18 August 2014
Splish splash I was taking a vacation
... and so was everybody else!
So, my vacation time came and passed again. Took a few swims, took some bike rides, read and relaxed a lot. It was a good vacation time, and I spent it in a good place to vacation. Only little nitpick: Everybody else seemed to have had the same idea for their vacation destination this year. Naxos was and still is full of people.
Apparently Naxos was voted into the 10 best islands on TripAdvisor. Number 6 worldwide, number 2 in Europe. I mean, come on, it's a nice enough island, with plenty of things to do... but number 6 in the world? Dunno really.
Combine that with northern Africa being off the tourist map right now, Turkey probably got some dampening with the politicals that were in the news all the time, and all the Germans who didn't come to Greece last year (due to the "Greece will fall out of the Europe, all tourists there will starve!" propaganda) and are amending for it this year... it's crowded.
Shouldn't matter much too me now, as I'm back at work. My time on the beach will be in the evenings again, when most people have left. I'll continue to enjoy the good weather on the bike early in the morning or late in the evening. Hopefully now the traffic on the roads will calm down a bit, but I guess it will take some time. August 15th is usually the peak point of the vacation season here, afterwards things fall off rapidly usually. This year it just might take a little bit longer to "fall off".
29 July 2014
Uff, das war Zeit!
Es ist Ferienzeit hier, Naxos ist proppenvoll mit Leuten, auf einem Niveau, dass es schon nicht mehr lustig ist. Mehr Leute als schon lange nicht mehr. Alle sind sie wieder da, nachdem sie sich letztes Jahr in die Hosen gemacht haben, dass sie vielleicht ohne Euro dastehen, jetzt ist wieder alles gut und ab geht's an den Strand.
Gut, dass ich auch Ferien habe. Ich fahr nirgends hin, denn ich bin schon da, wo dieses Jahr alle hinfahren. Freunde sind aus Athen da, komplett mit Auto. Also gibts Expeditionen an den Strand und Essen im Restaurang... und Ferien-Feeling im Café über dem Hafen...
Continue reading "Ferienzeit"
08 July 2014
Puncture No. 4 and a snapped gear cable
I did not have any plans for a ride this evening, but there was a forgotten item at our lunch table in town today, so I "offered" to go to town to get it. Immediately I noticed I need to take it easy, as my legs were still stiff from the Sunday ride. When I was in the flatter part before Glinado, I felt a squishiness from my rear tire. I stopped to have a look and indeed... another puncture (I think number 4 now within 10 days). Walked a few steps to a spot with concrete on the side of the road and fixed it. Again the puncture was in the same spot, on the inside of the wheel.
In town I went straight to Giannis and we decided to pull out both wheels and replace the rim tape (a line of tape that protects the tube from the spoke ends inside the wheel.
This took us some time, because we had 2 tubes explode in our faces. Our ears were ringing. I'm not sure those tubes he had ordered are ok, they appear to be too long.
In the end I picked up the missing item and headed back home. Leaving the shop, I forgot my water bottle there. Not so important, it was night and not so hot. At the long stretch just before reaching home, I hit the switch to shift gears on the rear, heard a "twang" and the gear lever went into "empty space". The gear cable had snapped again. (This has happened to me in winter in Athens, so I have a suspicion the replacement wasn't mounted quite right. The mechanic there didn't appear to be very sure of what he was doing himself.)
I took the last kilometer or so in the low gear, standing quite a bit. I was laughing all the way though. Other people pay lots of money to go to far away countries to have adventures, I have them right here in our backyard!
26 June 2014
Danakos Climbing Gym
Time to get back into shape
After my trip to Austria I stayed off the bike for some more, to a total
of 3 weeks, since my bike was on Naxos and I was in Athens. So when I
hopped on the bike again back on Naxos I felt totally out of shape. In
my experience, after an intense training period, taking one week off the
bike is great, after two weeks I feel totally relaxed, but three weeks
was too much. Something else that might have played part was that it has
become summer for real now, and the heat doesn't make things easier.
