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19 April 2018

EspressoSprint

5 days of work and a tiny bit of fun
Working into the sunset at the cafe Santana in Agia Anna

Twice a year me and the friends who work together on this project get together and work concentrated for a week or so. Usually we're remote working and part of the team is in Spain, part in Greece. So putting our heads together once in a while "in real life" is a Good Thing(TM). Apart from work days, we usually also leave some days free to do something all together, the so-called "social days". The last few years, the cyclists in the team go on a long ride together. This time it was all a bit condensed...


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11 April 2018

Χρόνια πολλά πριν το Πάσχα

Μόδες στους χαιρετισμούς

Ένα πράγμα που με διασκεδάζει πάντα στα Ελληνικά είναι οι διάφορες ευχές που έχουμε για όλες τις φάσεις της ζωής. Το "καλό δρόμο" είναι διαφορετικό από το "καλή συνέχεια" (η όποια είναι λίγο η ευκή για τις πολλαπλές χρήσεις). Η διαφορά του "καλησπέρα" με το "καλό βράδυ" μου πήρε λίγο χρόνο. Γύρω από γάμο υπάρχει ένα ολόκληρο ναρκοπέδιο από ευχές που θέλουν την στιγμή και τους ανθρώπους τους. Το "αστειάκι" ότι θα πει κανείς "και του χρόνου" σε έναν γάμο μάλλον είναι πανάρχαιο. Και το Πάσχα έχει τα δικά του, τα όποια όμως κατάφερα να μάθω αρκετά καλά μετά από λίγα χρόνια.

Τώρα τα τελευταία μια, δύο χρόνια βλέπω όμως μια αλλαγή στις ευχές του Πάσχα. Ενώ κανονικά το "χρόνια πολλά" το λέμε μετά το Πάσχα, τελευταία το λένε και πριν. Από τους ειδικούς που με συμβούλεψαν έμαθα ότι αυτό είναι απλά λάθος και να μην το ακολουθήσω. Θα κάνω αυτό που μου λένε!


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23 March 2018

Today we learn a new word: Poroductivity

It's brand spanking new

Yesterday one of my colleagues created a new word through the process of anorthografogenesis. At first I didn't make much of it, but then it struck me as a word that we actually had missing in our dictionaries. Here it is, complete with the dictionary entry we all should add in our dictionaries:

poroductivity

[poh-roh-duhk-tiv-i-tee]

noun, adjective

When you are doing a lot of the stuff you need to do, but still a lot of small tasks slip through.

I'm making good progress on updating all my printed and digital dictionaries, but there are still a lot of words I haven't yet gotten around to.


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21 March 2018

A Different Mistery Puncture

It's not always what you can't see

Quite often when you have a puncture in a tire, there is a bit of mistery about it: What caused it? Can't find any stones, thorns, pieces of glass inside the tire, can't see where the hole came from. A few days ago I had a different level of mistery.

My spare bike sits on the trainer in the downstairs room. It's seldom used, so I wasn't too surprised when the tires were flat a while ago. I pumped them up, and that was that. And then, some days ago, the rear tire was flat again. Ah well, I found an old spare tube and headed down there to switch out the one that presumably had developed a slow leak.

The usual procedure, take out the wheel, take off the tire, rip out the inner tube, put your hand in the tire to sweep left and right to see if you can find anything that caused the pu... outch! Not only did I find what caused the puncture, it nearly punctured my hand too and it hurt like hell. There was something like a 1cm long nail stuck in the tire, sticking up vertically on the inside. The thing had no "head", and the outside was flush with the tire surface. But the inside point was sharp. Quite obviously this is a condition that does not fit well with keeping the air in an inner tube.

