Monday, 27 February 2012

The American BirkeBeiner

Michael did well; he finished in 4:20:29 as number 599 of 1635. 
I took it more easy, had a great day, chatted with some nice people (who thought the flag I was carrying was the Swiss), enjoyed the weather and the nice atmosphere – enjoyed it so much that I had to spend as long as possible out there.. It took me 5 hours 39 minutes  and 27 seconds. 

The finish line in Hayward
(and no, that is not me Michael has taken a picture of...)

Me and Sidney Lee...
My boot after 54 km of cross country skiing...

Saturday, 25 February 2012

American Birkebeiner

We are getting ready for the American Birkiebeiner race, its 54km cross country skiing.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

In the theater with Marianne and Elisabeth at a girls only comedy show...


Yesterday I was at the weekly Rovers meeting. There was a photographer there who did a presentation about photography, tips and tricks. Practicing those techniques is crucial – as were doing the laundry and baking ryebread – apparently much more important than doing my homework :-$

Projekt 'Rugbrød version 1.0' part 3. Mission succeeded... Tak til Sangaard for inspiration!

Projekt 'Rugbrød version 1.0' part 2

Michael in Myrtle Beach for business....

I'm visiting two of our Contract Cleaning customers in Myrtle Beach and Nashville. This involves a lot of flying as there where not direct flights. Here's the trip:

Minneapolis, MN-> Charlotte, NC, -> Myrtle Beach, SC -> Charlotte, NC -> Nashville, TN -> Philidelphia, PA -> Minneapolis, MN.

View during my morning run at the beach. First run of the year in Shorts and short sleves, nice.

View from my room

While Michael is out of town I might as well do the laundry... Doing the laundry actually isn’t that bad when you can watch your favorite show on the huge TV in the laundry room, while eating popcorn from the popcorn machine next to the telly (you don't even have to move), have a chocolate bar or a coke from the vending machine - maybe with ice from the ice cube machine... (wtf)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Projekt 'Rugbrød version 1.0'

Last weekend before the big race

This weekend we went to Hayward, Wisconsin, to ski and nothing worked for me. With the American BirkieBeirner being this Saturday this is just superb…No kick, stomach and back ache, and an aching blister.. and I even ended up with a soar shoulder after 26 km of poling...

Last time it was down to -19 degrees, this time it was above freezing, the sun was shining and it was difficult to get a (good) kick with blue extra underneath your ski… I am glad I got two days on ski in Michigan. Hopefully the temperature will be more favourable on Saturday.

Sunday at North End trails, Mary, Michael, Jodi, Scott, Tom, and I.
Apart from the not-so-good-ski-conditions (and a restaurant visit not worth mentioning) we had a great weekend. We stayed in Jodi and Scott’s cabin as last time, this time another couple from Rovers: Tom and Mary also joined us.

Friday, 17 February 2012

The 2nd best thing...

Celebrating Sofie and Nynne's birthday on Skype..
Sorry that I couldn't be there :-/ !

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Ole Henriksen paa TV-shop....

Today I met the Dean

Every year there is a social event for everyone involved with public health, the students, staff etc. There was free food and wine for this year’s event, so I of course showed up :-D.
One of the girls I have lunch with on Mondays were there, so I only felt lost for a few moments. I had, as usual, forgot my ID so I had to get Spencer (one of the other persons I have lunch with on Mondays) to get a glass for wine for me :-$ The theme of the event was Global Love (..), so they had decorated each table with a flag and a short fact about the country. There were about 20 tables and no Danish flag...I did share some facts about Denmark with the people sitting at my table though… (For example that Amsterdam is not the capital of Denmark..)

As we were eating, the Dean approached me and asked me if I was “the Dane” (I had seen Carol earlier that day and she wanted me to meet him). We chatted (and he apologized for the extraordinary winter (as everyone else does)) . 

