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The Actuator - April 10th

Level 17

Hi there! While Tom is delivering a presentation for the Intelligent Cloud Summit here in Copenhagen, I've decided to get started on the Actuator for this week to free up his time for sightseeing later. My name is Suzanne--the other half of team LaRock-Larocque. The name thing is a long story. I'll save it for another time.

I'm not sure how Tom usually does things here, so bear with me. I'm sure he'll decide to scrap this whole thing anyway.

Lately, I've been really interested in sustainable architecture and design. I think it all started when I ordered a Dwell magazine subscription for a school fundraiser. Ever since, I've become more interested in the idea of building a Passivhaus of our own. And since we're in Copenhagen, it's the perfect time to learn about the building practices they're putting into effect here. Copenhagen has a goal to be the world's first carbon-neutral city by 2025. I was in NYC a couple weeks ago, and I know it's a much larger city, but it's noticeably more quiet here. Maybe it's the electric buses. Whatever they've put into place so far, it's working!

I love daydreaming about the type of house I would build. And in terms of design, my "Dream Spaces" Pinterest board is filled with all sorts of architectural styles. It's like I'm trying to channel my inner Chip and Joanna or Shea McGee. Speaking of Chip and Joanna--it's amusing how everyone who has had their home renovated by Fixer Upper just ends up putting it up on Airbnb. Apparently the "Fixer Upper effect" is alive and well in Waco, TX, and turns out to be a great investment.

Not sure about you, but our family is very excited for Avengers: Endgame. The Marvel movies came at just the right time for our kids. Watching them together as a family has been a great experience. But why is no one talking about Outlander getting picked up for its 5th and 6th seasons? I mean, let's be honest, Claire is a superhero. She travels through time, has executed more than one prison rescue, performs surgery in 18th Century conditions, and committed murder--but only when justified.

So far, I'm really enjoying Copenhagen. It's very walkable and has all the charm that a European city should. And evidence of hygge is everywhere--the blankets that are provided in outdoor café seating, the candles, and fireplaces. But more so, it's how laid back everyone seems to be here.

Tom is just about done with his talk so I'm going to wrap this up. We've got more hygge to experience! Suzanne out.

hygge.JPG

28 Comments
gfsutherland
Level 14

Nicely done Suzanne  and thank you for relieving Tom (aka sqlrockstar​ ) .. Copenhagen is on my European bucket list.

Enjoy, relax and experience!

ScottRich
Level 12

Excellent installment! I hope Tom is taking notes. Thanks for sharing.

smttysmth02gt
Level 13

I'd love to go there.  Among other places on that side of the pond.  I have not watched Outlander but I think I might give it a shot. 

david.botfield
Level 13

Thanks for the Articles Suzanne

bobmarley
Level 15

Thanks for the write up! Speaking of Chip and Joanna.... great show, however the raised bed garden episode has cost me a lot of money and caused me a great amount of work My better half wants the exact same garden so that's what I'll be doing this summer. 

rschroeder
Level 21

I loved the story about the Passivhaus; thank you for sharing it. It must be quite heat efficient, based on seeing how the snow clings to it without apparently melting due to radiant heat from within the house.

rschroeder
Level 21

It will be a good day any day a city achieves carbon neutrality.  As we close more energy plants that emitted carbon and pollution into our atmosphere we should see slowing of humanity's influence on global warming.  Here's hoping all nations accept this science and strive to reduce excessive carbon emissions everywhere.

rschroeder
Level 21

Studio McGee's trend certainly seems to focus on high ceilings, open spaces, and white!

rschroeder
Level 21

The Fixer-Upper Houses' page has some homes with real curb appeal.

It's web page is also unfortunately plagued with pop-ups and adware.  One day we should have a way around that, where companies and web page designers don't have to clutter their product with distracting advertisements.  "O Bright Tomorrow, Wherefore Art Thou?"

rschroeder
Level 21

End Game.  I'm happy I'm alive to be able to see the MCU movies.  I'm impressed at how well they've intermeshed with each other.  Even though that makes the "complete" experience more expensive.  For example, I'd never seen Ant Man and The Wasp, but read that there's a possibility it will have significance in the End Game, so I rented it yesterday.  No spoilers from me!

rschroeder
Level 21

I didn't know Outlander was still a thing.  I watched the early Sean Connery movie and called it good, but I bet it's awesome for romantic types.

rschroeder
Level 21

"Hygge".  Nice! The last time I was in Copenhagen was in 1978 during a college choir concert tour.  It made a pretty friendly impression on me.  I stayed with a family who went out of their way to accommodate me and make me feel welcome.