Now the big mistery is there: How did that thing get into the tire, while the bike was on the trainer? It's not like it's going anywhere to pick up stuff from the road surface. Quite unlikely to have the trainer's roll push that thing into the tire vertically. And if it was there before, how did the inner tube survive so long? This bike has been on the trainer for months. Sticking out 1cm is not a situation where the nail works itself slowly into the tube. The tire was flat only twice in those months, so the nail having punctured the tube already, but having "sealed itself" only with a slow leak sounds also quite implausible. Your guess is as good as mine.


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17 February 2018

Haircut

... or rather: no haircut
 
Barber shop

I wanted to have my hair cut at my preferred barber yesterday, but his shop is closed "for a few days". I like this kind of sign, you could actually leave it on indefinitely, as there is no indication when the "few days" start. The guy had some health problems a year or so ago, so I hope it's not related to that. I like going there, because he knows how I want my hair cut, so there is never any discussion about what fashionable thing I might want.

The downside is that he is slow. Not as slow as the last barber I went to in Athens, who was slow on an epic scale - I would calculate in at least an hour to spend in there, but slow. Some years back in Athens I used to go to a really old barber. He was excellent, and he was damn quick. I never timed him, but I think I'd sometimes get out in 5 minutes or so, with a perfect haircut. But like most of these old fashioned barber dudes, he got pensioned. Actually, looking back, I went to about 3 barbers in Athens in a row who then each got pensioned after a while.


Posted by betabug at 18:52 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 February 2018

Fast, how unexpected: Brevet Nemea 2018

Yeah, sure, we will take it easy
Lots of cyclists on the first kilometers (picture from George)

Been there, done that, but maybe it's time for some repetitions. Last Sunday I was riding the "Nemea" Brevet again, which I had done 4 years ago. Another repeat: I was going to be riding with George again. And same as for my last brevet (Tatoi), I had to travel from Naxos to get to the start.

The plan was: We are going to take it easy, because George is not in shape. But then, even the best plans go to hell when fun arrives on the scene. Actually it was George having fun, since he found out after the first few kilometers that his form wasn't that bad after all. So we went fast, how unexpected.


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30 January 2018

Portrait Monitor... and tablets

No, this is not about framing a photo, neither is it a tablet
Web designer stupidity in spanish

Since my computer work consists mostly of writing code, I find it very convenient to use a monitor that is "upright", or in portrait mode. That way I can see more code in the file that I'm editing. Typically the width of the code is limited to a few under 80 characters wide (and it's common to use a fixed width font). In my case I use a monitor that can rotate. I guess there was some "driver" software that came with it to automatically tell the operating system on your computer in which orientation you have it rotated. I don't use anything of that sorts, I simply tell my operating system how I want my external monitor to be configured.

So much for the navel gazing at my work habits. What is more fun is what happens when I browse on the World Wide Web with this monitor. Because nowadays, many websites seem to "sniff" somehow the screen dimensions, and when they see it's portrait, they assume I'm browsing on a tablet.

So I tend to get huge font sizes, menus hidden behind the "hamburger menu", and sometimes really minimalist pages. Quite often I can fix things by playing with the zoom level or slightly resizing the browser window. Most of the times I can live with this latest trend in web designer stupidity.

An award for extra stupidity goes to the designers of the website of spanish bicycle brand Berria though (or maybe to whatever framework they use) at http://www.berria-racing.com/. Going to their site, I'm informed to please turn my tablet into landscape mode. With no choice to override this, with no way around it or a button "give me the desktop site". (See picture.) Somebody wasn't thinking this through. Well, actually I can override it, by using only part of my screen and reducing the browser window to a landscape-shaped slice, but that's very unconvenient. Interesting enough, when you have a deep link to one of their pages, it works anyway, so why put in this stupid blocker? Facepalm.


Posted by betabug at 20:23 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
01 January 2018

Happy New Year 2018! Καλή Χρονιά! Guets Neus!

Passing the 13th year
Just a random picture of today

Happy New Year to all my (few) readers! May 2018 be the best it can be. I'm not expecting much. I've been cycling the last day of 2017 and the first day of 2018, I think it's a good way to spend the change of years.

