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31 December 2015

Schnee auf Naxos an Silvester 2015

Wer hätte das gedacht?
Verschneite Strasse zwischen Sangri und Halki auf Naxos

Für diesen Silvester hatten wir eine schöne Ûberraschung: Es hat prächtig geschneit auf Naxos. Viel ist es nicht, vielleicht 5 bis maximal 10cm, aber schön schaut's aus. Schon morgens fing es an, zuerst dachte ich, dass nicht viel mehr als Schneeregen dabei rauskommen würde. Nach kurzer Zeit fing es aber an klebrigeren Schnee zu geben. Sowas ist immer eine gute Gelegenheit für ein kleines Abenteuer.


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Posted by betabug at 18:36 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
27 December 2015

Eine Weihnachts-Velofahrt

Besinnlich und so
Das bin ich auf dem Velo

Am 24. Dezember war ich mit einem Freund auf einer Velotour. Wir sind auf Naxos durch die Berge nach Apollona gefahren, von dort der Küste entlang wieder zurück. Das ganze kommt dann auf knapp 100km, etwa 1800 Höhenmeter, ich habe noch eine kleine Extra-Strecke angehängt, so dass ich auf 102km kam. Das Wetter war perfekt, sonnig und warm, fast kein Wind. Dem Datum entsprechend waren fast keine Autos unterwegs, wir hatten die Strasse für uns.

Diese Strecke habe ich schon viele Male gemacht, aber dieses Mal war das erste Mal nach meinem Unfall mit Beinbruch im Januar. Ich bin noch nicht so gut unterwegs wie vor dem Unfall, es geht alles noch etwas langsamer, aber dass ich diese Tour machen konnte, ist für mich ein grosser Meilenstein. Ich bin wirklich dankbar, dass ich diese Freiheit wieder habe. Ein grosser Dank geht an die Ârzte und Krankenschwestern in Naxos und Athen, an Freunde und Familie, die mir geholfen haben. Das tönt jetzt vielleicht etwas melodramatisch, aber ich bin einfach froh, wieder hier zu sein.


Posted by betabug at 20:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
20 December 2015

Naxos Cycling Panorama Pictures

The wide view on things
On the Potamia road

Lately I got a new digicam. Those little digicams seem to die every few years. On purpose I buy the ruggedized, waterproof little suckers. I presume they last a little bit longer that way. In any case, the latest one I got is one from Fujifilm. I've taken it cycling a few times, where I played around with the panorama function. So here are some pictures from cycling on Naxos.


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Posted by betabug at 18:40 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
19 December 2015

Die Waschmaschine

Knall!
 

Ich habe eine ältere Waschmaschine. So ein Teil, das man von oben befüllt. Es passt nicht allzuviel Wäsche rein, und moderne Waschmaschinen brauchen garantiert weniger Strom und Wasser. Ich hab sie gratis bekommen: Als unsere WG zügelte, war sie im neuen Badezimmer, aber kaputt. Der herbeigerufene Reparaturtrupp zuckte nur mit den Achseln, und ich "reparierte" sie dann selber (der Abwasser-Schlauch musste höher gehängt werden), dann wusch sie wieder weisser.

Letzte Woche war sie dann wirklich kaputt. Das Lämpchen ging noch an, aber sie startete nicht mehr. Einige der "Programme" auf dem Drehrad brachten sie noch in Bewegung, aber wann immer Wasser angepumpt werden sollte, ging gar nichts.

Also überlegt man sich, ein neues Teil zu kaufen. Nur, schade ist es schon. Also doch nochmal einen Mechaniker finden und schauen was geht. Wir haben hier einen sehr guten Klempner, den habe ich um eine Empfehlung für einen Waschmaschinen-Menschen gefragt. Zuerst wusste er keinen, dann fiel ihm einer ein, und dann rief ich den an. Er kam dann auch vorbei, mit 3 Stunden Verspätung (mein Klempner ist immer pünktlich) an einem sehr kalten Abend.

Er kuckte sich das Teil von vorne und hinten an, drehte etwas am Programmrad rum, klick, klick, klick. Dann schlug er den Deckel einmal ordentlich und mit Schwung zu. Paff! Und die Maschine sprang an. Was haben wir gelacht, schnellste Reparatur seit langem. Im Deckel-Verschluss ist ein Sicherheits-Schalter, und der ist alt und lahm. Jetzt dürfen wir mit dem Deckel jedesmal zwei oder dreimal zuschlagen, dann läuft die Maschine. Falls der Schalter mal ganz aussteigt, überbrücken wir ihn.

