14 April 2015
How to Go From Naxos to Athens - With a Broken Leg
It's actually quite well organized
Last January I broke my leg (I guess I've mentioned it before). This
happened on the island of Naxos, in fact somewhere in the mountains of
that island, but that is another story. At some point in that story
I had arrived in the "health center" of the island, what used to be
the islands hospital. The orthopedic there spoke that I would need
surgery, which could only be done in Athens. Which means I had to get to
Continue reading "How to Go From Naxos to Athens - With a Broken Leg"
16 March 2015
less is more
Less and more are more or less the same thing. Less is trying to be a
bit less like more by trying to do a bit more than more does, but then,
on some platforms more is more and more
like less. On other platforms, they are the same thing, just hardlinked
binaries. In that case, less is more, no less no more.
28 February 2015
A Month of Recovery
It will still take time, but getting there
After I broke my leg in January, there was a time when I was just glad
to rest. The thought of going cycling was far off. Before the surgery
they had told me "the next day after surgery you can walk". That was
indeed true, but not in the way you'd expect from such a sentence. In
fact the physiotherapists passed by my hospital bed and with their
instructions I managed to do two steps with crutches and back to my bed.
They also gave me some exercises to do with the leg. The next day
I managed to do 20 steps and I've ever increased since then.
The last month I've been on a physio training program.
Continue reading "A Month of Recovery"
15 February 2015
Wie ich die Syriza-Wahl-Nacht verbracht habe
Eine unfreiwillige Reportage
Am Sonntag, 25. Januar 2015, fanden in Griechenland Parlamentswahlen
statt. Ich selber verfolgte die Wahlen am Fernsehen und in persönlichen
Gesprächen. Ich habe ja seit vielen Jahren keinen Fernseher mehr, aber
an diesem Wahlsonntag lag ich im Spital, in einem Zweibett-Zimmer, und
mein Zimmernachbar hatte einen Fernseher gemietet. Er war dort mit
(fast seiner ganzen) Familie, ich war dort mit meiner Freundin. Wir
unterhielten uns über alles was passierte. Unfreiwillgerweise war es
eine Reportage über die Befindlichkeit Griechenlands.
Continue reading "Wie ich die Syriza-Wahl-Nacht verbracht habe"
09 January 2015
Missed the Snow on Naxos
Not what most people go to a Greek Island for
Three days ago it snowed on Naxos. I would have liked to be there to
see it and take some pictures, but unfortunately my planning was messed
up and I'm still in Athens. I've had people ask in disbelieve "Snow? On
Naxos?" Yes, indeed. It happens from time to time. I've heard something
about "every 10 years", but maybe it's a bit more often. Definitely not
something to expect every winter.
02 January 2015
Cold Weather Bike Wear Review
It's not that cold in Greece anyway
There is not much cold weather in Greece (unless you go to the mountains
and the north of Greece), so I guess most roadies just stay home for a
few days when things get unpleasantly wet and cold. Myself, I like to be
outside in "fresh" weather. I think unless you really reach levels that
threaten your body temperature falling, and as long as you have halfway
decent clothing, it's nice to "brave the elements".
On December 31st and on New Year's day we had some cold weather, with
temperatures around 4 degrees Celsius (yepp, not that cold if you're
from the north of Europe), lots of wind, and that stingy, cold rain.
I was out riding on both days. Here are some notes on the gear I was
Continue reading "Cold Weather Bike Wear Review"
01 January 2015
Happy New Year! Guets neus! Καλή Χρονιά! ... and 10 Years of ch-athens!
It's been some times
So today is the first day of the year 2015. I wish all of my readers
(probably you could count them on one hand) a happy new year, with good
health and lots of happyness. A friend asked me lately if I'd considered
2014 a good year ("on a scale of 1 to 10..."). Personally there were
some tough times in 2014, but in the end it ended quite well. I wish all
of you that you may have a year 2015 that you can grade high on that "1
to 10" scale at the end!
At the same time it's the 10th birthday of this weblog. For many of
these years, I used to do New Year's posts with statistics about visits
and all that. This year I don't have any statistics. The reason is that
in February the hardware of the server failed. For some time I didn't
get my data back (at first it appeared that the failure was total, in
the end I was able to recover everything). I still have the access logs,
but "didn't get around" to setting up any webstats on it. I guess it
just wasn't that important - like when you move house and there are
still a few unpacked boxes a few months later, you probably didn't need
For many months of 2014 I just managed to write one post per month.
Again, probably it wasn't so important to me. As for the posts there
were, in a large part this weblog has turned to a cycling theme. Which
is no surprise, it just reflects the newfound interest in cycling in my
life. I posted a few "ride reports" about larger rides (including my
first "brevet" ride in January). I could have posted more ride reports,
but sometimes I felt it would overwhelm the other content. Not sure if
that notion holds true, but in fact there wasn't much other content
So in those 10 years I wrote 1337 posts. For a geek, that is a really
funny number. How much the blog writing has slowed down, you can see in
the fact that after 5 years I had already 1000 posts, so only 337 in the
second five years. At least I can claim that the posting frequency has
picked up lately, December was the "busiest" month of the year 2014.
