Monthly Archives: August 2011

Kenneth – the newest member of our family

Here is Kenneth, the newest member of our family:

Kenneth – In his new home

We found him at John Lewis and knew straight away he belonged in our kitchen. He’s also settled in very quickly and here he is doing some programming:

Kenneth working on some steam programming

He’s very sociable and of course it didn’t take long for him to become very good friends with Henry. Here they are when they were first introduced:

Kenneth meeting Henry for the first time

My favourite Android Applications

There are a few Android applications that I use and find either really useful or entertaining, so I thought it would be useful to share them with everyone else, and also describe what about them I like (and possibly what I think could be better). I’m going to write them as a top 5, where the ordering is determined by many things or none at all. They might be at the top because I’ve just found them, because I use them a lot, or for no particular reason at all 🙂

1) Dragon: Fly! User rating: 4.6 / 5

Dragon: Fly! Screen Shot

The first one on my list is a game that I’ve only just discovered. It’s extremely simple, but very very fun. The addictiveness of the game combined with the fact that it’s free has earned it the top spot. The story of the game is simple as well: you’re a newly hatched dragon who has run away from your nest. You haven’t learned to fly yet, so you have to use the many rolling hills to build momentum. It’s all about timing and even when you get it just right it feels quite exhilarating. There is only one control in the game: touch the screen anywhere to dive. You have to use this to dive into the hills just at the right time and then let go to allow you to shoot out of the valley off the opposite hill. One of the things that makes the game extra cosy to play, is that when you do lose you don’t die like in many games, but you’re simply taken back to the nest by your mummy 🙂

2) WordPress for Android User rating: 4.3 / 5

Wordpress for Android
This is one of my favourite applications, and it would probably have been number one, if I had written this post in a few weeks when I might be slightly less excited about Dragon: Fly! 🙂 It is extremely easy to add or edit posts, add images from the phone and upload and publish the posts. You don’t get the thumbnail generation feature that the normal WordPress interface gives you when uploading photos, but since the images taken on my phone aren’t that big anyway, I just use the full images in a scaled display for thumbnails and then click through to the full sized versions. You can also use it to approve (or delete) comments, which I think could be very useful, though I haven’t used it yet as I get very few comments (hint, hint 😉 ).

3) Ringdroid User rating: 4.6 / 5


As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, the ordering of this list is a bit random. This application is actually maybe my most favourite one 😛 It’s very simple and easy to use. You simply open an MP3 and then the app gives you a graphical representation of the song and you can drag and drop the start and end points, play the currently selected region and save the currently selected region as a ring tone once you’re satisfied. I don’t know if there are other apps out there that do similar things with more features, but it’s hard to imagine any of them being significantly better.

4) Wapedia: 4 Wikipedia & more! User rating: 4.5 / 5

This is an app I’ve had for a very long time, and I almost forget it’s not just a standard Android feature. I use it almost more than I use my browser 🙂 It’s fast, simple, looks good and it’s free. There is an ad-free version for £1.79 (about $2.95), but the adverts are quite subtle and don’t really bother me. The app features lots of other apps as well as Wikipedia, but I’ve never actually used this feature. Seems very useful, but I didn’t know the feature existed until I looked at the market web page for the app while writing this. I’ve always wanted an app for Wiktionary, so now I like it even more! 🙂

5) Archipelago User rating: 4.5 / 5

Archipelago screenshot
At £1.81 this is the only paid app on the list. I actually only just bought it now, but I’ve had the demo for a while and I’ve quite enjoyed just playing the bit you get for free 🙂 So, now I’ve got the full game. The game is a simple, Risk-like real-time strategy where you have to try to conquer all the little islands before the NPCs capture them. When you hold an island you gain troops there, so it’s important to quickly get the easy ones so you can get more troops to conquer the more heavily guarded islands.

That’s all the ones I’ll put on here. Some other apps that I use, but won’t include in an otherwise too long list are: Alchemy, ASTRO, AudioManager, ColorNote, DropBox (that one is really useful), IMDb, London Underground Free, QuickPic, StopWatch & Timer, Sudoku 10,000, TripAdvisor, Urban Dictionary, Winamp, xkcdViewer and YouTube.

Summer House Traaen

It’s now several days since we arrived at the family summer house near Hulsig and it’s been lovely. We’ve been swimming, built dams, seen lots of wildlife and had lots to eat and drink, and it’s almost time to say goodbye. Here’s a bit about some of the experiences we’ve had here.

When we arrived Friday night we had a feast of crab claws with some lovely white wine. Personally, I would prefer crab claws over lobster any day. The meat is so tasty and firm and juicy and building a pile on top of the bread is very satisfying. The only problem is that you run out of appetite and we didn’t seem to have eaten half of them. On Sunday night we had even more 🙂

Saturday was the big Hesselholt party, where everyone brings a dish and we all dig in. To the right is a photo of all the food when it was lined up (except the cake). There was frikadeller, two tarts (salmon and chicken), smoked salmon and tuna mousse which is a mixture of tuna, egg, peas, something creamy and more. Of course this just wouldn’t go down properly without some lubrication, so there was an almost equally appetising table in the corner of the room: the drinks table. I took a photo of it, but I’m not going to post it here, as it was mostly a lot of cans and bottles of beer and wine. Nothing quite as exciting to look at as the food table, even if it was at least as enjoyable.


After we’d feasted and rested for a bit, we all went to the beach to have a swim in the sea. This is a tradition and normally we’re lucky with the water temperature rising to the occasion. This time we were just lucky with the weather. In spite of the forecast predicting grey cool weather, we had lots of sun and it was very pleasant on the beach. The best way to describe the water was to say it was very refreshing, and it made the air and sun seem that much warmer. Afterwards we went back to the summer house for cake and coffee (or beer or wine). There were two large blueberry cakes with loads of blueberries picked in the heaths around the summer house accompanied with creme fraiche and more fresh blueberries. I had some more beer from my brewery Skagen Bryghus which I own (2) shares in.

After having eaten a lot of cake, we all felt like getting some exercise. This led us to undertake what has been a tradition up here since I was a child: dam building. It wasn’t quite as simple as that, and hasn’t been in the later years, where simply damming the stream isn’t challenging enough. Instead we decided that we would change the flow of the stream by cutting off its two long bends and driving it straight into the sea. This wasn’t a small task and it took a lot of hard work from quite a few eager “engineers”. In the first of the photos on the right you can see everybody hard at work, though some of the smaller kids didn’t quite share the vision of the project, and set up a protest dam in the middle of the new canal. However, after some clever diplomacy from the parents, they were persuaded to let progress progress. The second photo shows the final result just before we went home to avoid the many mosquitos that were showing up shortly after the sun ducked behind the dunes.

We had succeeded in changing the path of the stream and it was now flowing straight into the sea, apart from the lake on the right. When we returned the day after we were surprised to find that the stream was still flowing along our new path, though it had flooded the right hand dam and created an even bigger lake in the bend of its old bed.

This is all for now, for even though I haven’t described all our adventures at the summer house and in Skagen, we’re going to Skanderborg Festival tomorrow, so I might have to catch up on the blogging after we get home.