Off-road driving, high speeds, etc. We have to cope with that. What will happen if a heavy caterpillar vehicle drives on this new road and turns. It is possible to create immense damage in a matters of seconds. Let's hope people will be responsible and not do that.

After fetching the poplar plate, we took a walk in the neighborhood. This time, we did not go through the forest but the street behind us. At a place, we saw a charming shed. We came to speak to the owner of the shed. He told us about the construction. It was a horse shed. The concrete had compartments so that the horse manure would not spread through the entire floor but stay in the horse compartment. The horse compartment had a slight inclination so that manure could flow to a collection place. Then, there were other compartments for other activities.

When we came home, we started preparing for the evening. DW made dinner, and I made things tidy.

At half past eight, friends came to us. We had snacks, deep-fried doughnut balls, and sparkling wine and chatted until the end of the year. It was a great way to end this year.

I found a webcam mounted on the top of the tallest building in the city center. It had raindrops on it on the camera lens. You could see fireworks from the feed, but this screenshot was not spectacular. The sheep were doing fine in their enclosure. This was a much more harmonic evening compared to last year.

Here also ends this week's blog. It has been great that you come back all the time and read what is happening on our farm.

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.