Eine neue Maschine empfahl der Mann nicht (obwohl er sie verkauft), denn bei den Stromschwankungen im Netz hier brennt öfter mal die Elektronik durch. Das hatten wir auch schon von anderen Leuten gehört, bei der ersten Panne nach Ablauf der Garantie kann man das Gerät dann wegwerfen. Da muss es schon sehr viel Strom und Wasser sparen, damit sich das lohnt.


Posted by betabug at 19:47 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
28 November 2015

Getting back in shape: Pane e polvere

Having lots of fun cycling

The last month I started to pick up my cycling pace again. The downtime after the accident had reduced my endurance a lot. Where at first I worked hard to cycle 6km, now things start to improve. There is no mistery about how to get back in shape, basically all it takes is patience and perseverence. Not wanting too much, too soon is also important.

"Pane e polvere"
"400km a settimana. Sempre. Pioggia, vento, grandine non importava."

"Bread and Dust"
"400km per week. Always. Rain, wind, hail, does not matter."
-- Fiorenzo Magni

Fiorenzo Magni was a champion in the generation of Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali in Italy of the 1950s. He was a tough rider, the kind who braved the elements, and he was famous for finishing the Giro d'Italia with a broken collarbone (finishing on 2nd place, no less). In an interview given in 2012, he was asked "how did you train normally?" He answered "Bread and dust. Which means doing many, many kilometers." And then he mentions training 400km per week, plus the races.

Obviously I'm nowhere near that number. Also I don't count so much the kilometers, as the hours. Because here on Naxos, the kilometers have a different quality, with all the climbing. When I was doing 10 - 12 hours per week back in the spring of 2014, I was doing just fine. I wasn't necessarily so fast, but "doing fine" meant that I could go for a longish ride and not be exhausted with every little climb.

Currently I've moved up to 4 - 8 hours per week, and I start to be more comfortable with 3 hour rides. My "training" doesn't consist of any planned exercises or something, but instead simply of clocking in a lot of time on the bike, going more slow than fast. First building endurance before even attempting to build up speed again.

I've also moved my "better" bike to Naxos, and on that bike I feel much more comfortable. So overall I'm starting to enjoy cycling a lot again.


Posted by betabug at 11:26 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
07 October 2015

Begone Mail... Not!!

There she goes

Yesterday evening I was writing a lengthy mail, explaining a nice little idea. The mail was written in English and Greek, spellchecked, re-read, corrected a bit, and then... the battery on the laptop suddenly ran out of steam and the laptop shut down unexpectedly. I didn't feel a single moment of anxiousness. I'm using mutt to handle my mails, and mutt hands off to vim to actually write my stuff. As I know quite well, vim saves temporary copies of my files, so in case of a crash, I'm often asked to recover files. Works quite well.

mutt saves unfinished mails in a "folder" called postponed. Since I had closed and re-opened the draft mail a couple of time, I expected find the unfinished mail there. But it wasn't. Lesson learned: mutt saves those mails there only when you close the message and postpone it. OK, so far, but no problem, since definitely vim had saved my message.

But I couldn't find it. It was gone. It started to take the wind out of my sails, since I had spend some time to make a beautiful little piece of mail, and the thought to do it all again demotivated me. I started going through my disk with a fine comb. I found the path where my files had been. I checked where vim is supposed to save temporary files (the "dir" setting directive), and the documentation gave me a strong hint to what had happened, for that setting the documentation suggested:

"Using "/tmp" on Unix is discouraged: When the system crashes
you lose the swap file"

Explanation: If you save your "swap" backup files in the /tmp directory, when you restart after your crash, the OS will go through /tmp and throw your carefully saved backup file away. This is what had happened to my mail. But why?

In my .vimrc, I hadn't changed the dir setting, and the default is to store files in a list of directories that are reasonably safe: ".,~/tmp,/var/tmp,/tmp". For a moment I was pointing fingers at vim, but it just doesn't make sense.

In fact the culprit is mutt: The mail program tells vim to "edit this file" and to store the needed temporary swap file in /tmp. There is a settings directive to change the place, but the default is the very unsafe /tmp directory. So my suggestion: if you use mutt, check your config to set the "tmpdir" directive to something safe, something where your OS will not clean up at restart time, e.g. on OpenBSD /tmp/vi.recover is spared from the knife.


Posted by betabug at 10:57 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
24 September 2015

The Big Move

Technically, it's not ch-athens any more
 

Man, almost a month without posts on this lazy weblog. In the meantime, early September, I emptied my appartment in Athens and moved finally to Naxos. So technically, this blog should not be called "ch-athens" any more, but I don't think I'll rename it anyway.

