JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Almost finished the TopFinish layer in the stair case hall

This week I almost finished the TopFinish layer in the staircase hall. I closed the triangular hole previously open to the utility room in the stair case. We went to the animal hospital testing our cat Merida, and we went on a holiday to Sweden.

Monday 26 February

Today, both DW and I worked from home. She tried to go to the office, but there was drama on public transport, so she returned home. I welcomed her back with freshly made coffee. I had a lovely day working from home.

Hungary woted to ratify Sweden's application to join NATO as the last NATO country today. Growing up in Sweden, I never thought Sweden would join NATO. The Swedish flag will be hauled outside the NATO headquarters in a few days or weeks. From here on, as soon as Turkey or Hungary has a crisis of some sort, earthquake, or invasion of a foreign nation, or a repair of their Swedish fighter jets, Sweden will hurl to these two nations to provide support after waiting one year and ten months. But remember, we only come for help after we have something to offer our domestic opinion. Tit for tat. This is just my humble standpoint. When I wrote this, I did not know that the speaker of the Hungarian parliament waited another 5 days before signing the document because why would he not.

Today, I started to create the drawings we will need to apply for changes to our property, making it possible to build the shed and the stable.

Tuesday 27 February

Today, DW worked from home, and I went to the office. It was lovely weather today. Merida said goodbye when I left, as usual. She is also the first to greet me when I come home.

I learned there is a website that displays how much debt Donald Trump has due to the judges/fines he received in the persistent fraud case: Perhaps the counter includes all open debt, but I don't know. I watched the counter and concluded that it increased by about fifteen hundred dollars per minute.

In the evening, I worked on the shed and stable permit drawings. It will take some time to make these; I have no idea how long it will take.

Wednesday 28 February

Today, I worked the first half of the day for my employer. DW had a day off. In the second half, I worked for myself: plastered the west wall of the staircase hall and north ceiling.

That means I finished the TopFinish layer of the hall. But does that mean that the plastering of the hall is finished? Not yet; there is a little triangle in the stairs that I need to finish. When that is done, the hall will be ready for painting. Painting is a task for DW.

Our sheep escaped today. They left their winter area on the north side of the house to the east and south side of the house. We got a permanent fence there, and all gates were closed, so there was no panic. After a while, they got back to their winter area.

Thursday 29 February

Have you heard of Zeller's congruence? It is not a political organization. Congruence means agreement or harmony: compatibility. Christian Zeller provided an algorithm to calculate the day of the week for any day in the Julian or Gregorian calendar on 16 March 1883. The algorithm is not a half-hearted scribble on paper; it works and is beautiful. As you can imagine, the algorithm considers when there is a leap day, such as today. I suggest we honor Christian Zeller's memory every leap day and feel thankful for mathematicians throughout history who made true things true and false things false.

It rained this morning. DW had seen a weather forecast a few days ago predicting no rain for two weeks. She was not happy about that.

We had planned to leave for our journey to the animal hospital at quarter past 9, but we drove from home 25 minutes past nine. Putting Merida in the travel box went flawlessly this time. I held her paws so she could not grab onto things. Although we got caught in a traffic jam, we arrived on time.

The first appointment we had was with a neurologist. She did an elementary checkup of Merida. I checked if her eyes reacted appropriately to light and if the ears reacted to touch. The way the ear and eye reacted needed to be even over the two sides. She picked up Merida and tried to let her walk with her front paws, but Merida refused to cooperate. Instead, she started to growl. The back legs went well. The front legs did not want to do anything.

The neurologist cleared our "misunderstanding" with our local veterinarian. The animal hospital had more possibilities for blood tests. Bile acids, salt, and ammonia levels had to be tested. That had our local veterinarian done, perhaps because they did not have the facilities. She also explained that cats often fall into three categories regarding explanation of epileptic seizures:

  1. Toxins,
  2. Inflammations or brain tumors,
  3. Brain deficiencies. They are born with a brain problem.

After a while, we got the result, and the values were all good, with no irregular levels of bile acids, salt, or ammonia. Merida weighs 2.9 kilos. The bile acids provide a more stable indication of the functionality of the liver than the ammonia levels. Since the bile acid levels were good, it was not likely that the liver had a problem.

It looks like Merida falls into category 3. More liver tests, such as ultrasound, can be done, but they will only give a result if they find something visible enough, and if Merida had higher levels on these blood tests, that would be worthwhile to test. In this situation, it was not.

We also got the levels of her medication in her blood tested. Merida is on "30" (of what?), which is correct at the maximum for a cat of this weight.

If things are getting worse, it could indicate that Merida is in category 2, but this is not likely. There are other medicines to provide next to the pills she gets now. It can be a good idea to investigate that option if Merida gets a seizure more often than once every three months.

With that, we thanked the neurologist and paid for this consultation. It was 370 euros. It still rained when we were done and drove home.

DW had meetings she had to attend via her computer from home. I had the day off, so I started on the still-open triangle of the staircase.

There was very little space, so I had to make a slim but effective solution. I decided to make a triangle of a gypsum plate enforced by wooden beams on two sides. The two sides were screwed into the ceiling and wall in such a way that on the other side, I created an even surface.

I reinforced the corner with the usual metal corners and added a broad scrim mesh to cover the seams. The metal corner runs all the way to the ground floor.

When the stairs were delivered, I had to remove the gypsum plate covering the wall's end during installation. The stairs would not fit otherwise. I decided to clean up this surface and restore it to a good-looking wall. In the process, I made a pile of rubbish at the bottom of the wall. Then I put up those steel corners.

From here on, it was a question of mixing the standard recipe of coarse mud. 1700 milliliters of water (or grams), 2 kg of MP75, and 400 grams of TopFinish.

I plastered the triangle, and it looked brilliant. I have to go over this surface with a layer of TopFinish before it is ready to be painted, but that is not much work. Also, the wall in the facility room below the stairs got mud.

In the evening, I listened to Ukraine: The latest podcast from The Telegraph in the UK. Today was episode day 733 since the full-scale invasion. Today's guest was Michael Bohnert, a researcher in defense technology and acquisition at RAND. He said something I would like to repeat here: "For 1/10th of one year of the US defense budget, 20 years of Russian ground procurement, and 10 years of air procurement has been destroyed!" he follows, "For that little of investment has taken a threat off the table of NATO for 5 to 10 years. And doing that, again and again, can make sure that this is a problem that is gone for a very long time. We need to keep on framing how cheap this actually is relative to the trillions of dollars that will be spent if there is an all-out war, that if Russia wins and has an industrial base with nothing to do besides going after others. Now is a great time to get a high return on investment, and we have to start thinking about where we can make the political and military investments now to protect our future."

I think Michael is on to something here, especially from the US perspective. Ukraine lost 31 thousands people. It is a lot more traumatic for Ukraine than for the US. This deal where the US and other allies "just" have to send equipment to Ukraine is indeed a very cheap investment. For Ukraine it is an existensial threat, 5 million people in the occupied territories, about 750 thousand Ukranian people deported to far regions of Russia and 20 thousand children proven to be deported.

I grew up with the phrase "Ryssen kommer," meaning the Russians are arriving. This dates back to around 1720 when Russia terrorized Sweden. Russia tried to invade Finland as well and this is also remembered in Sweden. The history is a big mess, but the result is that in North Europe, Baltic states, we are not casually shrugging off that Russia is invading another country.

Friday 1 March

Today, I went to the office, and DW worked from home. I had a great day; I found and resolved an issue I struggled with on Wednesday. I could show my manager the work, and he was pleased. I like that. It is excellent to have that closure just before my holiday next week.

There were not that many people at the office, though.

In the evening, we packed and prepared to go on holiday. We went to bed too late.

Saturday 2 March

DW started driving ten minutes before seven in the morning. Our first journey phase was 8 hours and 45 minutes to north Denmark. We decided to skip the ferry that had disappointed us so badly lately. We mounted the new transponder on the windshield for traveling via the Stora Belt bridge.

We will deliver the puzzle I talked about earlier to the people who rented our cottage the most. I hope it will be a pleasant experience.

I blogged for a while in the car. I took a photo with my mobile phone that I inserted into the Word document that I edited on my phone, cool. The Bluetooth keyboard I bought second-hand works like a charm. It was lovely weather, but we had raindrops despite the clear sky.

Tried to sleep while DW drove. At first, it was challenging to get to sleep. I recalled the comedy act of Ismo Leikola, sleeping around. The idea of the act always gives me a chuckle, "If you can sleep in a vehicle, you must be stupid." then I fell asleep, feeling comfortable in my stupidity.

DW drove up through the Netherlands via Groningen to Germany. She stopped at the parking with WC, as we have done for over fifteen years. The WC was closed for the first time ever.

It was my time to drive. I drove to the next gas station. There were a couple of vehicles parked with windmill wings. I think these were something like 85 meters long. Impressive. It is difficult to say how long exactly because I did not measure the wings.

We stopped using the navigation system in our old car because the system data was outdated, and we did not fancy updating it because it is surprisingly expensive on a Skoda. We instead use Google Maps on our phones. Now that is working well, usually. This time, we programmed another route. While driving, google spontaneously changed the route back to the ferry we had decided not to take. It happened several times. I missed the intended exit. This got me really annoyed. There was a second exit, and we used it just before getting into a traffic jam. Then, we drove back to the intended original route.

While driving, it felt like the route just became longer and longer for every kilometer I drove. We drove over the Stora Bält bridge. It was beautiful there. Have you ever driven and seen beautiful things along the road and thought that it would be so nice to stop here for a walk and experience more of the area? It did not happen. DW took photos, and I noted that this was a nice place. That was about it.






After that, we drove into the mist. I had to drive more carefully in the mist. This did not make it feel as if the route became any shorter. It would have been magnificent if we could see around us; it must be a beautiful part of Denmark. That said, it is intriguing with mist as well. I recall I made a drawing in the mist when I was a kid; Fog behind fjöset. I made that 41 years ago. Paintings, drawings, and photos from exciting landscapes in the mist are still on my bucket list. I don't have a written bucket list anywhere, but if I had, then fog and mist landscapes should be on that list.

We arrived at the house of a couple that had rented our cottage for many years. We gave them the puzzle, and they liked it. It was nice. Then we continued to Sweden. We drove via the ferry Helsingör – Helsingborg. The harbor area on the Swedish side was a little messy. I had expected a more beautiful welcome, but we arrived in an industrial area with construction work and rubbish. The city center is, for the rest, posh; it speaks old glory.

In Helsingborg, we took in at Hotel Blue Radisson. We got a room on the seventh floor.

Sunday 3 March

We slept well. DW had the side of the bed next to the unused fridge. The compressor had to run occasionally to keep the empty fridge cold, which was unpleasant. It was a well-insulated sheet, a tad on the hot side. There was a thermostat with a brightly lit screen in this room because that is what you need in a room where people are supposed to sleep. I had forgotten the duct tape in the car, but I could decorate the thermostat with a sock and DW's shawl. Readers of this blog recall how I used the same trick during the music course in Austerlitz on 9 February. That dimmed the screen sufficiently. Will this be a trend? Hanging socks over thermostat computers?

We had a magnificent breakfast in the restaurant. Two cups of coffee, orange juice, boiled egg, etc.

The mist was replaced with a solid overcast and even some rain occasionally. Our room looked over a park where they were busy putting new pavement.

The city will regret making large stone surfaces in just a few years because stones hold heat well; the heat is trapped. Cities need more green space to avoid trapping heat. And it is going to be hot, I can assure you. In cities it will be like the arms race because when one get an airco, the rest of the people around also need an airco. The only people left without are the ones that cannot afford an airco. When planting trees and making green surfaces, it is possible to avoid that much of the heat is getting trapped.

We drove up through Sweden via E4. This road starts in Helsingborg and goes to Stockholm, but we only go to Värnamo. The flood Lagan shares the same route as E4 from Markaryd up to Tahe Lake near Jönköping. Amazingly, this 150-kilometer part of the motorway follows a thousand years old route. I don't think people realize that when they drive on this motorway. To me, it dawned slowly over the years. I started wondering (while driving) why the motorway had so many bridges over the same river, Lagan.

In Värnamo, we did some grocery shopping at City Gross. From there, it is a shorter drive to the cottage.

When I wrote this, I checked in on, displaying that the dept has grown to $465,613,505.88. Up 613 thousand since Tuesday this week.

There happened a lot of things this week. I filled the triangle hole in the staircase and plastered it. We went to the animal hospital to get our cat Merida and her epilepsy checked. Lastly, we went on a holiday at our cottage in Sweden. Have a nice week. I will post the next blog on next Sunday or Monday, hopefully.

If you read all these 2913 words, you are amazing.


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.