Very nice of him, I am impressed. I don’t even know who the KU equivalent Dean is (…ok, I looked it up, and I did know. It is Ulla Wewer… But still, she has never introduced herself to me (nor have I been in the same room with her)).

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's dinner...

Michigan part 2

I have had a great weekend in Marquette (Michigan). Actually I wasn’t sure if I was going even the day before we left: Jodi and Scott with whom I should drive to Michigan live in Champlin, a city 30-40 km north of Minneapolis. As Michael was in Denmark I didn’t have a ride to Champlin. The chauffeur in our building apparently didn’t bother to drive “that far”, a taxi would be around $90 and the bus left from downtown only twenty minutes after my class would end 3-4 km from there. During my Wednesday-afternoon coffee with Elisabeth, the Norwegian girl, she tells me that I (of course) can take a bus from the uni to downtown. So I decided to go. Except for the 5 km with my cross country ski and my backpack from our apartment to the uni, it was very easy.

I left my class early and ended up being 25 minutes early for the bus to Champlin from Downtown. Going from the uni to Chamlplin (a trip that takes about one hour) cost me $2.25 – that is 13 kr!!!! – and way easy and on time… Amazing!
Minneapolis to Marquette in Michigan.. If someone wonder why Marquette (being on the Upper Peninsula 
that is not connected to "the rest" of Michigan) is not a part of Wisconsin, I can tell you that Michigan was
founded before Wisconsin (since the settlement/acquisition started from east and moved towards the west)
There was a lot more snow in Marquette than in Minneapolis (where there is no snow…) so we had two wonderful days on ski (we would have had three if it hadn’t been for the accident – I’m not sure, though, that my body would have liked one more day on ski). The weather was perfect and the tracks were ok.
Me, and Tom in the background

The trail head at Noquemanor Trail Network
Scott and Jodi in the nicest tights ever!
Friday after the accident, Cliff, Scott’s father, gave me (us) a guided tour of the area. Marquette is an old mining city, so we saw some of the plants. Michigan is known for their “pasties”, so we went to a local café and had a pasty each. Very nice! I, in return, tried to introduce them to the Danish specialty “Tyrkisk peber”, but they did not seem to like them ;-D
A traditional Michigan Pasty with meat, potatos and rutabaga (Kål roer, hvad end det så er..)

Another thing Michigan is known for is “the Michigan left” which is very odd… They are not allowed to make a left turn in intersections, instead they have to turn right and then make a u-turn, to go left… (freaks!)

In Michigan they recycle bottles etc. with a deposit as we do in Denmark, very nice!

This weekend I have finally seen my first (two!) American homes: Jodi and Scott’s and the parents'. The only difference is maybe that they have carpets here and that they (at least not in the room I slept in) do not use duvets, but apart from that I must admit that they’re not very different from Danish homes (boring I know!). Both home were very nice, Scott parents had had their house build when they moved to the area. They both had an indoor cat, which I, at first, thought was weird, but then when you think about how many enemies a cat has here that we don’t have in Denmark (bears, wolves etc.) then it is a bit more understandable that they don’t let their cats out…

Cliff and Nancy's house

Valentines day

The entrance to my building at eight o'clock this morning

Friday, 10 February 2012

Car accident

Today we were supposed to go skiing. We left the house late as it was snowing and windy and we hoped they would have groomed the tracks before we got there. So we go around half twelve. We missed the turn so we had to stop, wait until we could turn, and then we made a u turn, accelerated a bit, skidded couple of time and all of a sudden we turning and on our way to the ditch in the other side of the road and before we know it we on the side, my window is broken and our skis are in my head....
A couple of seconds after it happened.. We're ok
Many people stopped to help us. Here they're trying to get Tom out

We were going the opposite direction - and in the opposite side of the road..
On the back of the sheriffs car
Right after Tom got out of the car as the last person a big truck spreading out sand on the road went by..... I guess he was five minutes late..