So I had to devise a plan to get back in shape. The first part was easy
to decide on: I had to build back the "base", which means to just put in
the hours in the saddle, without trying to go too hard. This took a lot
of patience, as I felt like things didn't improve at all, nothing moved.
Patience was the keyword though, it just took time, to go out again and
I'm still not at the level that I was before, so I'm slowly starting
into the next phase, to actually start to train again. Last year, what
brought me the most progress were "hill climbing repeats", or as I named
them "climbing gym" rides. Going up a tough climbing section three times
in a row. I did that in Athens on the Kremastos Lagos climb.
Here on Naxos I found another candidate, the Danakos Climbing Gym. There
is a small road that turns off from the road to Apeirantho, goes up
steep for some hairpin turns (0.8km at average 7%, the one shown in the photo), then down to the
village of Danakos. There I turn and head back up, for about 1.8km at an
average of 8%. There are many sections of more than 10%, which is what
makes this thing interesting. Another good aspect is that in the late
afternoon the road is in the shade of the mountain, so less heat.
The point is that I have to go out of my comfort zone to go up here.
I've done it once, going all out. Yesterday evening I went again, doing
two runs, limiting myself to a Zone 4 effort. I did feel my legs
afterwards, but I also felt good from the effort. My goal is to go and
do three runs in a line.
13 June 2014
Getting into the Ruby Debugger
The missing fin
I was trying to debug a ruby script yesterday, so I searched the docs and the web for how to do this. Part one of the problem: various older versions had different ways to do this, having to install some gem or not, etc. Ruby 2.1 has something built in, so there I was. Put this in your code:
Simple enough (in Python it's "import pdb; pdb.set_trace()"). But then I got stuck, because the debugger was somewhere in the debugging code, not in my code. No mention of that in the docs or in the tutorials I'd found.
The solution was to step up from the current frame, with the debugger command:
which is short for fin[ish] - return to outer frame. The h command gives all the help you need - as long as you are used to command line debuggers like Python's pdb. But that fin thing had me searching and wondering for a while.
11 June 2014
The site is coming back
Not all those who wander are lost
On the 24th of February my server had crashed hard. At first all was gone. Then some backups turned out to be well and kicking... but another important backup turned out to be an emtpy shell of a tarball. Years of data were gone. Nothing too important, nothing too personal.
I got the server's hard disk back, but with the information that it spins up, but the controller doesn't answer. I put it in a drawer and tried to forget about it. I put off fully restoring my site for a while, because I was busy and because it just wasn't a feel-good task.
Last saturday I hooked up the disk with an adapter to my laptop. The controller answered just fine, I could "see" the partitions. I still needed a PowerPC machine to boot the OpenBSD/macppc on the disk. I remembered that there was such a box in the hackerspace in Athens. Went there, booted the disk (worked just fine). It took me a while to get the data off it, because the system wouldn't let me log in from the console. Booting into single user worked, and getting minimal networking up worked too.
I now have my stuff on the laptop, and I'll be restoring more and more stuff as I get to it. You alreayd see the pictures are back at this weblog and the imagelog works again too. Plenty busy at work, so it still might take some time. But it's all there, and that lets me take a big sigh.
31 May 2014
Travel May, Photo Shoot, and Summer is Here
Filling my minimum quota of one post per month
So this May I travelled to a remote corner of Austria, which involved
various planes. One of them was a turboprop, which was kind of
interesting. At least until you notice that it's actually just another
cramped plane. I also had some very short connection times on both
trips. On the way up this resulted in a bit of anxiousness on my side.
On the way back, I wasn't the only one: Due to bad weather around
Munich, there was a small belays in getting there, and some people were
going to have to hurry for their connections. Myself I didn't have to go
far for my next flight's gate, so no problem.