The last two New Years we had snow here on Naxos. This time definitely nothing like that. Yesterday it was windy and a bit cold, but nowhere near freezing (except when riding downhill in the mountains). Today it was sunny and warm, with no wind at all.

As usual, this change of year is also the birthday of this weblog. The blog has been around for 13 years now, quite some time. Thinking back about those days back then, it's as if it was a different me, and it was definitely a different time. I'm definitely not saying the old times were better though, just different.

The theme of the blog this year seemed to be: "Ups, it's almost the end of the month, better post something now, or else there will be a month without a post!" I had only two months with more than one post. Most posts were about cycling, then a few general posts. But then, the weblog is still around!


Posted by betabug at 18:39 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
30 December 2017

A day in the saddle - Brevet Ble200 / Tatoi

Riding my 2nd brevet, this time with friends
On the first climb

It's been almost 4 years since I rode my first brevet, going 200km from Elefsina to Nemea and back. I had wanted to ride another brevet for a long time with my friend George, but always something happened. You know, small stuff like breaking a leg, or moving to an island.

This time I was sure nothing of the sorts would come up. There would be a bit more traveling involved, as I had to get from Naxos to Athens. The brevet we picked was the "Ble200 (Tatoi)" on Sunday, 22nd October 2017, organized by the Ble cycling club where George is a member. That helped with the first step of setting things in motion: George went and signed me up in Athens. For some unknown reason we still would have to pick up the card at the event (normally you get it in advance), but that was manageable.

So on the Saturday, one day before the brevet, I installed me and my bike on the Blue Star Ferries boat to Pireaus...


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29 November 2017

Winter Riding in November

... and more typical November fun
Near Potamia on a rainy day

So, even though I posted twice in October, it seems I'm back to my "once a month post" scheme of things. Too bad. This year's November had a certain quintessential novemberness about it. There were colorful fallen leaves, clouds and thunderstorms, cloudy days, and clear and sunny autumn days.

I started out at the "sprint" in Spain (the friends I work with call it a "sprint" when we all work together for a week in one place). I cycled a lot there and even got to ride in rain for a few short moments. I don't think it was more than 3 times 10 minutes in total. It helped take a bit of my anxiety about riding on wet roads away.

Back on Naxos I enjoyed the riding too. At some point I mounted my fenders / mudguards on the bike again, which officially starts the winter season. Last year I had a lot of trouble with the things. I had changed tires and the new ones (Continental GP4000sII) are drawing a bit more volume, so the mudguards fit only barely. Every little bit of dirt that got stuck on the wheel made itself known.

This year I switched the bike back to the "old" tires (Continental Grand Prix 4 Season). More space under the mudguards, a lot less fiddling around to put them on. The first rides with the mudguards felt a bit weird, like wearing long trowsers again after the summer.

One of the first rides then made the mudguards worth it: I had just arrived at Giannis' bike shop in town when it started to rain. I tried to wait out a bit of the worst, then I went home and enjoyed half an hour of not-very-heavy rain on the way. (I took these two pictures on the way.)

A rainy donkey near Potamia on a rainy day

Another late afternoon ride led to a different adventure. I had dressed up quite warm, but not in full winter mode. I then went up to the mountains. The problem was only that at this time of the year, starting out at 4 in the afternoon brings you very close to a night ride. The sun is only very low near the horizon, not much of a source of warmth. Up in the mountains (around 600m above sea level for most of that route), it can get cold. In the end my GPS recorded an average temperature of 4°C with a low of 2°C. Definitely something that I managed to survive, but too cold for comfort.

The next rides were warmer, but still I managed another typical autumn adventure: I cought a cold. Which means more than one week without cycling now. Sitting at home definitely is nice once in a while, but it starts to be enough now... thankfully I'm improving. I'm looking forward to hold my nose into the wind again.


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