Thursday, 9 February 2012


It's Thursday evening and I just went to bed. I'm in Marquette, Michigan at Scott's (As in Jodi and Scott) parents place. I'm here with J&S and a rover called Tom. We drove seven hours to get here (north east), so we hopefully we get a chance to xc ski

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Here the Jantelov does not apply

My first homework feedback in the epi course :-D

From the door to the uni 25 minutes speeded up to less than four

Jeg ved sangen er lidt søgt, men det er noget med en cykel og en Laura
og  jeg havde 8 at vælge imellem på min rebootede computer...

Monday, 6 February 2012

$ $ $

The tuition is paid and I’m 11,338 dollars or 65,000 Dkr poorer :-$

A beautiful day

I'm afraid that the afternoon Starbucks coffee is becoming an expensive habit.. today I'm having it on the balcony in the warmth of the sun. Soon though, I'll be heading back down in the basement to the computer room. Michael is on his way to Copenhagen so this week I'll be on my own in Minneapolis B-D

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Super Bowl

So, it's Super Bowl day and we're on a sports bar with some of Michaels colleagues. I have no idea of what is going on or who's playing (Apparently it's a team from Boston vs New York, but who's who, I don't know). The game has been on for an hour, I wonder how long it takes? Maybe someone just did a touchdown, I missed it, writing this blog.. I guess I'll never get it ?!

They do have some nice commercials and Madonna was great

Patriots vs Giants

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

No more mediocre wannabe coffee

What a wonderful boyfriend I have

Humdrum, getting closer?

Pyyvh.. So I’m well into my third week at Uni. Starting to find my rhythm – which, for now, is not fast enough to keep up with the demands from school though… Monday I was doing homework for my epi class. It is a doctoral level course, so I have expected it to be tough, but I spent also one hour just figuring out how to open the statistical computer program – when your end goal is to make complex survival analysis, you have a long way… So I went home frustrated and discouraged. However, the next morning in class I learned that I was by far not the only one, and after class 8-10 of us sat together, comparing syntax’es and results and I had done the right things – I had just spent three times as much time doing it than the others.. But I’ll get there, I’m sure!

I have chosen all my courses now; I switched from one class to another and I switched days for one course also, so my schedule looks like this:

Leadership and Effecting Change
Risk Analysis: Application to Risk-Based Decision-making
Advanced Epidemiological methods: Applications
Advanced Epidemiological methods: Applications
Comparative Health Systems (only the first half of the semester)
Friday I’m off B-D

From mid-march I will be doing Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases Mondays and Wednesdays which I am looking very much forward to.

With my Monday-morning class we have had lunch after class the two times we’ve been there – hopefully it’s becoming a tradition. Apart from them, I have not been bonding – like that –  with the people from my other classes. There is a lounge (the SPHere) for Public Health students where I run into many of my class mates and we do chat; and as mentioned we do homework-sessions in my epi class.

In my Comparative Health System Denmark is the bomb. I took that class, partly because learning how they do other places interests me a lot and partly because the exam is a project on a health system in a country of your own choice and I thought (I must admit) that I would have an easy time writing about Denmark. However, two other people already fought about writing about Denmark before I even had a say, so now the easier way out is not an option :-D It will be very interesting, though, hearing about the Danish system from a foreigner’s perspective.

Yesterday Michael and I went to our first Rovers meeting (Rovers are the group we went up north with a couple of weekends ago, where we did cross country skiing, snowshoeing and kite skiing…). A person was doing a presentation about his climb on a glacier called Kautz Glacier at Mt Rainier (Washington). Interesting – I definitely want to try ice climbing! Afterwards we had a beer (or rather, a glass of water) at a pub nearby.
Thursday we are going climbing in our gym, apparently they have a good wall for climbing.

This weekend we are planning to go to Wisconsin Saturday morning to see the launch of 40 air balloons at their Hot Baloon festival – hopefully we’ll be able to get some got pictures.