The standard of living seemed much higher there than in Minneapolis, where I come from.  After analysis I determined this was because there were NO vehicles showing rust.  I asked my host about this; she told me that rust on vehicles is illegal.  Anyone with dented, damaged, rusty cars or trucks is required to have them properly repaired.  It really made a big impression on me--nothing seemed run-down or in bad shape.  Maybe it wasn't all shiny and modern chrome, but it seemed built to last, and maintained well.  The entire seemed to have adopted that philosophy for everything--roads, buildings, equipment, etc.

Along that same line was my realization that office buildings that are "old" in Copenhagen are REALLY OLD!  Five hundred years . . . six hundred years . . . SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS!  Here in Minnesota an office building might be considered obsolete at thirty years, and be be torn down to be replaced by something newer and fancier.  Denmark impressed me in its way of holding onto its history and continuing to use what Americans might have thrown away centuries ago.

On the other hand, the T.P. we found available in public restrooms would give 3M products a run for their abrasive money, and many old streets were too narrow for modern vehicles, and elevators were slow and tiny--where they existed at all.

But the train system ran precisely on time, and was reliable.  The Amtrak I rode from Chicago to Minneapolis arrived 26 hours late.

Uff da!

bobmarley
Level 15

I've been doing a lot of research on solar panels for my home recently. While I wouldn't be able to fully power my home in the winter months I think I would be able to run mostly off the panels in the summer months. 

bleggett
Level 12

Interesting ideas with the passivhaus.  Wonder if they're as efficient to cool for the warmer climes?

silverbacksays
Level 16

I've not had chance to catch Outlander. Any good?

rschroeder
Level 21

A friend of mine built a log home from scratch, off the grid, cutting the timbers himself, and powering it all with solar.  He bought into a solar panel franchise and got a distributorship, enabling him to power his home at wholesale costs, while simultaneously being able to write off some of the expenses because his home was also a full-time demonstration building for solar customers to visit.  He'd sell enough parts to keep the franchise, and never had to pay the up-front cost of $30,000 that the local electric company demanded to extend the grid to his remote location.  If it worked for him, you might be able to make it work for you, and save a pile of money while doing so.

ecklerwr1
Level 19

All the Avengers movies are great... period.

vinay.by
Level 16

Cool article

petergwilson
Level 14

Ahhh Minneapolis.  I spent a couple of weeks in Plymouth in 1994 on a training course.  Hit many bars and, of course, the Mall of America.

jfaldmo
Level 12

I'm super excited for Avengers: Endgame. I'm happy that I have at least one daughter in my family that will go and see it with me. She is even more excited to see it than I am, (I think Thor has something to do with it.) Maybe there could be a night activity for the Seattle SWUG to go see it.

vinay.by
Level 16

Tom is just about done with his talk so I'm going to wrap this up. We've got more hygge to experience! Suzanne out. -

df112
Level 13

Thanks for the post Suzanne.  The Passivhaus concept is an interesting one.  I'd love to be able to do that one day.

HerrDoktor
Level 14

ah denmark, what a nice place this must be...never been there even though it is the neighboring country. speaking of neighbors...the guys across the street where I live have a passivhaus, so if you like feel free to visit, they even speak proper american english, they work for the US Military here in Ansbach, Germany.

superfly99
Level 17

I'd love to check out Copenhagen one day. I grew up in Holland but we never went up the map in Europe.

The Marvel movies do nothing for me or the family. My 9 year old loves Pokemon and YouTube and my 2 year old is addicted to cars. I did this clip of him 2 Year old Fabian knows over 50 car makes! - YouTube  which led to him appearing in the paper, on TV and the radio. The clip went viral on the local paper's Facebook page. You get lots of hits when you search his name in google e.g.

No Cookies | The Advertiser

he knows even more makes now and he can name all of his toy cars and there's about 150-200 of them.

zennifer
Level 13

Yeah... me too!!   Copenhagen has been working on and with their community for quite some time.. we could all take note! 

ecklerwr1
Level 19

I'm having trouble keeping up these days...

zennifer
Level 13

Yeah.. me too!!!  

brianj
Level 12

What were the highlights of Copenhagen?

About the Author
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, SQL Server® MVP, VMware® vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 15 years experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator.