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18 January 2013

Keine Angst vor dem weissen Licht

Auf LED Lampen umgestellt
 

Letzte Woche habe ich drei LED-Lampen gekauft. Die ersetzen zwei mal normale Glühbirnen, einmal eine sogenannte "Energiesparlampe". Die Glühlampen zu ersetzen bot sich aus naheliegenden Gründen an: Eine 40 Watt Birne ist halt einfach zu wenig, um ein Zimmer angenehm hell zu machen und eine 100 Watt Lampe ist halt ökonomisch wie ökologisch heute nicht mehr der Stand.

Die "Energiesparlampe" wurde ersetzt, da mir nach einem kleinen Unfall bei meiner Freundin (Lampe kaputt gegangen) wieder mal klar wurde, was für ein Chemie-Risiko man da im Haus hat. Stichwort: Quecksilber. Will man nicht im Zimmer haben, will man nicht einatmen. Also so eine "Energiesparlampe" z.B. an der Lampe neben dem Sofa, das ist einfach keine gute Idee, einmal dumm zurückgelehnt und das Ding fällt gegen die Wand. Und dann? Fenster aufmachen, Zimmer evakuieren, Sofa... saubermachen? wegwerfen? Und was mit der Bruchlampe machen? Die offiziellen Informationen gehen von einer funktionierenden Giftstoff-Abfuhr aus... hier in Griechenland? Pustekuchen.

Das Szenario will ich gar nicht planen müssen. LED-Lampen sind da sympathischer und sicherer. Schon immer noch einiges teurer, auch wenn die Preise einiges runter gekommen sind. Theoretisch soll man das ja über die Stromrechnung wieder rausholen, mal schauen.

Der grosse Unterschied bis jetzt: Bei den "Energiesparlampen" war die Erfahrung immer "das soll 50 Watt entsprechen? Hmm, vielleicht wird das ja noch heller, wenn es eine Weile an ist..." Bei LED ist die erste Reaktion eher "das entspricht 50 Watt? Ganz schön hell für 50 Watt." Vor allem bei den "weissen" LEDs (4000K), denn bei den "wärmeren" mit 2700K gibt es aus technischen Gründen Verluste. Ich habe zwei "weisse" und eine "warme", die "warme" hat mit 800 Lumen etwa die Lichtleistung einer 100 Watt Glühbirne. Aber da sie noch in einem Lampenschirm steckt, scheint sie gegenüber den anderen eher nicht so starkt durch.

Die "weissen" haben je 650 Lumen. Zuerst war ich mir gar nicht sicher, ob ich mich mit dem Licht anfreunden könnte. Aber gerade tagsüber, wenn die Lampe an ist, um Innenräume aufzuhellen finde ich es inzwischen sehr angenehm. Ich weiss nicht, ob ich gerade gegen Abend alles "kaltweiss" haben wollte, aber mit der "warmen" Birne kann ich es gut ausgleichen. Historisch gesehen werden unsere Kunstlichtquellen sowieso immer "weisser", umso besser sie technisch werden, ist wohl auch Gewöhnungssache.

Interessanter Gedanke am Rande: Das weissere Licht wird üblicherweise als "kalt" beschrieben, das "gelbere" als "warm". Rein physikalisch ist es umgekehrt, siehe Angaben in K (Kelvin). Warm werden die LED-Lampen übrigens nicht wirklich, auch nach ein paar Stunden kann man die Lampe problemlos anfassen.


Posted by betabug at 21:48 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
22 February 2013

Impressive Thunderstorm

Dust too
 

Woke up this morning to pouring rain and a thunderstorm. As I stayed in bed for a while to listen to it, I noticed a constant rumbling. The rolling of the thunder didn't stop. It's been like that for hours now, which is quite impressive. Obviously the streets have turned into rivers around here and the neighbor's garden patch behind the house has turned into a flood area. Sometimes we see lightning close to the house, sometimes it's further off. Maybe the storm is "stuck" in the Ymittos mountains.

What's more, apparently there is Sahara dust in the air again, the sky looks yellowish. I tried to take a picture with the digicam, but the stupid automatic "balances" the yellow tint out and gives me a white sky.


Posted by betabug at 09:55 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
25 May 2013

First (real) Swim of this Year

Splish splash!
 

Today was the first real swim in the sea I took this year. I was dipping in a couple of times before, first time on Greek eastern (May 5). But those were more of the form: "get in to prove that you could, get out of the icy water as fast as you can".

Today at Aliko beach things were much better. At first the sea seemed to be as cold as the other times. There were also some big waves. But soon I discovered that the water was indeed fine. Cold, but good enough to swim around in. I surprised myself by staying in for some time and even diving a bit. There's also enough sun to warm up on the beach afterwards now.


Posted by betabug at 20:01 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
08 August 2013

The Cycling Summer is here

The cranks on my bicycle turn like a broken record too
Inside the fairy tale mountains of Naxos

Wow, it's been some time since I wrote a post. So, I'm back to work. Which works out fine. I'm also back to Naxos, after a brief stopover in Athens. Here I can work in a much cooler temperature and environment, and I can combine my programming work with photography walks in the evenings and... cycling. Yepp, I tend to sound like a broken record in here, but the truth is, I ride my bicycle a lot lately. At least the one bicycle I have here on the island with me.

A while back I used to ride either in the early morning or late afternoon. For now I've switched to "early morning only" - it's tougher to get up, and I get less of the "reward at the end of a work day" feeling. But then, since we're now in the main tourist season here, in the early evening the streets are full of cars. Or at least much fuller than I like. I kind of got used to having really empty streets in the last months.

Early morning is better, the tourists don't get up so early. The bad part is that if I'm delayed I run into the heat, while in the evening I'd run into the darkness. You can deal with the darkness with good lights, but the heat always has the upper hand. Still, on our Sunday rides with the local bike gang, we get pretty much into the noon hours. I'm ok with that if it doesn't happen too often it seems.

We did some really interesting rides. Not going to list them all here, but "going to Moutsouna for coffee" was certainly fun. Last Sunday's excursion to Liona and then climbing back up from there, was certainly "interesting" - it just happens to be a Category 1 climb. Tough ride, that one, I was happy when I was up. The picture is from a simpler morning ride, when I was riding through what I call the "fairy tale mountains" of Naxos (taken near Kinidaros),


Posted by betabug at 19:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
20 September 2013

I still have something to say...

... but then, it's bubbles
bubbles, bubbles everywhere

Hey there, so, I'm still here. Here on the weblog and here on Naxos. I've been working, biking, and occasionally swimming. The work is going fine. I've got interesting stuff to do, and with the team that works for one of my customers we will soon have another sprint week, here on Naxos.

The cycling is going fine too... obviously, since I'm in a great environment for cycling. I've bought a big, freakin' bike light, so I can head out in the late afternoon and continue riding well into the night. I'm considering writing a review on that thing.

Also there is the swimming. This year during August I didn't go much to swim. For one thing I was cycling. Then, due to the main tourist season I didn't much like to go out on crowded beaches. Now that it's September, it's much more relaxed. The sea is still warm, the sun is still shining and it's nice to enjoy it all a few days more.


Posted by betabug at 12:20 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 January 2014

Sonntäglicher Mittags-Tisch

Mit Freunden und Familie

Mittags gehe ich gerne mal essen, auch wenn ich alleine zuhause am arbeiten bin. Unter der Woche hat sich da das Angebot stark verkleinert, viele Restaurants in meiner Nähe haben nur noch am Abend offen. Die Krise hat da so einiges geändert und Personal für ein leeres Lokal mögen die Wirte auch nicht zahlen.

An einem der letzten Sonntage war ich zufällig auch wieder alleine zuhause und bin essen gegangen. Da sah es dann aber anders aus, alle offen und alles voll, alle Tische besetzt. Grosse Gruppen von Leuten, mit Freunden und Familie. Das Geld um unter der Woche Mittagessen zu gehen mag nicht mehr da sein, aber an speziellen Tagen mit guter Gesellschaft reicht es dann doch noch und dann darf der Tisch auch ordentlich voll werden.

Da einen Tisch zu finden ist nicht immer so einfach, vor allem, wenn man an so einem Tag alleine ankommt. Aber da ich bei einem der Lokale Stammgast bin (dort, wo ich auch unter der Woche zu Mittag esse), fand sich noch ein kleiner Tisch in der Ecke. Um mein Buch zu lesen war es zu duster und so richtig lange bleiben wollte ich auch nicht, aber es gab was gutes zu essen und darum gings mir ja.


Posted by betabug at 16:21 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 April 2014

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.


Posted by betabug at 10:22 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
04 October 2014

Mini Glas-Container

Es sammelt sich
Ein Mini-Recyclingcontainer für Glas in Athen

Nachdem ich vor Jahren schon über die ersten Schritte im Recycling in Athen berichtet hatte, lief ich heute wieder mal einer interessanten, neuen Entwicklung über den Weg. Ein Container für Glas-Recycling. Mit Ôsen, mit denen der Container gleich komplett abtransportiert werden kann, aber in Mini-Ausführung. Zum Grössenvergleich der übliche "blaue" Recycling-Container daneben.

Ich denke, dass das eine gute Idee ist. Die blauen Container (Marke "der Grüne Punkt") werden nicht überall gleich qualitativ befüllt - sprich, es landet auch viel Müll drin. Die Verarbeitungskette dahinter ist meines Wissens in Griechenland unvollständig, aber ich kann mich da täuschen, ich habe schon länger nicht mehr nachgeschaut. Vor ein paar Jahren wurde das Recyclinggut getrennt und dann deponiert. Mit Glas gibt es eine klarere Recyclingstory.


Posted by betabug at 11:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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.


Posted by betabug at 13:46 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
31 December 2014

This Thing Called New Year's Resolutions

Next year for sure I will...
Village in the mountains of Naxos, on a winter day

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?


Posted by betabug at 19:38 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
28 February 2015

A Month of Recovery

It will still take time, but getting there
A month of recovery with physio exercises, walking, and indoor cycling

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.


Lots of exercises. Lots of walking with the crutches, putting a bit of weight on the hurt leg, increasing that weight ever so slightly. Now I'm still walking with crutches, but it goes much better and I'm already feeling stronger. But there is still a long way to go and I'll need a lot of patience yet before I can walk normally.

A "turbo trainer" setup

I also got myself a "turbo trainer", which is a contraption that you insert your bicycle into, and then you have a static training bike. After the physiotherapist said that I could try carefully to start with this, I gave it a try a few days ago. It was a test just to get on the bike initially. It did felt safe to sit on it though, nothing moves at all. I'm also pedalling very soft.

It feels good to be on the bike, and it feels good to have an exercise that gets the heart pumping a little bit. I'm of course very careful with it. After a bike "ride", I feel less discomfort compared to what I get after a long walk. So I think it will help me get the muscles to become stronger again, while also beating the boredom of my current, unfortunately forced couch-existence a bit.

Posted by betabug at 10:01 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
21 April 2015

Endlich Frühling!

Langer, nasser Winter
Frühlingsblumen, aber noch kein Mohn

Endlich ist es Frühling, der Winter war dieses Jahr lang und nass. Auf Naxos hat es drei mal geschneit - was sonst nur so alle 6-10 Jahre vorkommt. Gut für die Insel, die Wasser-Reservoire sind voll, die Erde hat viel Wasser gespeichert, die Insel ist grün.

Diesen Winter war der Plan eigentlich so oft und lange wie möglich auf Naxos zu bleiben. Athen geht mir momentan auf den Keks. Das Problem dabei war einerseits, dass unsere Unterkunft nicht geheizt ist (und es zieht), also ist das ganze vom Wetter abhängig. Das andere Problem war dann natürlich der Beinbruch.

Also waren wir lange nicht so oft hier wie wir wollten. Und als wir Ende März hier ankamen, war es noch sehr winterlich: Windig, regnerisch, kalt. Vielleicht nicht "Winter in der Schweiz"-kalt, aber kalt genug wenn das Haus nicht geheizt ist. Noch am (griechischen) Karfreitag stürmte es so stark, dass der Schiffsverkehr eingestellt wurde.

Am Oster-Sonntag war dann alles anders: Wir sassen mit Freunden beim Mittagessen und bevorzugt im Schatten, in der Sonne war es schon zu heiss. Für ein paar Tage war es richtig warm. Die Insulaner beschwerten sich schon wieder, "vom Winter gleich zum Sommer, wo ist unser Frühling?" Der Frühling ist schon da, es ist wieder etwas kühler geworden und überall blüht es. Für mich gibt es da keinen Grund zu jammern.


Posted by betabug at 15:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
26 April 2015

No more Captain Ahab

Getting rid of the crutches
 

So, starting on last Thursday (2 days ago now), I got rid of the crutches. Actually, 3 weeks ago already, the doctor had instructed me to jettison the one crutch, and walk only with one, opposite from the weak leg. That was already an improvement, as I had one hand free: At least now I could carry a glass of water to the table!