Then on leaving Munich, there was more delay, sitting around an hour
in the plane waiting to take off. Some people were going to continue
to Larnaka or Hania and they needed some special treatment to have a
chance to catch those flights. On leaving the plane we were asked to
let those people out first. Then they were collected to be delivered to
their flights. Myself I had no such problems, the Metro in Athens wasn't
waiting for me, but I just got the next one :-).
As for Austria, I was lucky with the weather, which was nice, because
we had a bit of sun for the photo shooting. I hadn't worked in a photo
shooting with a model in a long time, so having a bit of luck with the
weather helped. In the evening set, there were no real rays of sun
(diffuse clouds), but in the morning we had good sunlight. The model
was a real talent too, the kind of person who lights up a smile and
everybody wants to smile along. So we managed some nice pictures.
Back in Athens now, and it seems that summer has arrived for good. The
annoying part of that is that my bike is still on the island, so no
riding right now.
30 April 2014
Ride report: Mountains and sunset at Orko
Endurance ... or really just a fun ride
Despite having plans to do some recovery days, I went out for an endurance ride. First, because I was just feeling like doing a nice, slow ride to drive out the cold, then because I want to beat my high score for km/month. I dressed up warm with long sleeves, thermal base layer, and took leg warmers, rain jacket, and long gloves with me. As I went out, starting really slowly, I noticed that I'm feeling just fine and enjoying things a lot.
So in Halki I turned for the "longer choice", to go up Apeirantho. It was a bit cloudy, but nice. Rounded the mountain to get to Stavro, then up again to Moni, where I turned towards Kinidaro. There I put on all the clothes I had brought for the long downhill. I even extended the downhill going towards Eggares. There I dressed down again and turned towards Hora.
In Hora I visited Giannis (at the bikeshop), then went on towards Agia Anna. Here again I turned for the longer and much more scenic route towards Agios Prokopios, the road next to the sea below the airport. In Ag. Prok. I was faced with the choice of going up towards home again... but what the heck, I went on the new road towards M. Vigla, there is a road that connects up from the end of it, a bit steep. But even there I didn't have enough, instead I turned right on the dirt road towards Orko and Mikri Vigla, right by the sea, right at sunset time. This reminded me of some very special days with friends there, on that particular road.
By the time I had arrived at the road up from M. Vigla, it had gotten dark. With a bit of tailwind I went up from there, towards home. Big smile on my face for almost all the ride.
71km, 1166m altitude gain, 3:06 riding time, 4 hours with all the stops.
10 Jahre in Griechenland
Tja, so läuft die Zeit
Anfang April kam ein Jubiläum vorbei, eines das ich zwar nicht vergessen
habe, aber das ich auch nicht gross feiere. Vor 10 Jahren kam ich (wieder
einmal) in Griechenland an und ich lebe seither all diese Jahre hier.
In der Zwischenzeit hat sich viel verändert, sowohl bei mir (denke ich)
als auch in Griechenland.
Trotzdem bin ich immer noch hier und es gefällt mir auch immer noch
hier. Ich bin nicht mehr ganz so gerne in Athen, momentan gefällt es
mir in der Provinz besser. Hautsächlich liegt es daran, dass mir die
Grosstadt auf die Nerfen geht. Zuviel Lärm, zuviel Nervosität. Naja,
es geht auch anders, auf dem Land ist es auch schön.
01 March 2014
Get me the Book... Now.
Doesn't take long
As I'm slowly getting around to setup more and more of the server's stuff again, I remembered that I had wanted to get me the book Absolute OpenBSD when it came out. Well, it came out some while ago. I hopped over to the publisher and got me the ebook.
At which point I remembered how much longer it would have taken some years ago. I either would have ordered the book online, waiting some days for delivery. Or even ordered through a bookshop, hoping that they would get me the right one. Or I'd go to a bookshop with lots of tech books, hoping that I wouldn't end up with an outdated, older version by mistake.
Now I got the ebook, and if I had wanted it, I could have still gotten the paper version along for a few dollars more. What's more, there is no "DRM" or "copy protection" on the book, so no hassle. I even get the PDF along with the epub,