It would be nice if I could describe the move as uneventful, but that wasn't what happened. Since I'm moving to an island, ships are involved. Which means that you can't just rent any old van and carry your stuff over. Doing so would mean to pay a lot of money for bringing a car over on the ferry boat and then bringing it back. So what I did is hire a mover.

That was necessary for another reason: I'm still recovering from that broken leg, and therefore I shouldn't lift stuff. So they did all the lifting. But this is also the point where the "eventful" part of the move happened for me. Even if I didn't lift heavy stuff, I put a lot of stress on the leg. Push something over here, lift a box on top of another box there. Put lots of stuff into boxes. Carry the garbage downstairs. I had a very tired leg.

Towards the 3rd day, I was completely exhausted. I had problems going up the stairs, even without carrying anything. At some point I was sitting somewhere, and I saw a picture frame that I had to take down. I must have looked at it for 15 minutes, trying to gather the strength to get up and do that task too. What saved me was my friend Panos, who came over on the last day and did the last "heavy" jobs, like carrying down the last garbage.

At the end of it all, I went to the port and took the boat back to my new home. The tourist season was still in almost full swing, so the boat was pretty much full. I got myself a cabin, laid down and slept till Paros (1 hour before Naxos). Then I had a shower and got myself ready to arrive. It cost some extra money, but I already started to feel a bit better.

It took the leg some time to recover though. I guess it threw me back 2 or 3 weeks. On the next day I started with my regular swimming routine again, and as soon as I was floating in the water, I felt as if the recovery process in the leg was starting again.


Posted by betabug at 08:12 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 August 2015

Full Moon over the Temple of Dimitra

Plop
The full moon starts to come out over the mountains

Yesterday our friend Hariklia had the wonderful idea to go see the full moon come out over the Temple of Dimitra here on Naxos. We went there with friends and family, just missing the last rays of sunlight on the temple.

Still the scene was quite beautiful. As the sun had gone down, we waited for the moon to come out over the mountains. We hadn't looked up the exact time, so guesses were from "right now" to "we'll have to wait here for more than an hour". In the end it was maybe 15 minutes after sunset.

When the moon finally came out, its speed was surprising. It was as if the moon had been held back in the thick fluid of the mountains, and as it got free, it sped up until it plopped out like a cork held under water.

The little toy digicam didn't hold up all so well photographing that shiny object in the sky. Lack of a tripod didn't help either. Anyway, here are some attempts at photography for your pleasure.

Full moon over temple of Dimitra on Naxos, little church
Posted by betabug at 11:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
28 August 2015

Three Times per Week

It's all up and down

While writing on the weblog has taken a backseat to everything else again, I'm more or less back to regular cycling. Which is very nice, since I really like cycling in the countryside here. Basically I'm trying to do 3 rides per week. The plan is to build back my base fitness. So I'm doing shorter rides, about 2 hours each. Since this is Naxos, there is no way to do that without some climbing, but I'm trying to take it easy.

Slowly, slowly my leg starts to feal more "normal". Whatever that means. Basically that pushing, pulsing sensation where the operation was is getting less, especially while riding. Walking is still a bit more difficult. So I'm moving forward in that respect.

At the same time I have the impression that I'm moving backwards in respect to my endurance. I seem to be able to do less and less. Having to stop and take a long break to recover on a climb I've never ever had to stop before (going up the Potamia valley). Never mind, that's probably how building your endurance back should feel, for all I know of such things. I guess I will need yet a bit more patience. I'm not really complaining though, what I've already reached is wonderful compared to where I was a couple of months ago.


Posted by betabug at 18:59 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
16 August 2015

Transporting by Bike

Getting a new kitchen stove delivered
Transporting the new kitchen stove by bike

My old kitchen stove gave up its purpose in life lately. It started to short circuit whenever I turned it on. I'm not a huge fan of "throw it away", but this thing was beyond the trouble for me. So I bought a new one. But then... no car, and I needed the thing urgently, as we would be without anything to cook for the weekend. So the shop put the box on the bus (!) and we picked it up at the bus stop.

From the bus stop, it's about 600m to my place. The box isn't so big (it's one of those small stoves), but it's way to heavy to carry all the way. So that led to my trusty cyclocross bike (which currently features a rear rack for shopping runs) to serve as a cart. The setup was way too unstable to ride. Pushing it along was more or less ok, with some short moments of wobbling and threatening to fall. It reminded me a lot of what lots of people in African and Asian countries do: load up a bike full up, and push it along. The stove arrived home in one piece in the end, and cooking warm food resumed.


Posted by betabug at 11:47 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

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