Now without crutches, life is sooo much nicer. No more walking with tack-tack-tack sounds. Those sounds had prompted me to call myself "Captain Ahab". I still walk pretty weird, the body tries to shift the weight to the other leg. I'm practicing walking straight up and not swerving wildly all the time. Each time I get up from sitting and notice that I don't have to fetch around for the crutches, I sigh a breath of relief. This is so nice.


Posted by betabug at 10:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 May 2015

First Swim of the Season

Splish splash!
 

Last Thursday I had my last after-surgery checkup at the Orthopedist. Everything fine, apparently the bone has healed and it's time to build up the muscles again. So the Doctor wants me to go and swim. Right. It's still May, but I'm a good boy, and I do what I'm told, so I went to my first swim this afternoon. It was pleasant enough outside (at the Mikri Vigla beach), but the water was "a bit fresh".

Interesting how much easier it is to go into the cold water, when you're supposed to go in and swim. The inner dialog wasn't about "should I go in or shouldn't I" or about "will anybody see me when I give up?", it was more along the lines of "ok, let's get inside and get this done". It wasn't so cold that my life or health would be at risk (not by far), so any reluctance is just psychological, in short a sign of weakness. Can't have that!

So I went and swam a bit up and down, which felt good in the leg. It wasn't enough to get the muscles tired, but after some time I just let it be enough. I'll go again soon, now that it's in the program.

(Oh, and I totally forgot to take a pic, left the phone in the car and didn't have the digicam with me. Next time.)


Posted by betabug at 20:20 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
03 June 2015

Μην προσπαθείς να πιάσεις την γάτα σου όταν βλέπει εφιάλτη

Αφού όλο κοιμάται...
 
Γρατσουνιές

Ο γάτος αυτός έχει περάσει κάποια δύσκολα πράγματα στην (αρκετά νέα ακόμα) ζωή του. Μάλλον γι' αυτό βλέπει συχνά όνειρα, τα όποια πολλά είναι εφιάλτες. Κάποιες στιγμές πετάγεται, ξυπνάει, και ψάχνει τρομαγμένος γύρο του, που είναι και τι του συμβαίνει. Πολλές φορές όταν τον βλέπω να έχει εφιάλτη, μιλάω σιγά σιγά. Θέλω απλά να ακούει την φωνή μου. Η γάτες κοιμούνται με "ανοιχτή ακρόαση", δλδ συνεχίζουν να ακούνε τι συμβαίνει γύρο τους.

Σήμερα, μάλλον χωρίς να σκέφτομαι, μου ήρθε αντί να μιλάω, να τον πιάσω στην πλάτη... μεγάλο λάθος. Πετάχτηκε, με γρατζούνισε και με δάγκωσε με πολύ δύναμη. Πέρασαν μερικά δευτερόλεπτα μέχρι που κατάλαβε που είναι και ποιον δαγκώνει.


Posted by betabug at 16:57 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
25 June 2015

Back on the Bicycle after Five Months

It took some while
Getting back on the physiotherapy track and back to riding

Five months have passed since my accident. I've been through a transport to a hospital in Athens, surgery, a few days in the hospital, recovery in bed at home, almost 35 hours of physiotherapy, a lot of walking with crutches, 5 xray exams, almost 15 hours of indoor cycling on the trainer, almost 10 hours of swimming time and learning to actually swim in the process.

Last Monday I had another talk with the local orthopedist, the one who examined me right after the accident. He said that things are going very well with my leg, and that the little discomfort and occasional pain I have are due to the surgery and muscle rebuild, not due to the bone. He suggested lots of exercise. From talking to various doctors and physiotherapists, I got the impression that with most patients the problem is that they never do the exercises that they're told to do.

As you can see on the calendar, last Tuesday I went out on the bike again for the first time. (The indoor cycling symbol has little dots under the wheels, not very visible.) I just went a bit up the road and back, not even 2km and just 8 minutes. I wobbled around a lot, going slalom on the road. It felt a bit scary.

This morning I decided that it's time to make another go for it. To overcome my insecurity, I'll have to go out and ride. So out I went, this time further up the road, going as far as the next village. I felt much more secure, I was able to enjoy the ride.

I wasn't fast at all. First of all, I wasn't taking any risks. On the downhill parts, I wasn't constantly braking, but I did not let the speed build up either. Then, I'm very much down on my endurance. With the slightest incline of the road, my heartrate was going up and over the roof. Not much of a racing spirit. Instead I appreciated the landscape, and seeing it from a bicycle and not a car window again. So I clocked in 14km, in 39 minutes, climbing 189m.


Posted by betabug at 13:18 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
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