31 December 2014
This Thing Called New Year's Resolutions
Next year for sure I will...
For all my life I never remember having taken new year's resolutiions
seriously. Except that one time where I set myself the task to set up
this weblog and write every day (or in the worst case every second day)
in it. I managed to do that and you're reading this on the resulting
blog. If you look at the last few posts, it's obvious I haven't stuck
to the once per day rule lately - but I kept at it for many years in
that rhythm. Now I'm at it more to the tune of "never a month without
at least one post".
So, what made that new year's resolution work? I guess it could have just
as well been any point in time that I would have decided to "do this".
The motivation was there, publishing this stuff and getting feedback
(stats, comments, direct feedback) made me stick to it. If I'd slack too
much, it would show... so I didn't want to let that happen and I would
sit down to write something. Even if it was something small - in fact,
whenever I was planning a big super, great article was when things
would get stuck.
A while ago, when I was laying in bed with that cold, I had a lot of
time to think about doing another new year's resolution. Candidates where
to revive the weblog, or maybe to set a target (10 - 12 hours per week)
for the training on the bike. In the end I'm not going to do that. If
I feel the motivation to write more on the blog, that will happen.
Likewise with the bike: When things work out, I'll get the hours in,
I'll enjoy myself and the training happens. When I'm travelling, when
things go upside down in life, training stops. I'm not training for
something, so in fact, "training" is just being out riding, having fun.
When I can, I'm trying to get in 3 to 4 rides per week. At that point,
after a while, I start to be in a shape where riding gets easy, and when
it gets easy, it becomes a lot of fun. No need to make me a rule about
it. Who needs a plan to ride in a place like the one in the picture?
30 December 2014
Neuwahlen im Januar
Es lag schon in der Luft
Nachdem es schon länger in der Luft lag, sind nun jetzt tatsächlich
Neuwahlen angekündigt für den Januar. In der europäischen Presse ist
die Propaganda-Maschine schon am anrollen: Die (in der letzten Zeit
leicht angestaubten) Zielscheiben der "faulen und undankbaren Griechen"
werden wohl wieder aus der Schublade geholt. Jetzt wollen sie wohl die
Linken (SYRIZA) wählen und die "Austerität" nicht mehr. Sowas auch.
Aus meiner Umgebung höre ich im Moment nicht mehr so richtige
Begeisterung für Syriza, aber ich höre, dass viele Leute sie trotzdem
wählen werden. Man könnte es als "Denkzettel" bezeichnen, aber das
trifft es nicht. Ich würde es als "keine wirkliche Alternative, aber
irgendwas anderes muss man jetzt wählen" bezeichnen. Es wäre echt
eine Erleichterung, wenn das Verbrecherpack, das die letzten Jahre (in
abwechselnder Zusammensetzung) an der Macht war, mal endlich einpacken
19 December 2014
A Not So Common Cold
Been lucky for some time
Last week I had caught a cold. I haven't had one in a while, in fact I
didn't have a cold in the last 2 winters. Since I was lying in bed, I had
a lot of time to think about why this could be.
One reason that immediately sprang to mind: I'm not working in an office
any more. In your usual office environment, there is always someone who
goes to work feeling slightly sick, and then takes on the role of prime
virus dispenser. Also I'm much less in public transport, which is also a
nice source of sharing microorganisms. Not going daily to the office,
means less time in bus and metro.
Another source of reduction of public transport exposure is that I have
started to cycle again. I guess you get a lot of exhaust and spray water
from passing cars, but no Common Cold virus. It's also quite likely that
a bit of "sport" (or at least a more active lifestyle) due to the bike
results in a slightly improved immune system. The last winter I rode
my bike all the time, in any kind of weather, patting my own shoulder
for being so tough and hardening my immune system.
Here in Greece they say that swimming in the sea during summer is an
excellent strategy for avoiding getting a cold in winter. My theory about
that is that the salt water in the nose and throat makes things more
resilient there... it might not be scientific proof, but it worked for me.
That's also what I blame for having fallen for the cold virus this time:
The last summer I was in the sea much less.
There's this other thing they have here: You shouldn't go out when you
have wet hair or you're sweaty or so. Last week it was pretty much rainy
all week, there was just one opening, which I used to go out for a ride.
Unfortunately I dressed too warm, so I was sweaty for almost all the way
back. Prime suspect.
Now one could say that it's much more likely that I simply got the virus
from someone, and that my immune system was a bit weaker than usual at
that point. But I would prefer to have my home made theories not spoiled
by anything like science or facts! In any case, the cold passed mostly,
and I'm back on my bike, working on hardening myself for the next assault
of some garden variety micro critter.