03 June 2015
Μην προσπαθείς να πιάσεις την γάτα σου όταν βλέπει εφιάλτη
Αφού όλο κοιμάται...
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.
04 June 2015
Fixing the Mio Link Charger with... a rubber band
Not sticking due to the crappy magnetic solution
I bought a Mio Link heartrate monitor right when they came out. The
chest strap HR monitor caused me discomfort, the Mio Link was new, I was
willing to take the risk and try it out. For me it works, even though
there are two problems with it:
- it sometimes gets stuck and looses my pulse (I just restart it, this is a bit annoying, but no big concern to me, as I'm not any serious athlete), and
- the solution to use a magnet to ensure the contact between the device and the charger often results in the device not being charged, because I have to hook it to the laptop, and something bumps against the combo and the Link snaps out of the charger.
I think Mio's solution was to put in a stronger magnet into later
builds of the device. They should have just switched on their brain,
and redesigned for a click-in-charger that makes certain the charger
stays on. Magnets are doing "attraction", for electrical contacts you
need "connection". This state had annoyed me for quite some time now, so
today I switched on a select few the remaining brain cells of my own,
and came up with a solution.
As you can see in the photos, I'm using a rubber band to ensure the Mio
Link and the charger stay best friends for a while. The test is using a
wall wart with the charger and hanging up the whole set. When not in
use, the rubber band can stay there. It's easy to fit in the device
(connect as normal, hook the rubber band over the "open end").
07 June 2015
The Space Alien Swimmer Keeps Track
Swimming with GPS
For the last 5 weeks I've been on this new swimming adventure of mine.
Recap for those who just now tuned in on their TV sets (or for those
who were actually watching TV instead of reading on the Intarwebz):
The doctor ordered me to swim, for the muscles on my previously broken
leg to rebuild. Instead of just slapping around in the water now
and then, I decided to actually learn to swim. I would keep track
of how long I stayed in the water, and guess what distance I had
been swimming. After checking with a tool to measure on a satellite
image, I noticed that my guesses were way too low.
So I decided to use my (cycling) GPS to track one of my swims. There are
devices that are actually meant for this job, GPS watches that are fully
waterproof up to 50m. There are two downsides to these devices for me:
1) I don't own one, and 2) I swim breaststroke for now, and these GPS
watches need you to have your hand outside the water at least partially
(which works while crawling but not for breaststroke). What people do is
to put the GPS under a swim cap. That's what I did too now.
Basically my GPS is waterproof up to 30 minutes for a depth of 1m. Not
good enough, therefore I put it into a ziploc bag, and stuffed it under
a swimcap. No, I didn't own a swim cap, I went and bought one. Putting
on all that, plus my swimming goggles, I felt like a space alien. I
probably looked like one too, so I did not turn around to look at the
spectators on the beach when I went into the water, out of fear that
they were rolling about in the sand, laughing.
I was glad that my GPS emits a funny little sound when you start the
tracking, as I could not check the screen in this setup. I went into the
water and swam what to me appeared to be reasonably straight lines. I
swam a couple of times back and forth in the cove. No matter the GPS, I
enjoyed the swim, since the rock formtions in the water have a magical
look when viewed with the goggles.
Of course the GPS had a good laugh at my notion of "straight lines", I
basically zig-zagged around for a bit. My guess that a part of that is
the GPS signal jumping around too. In the end the distance was much
further than I would have guessed. The swim in the picture clogged in at
350m, I did a 2nd one at 250m. Probably I should substract some amount
for the GPS jumping around, but who cares. I will continue a few times
to swim with the GPS, also on the other beach where I am more often, but
I don't think I'll do this all the time.
13 June 2015
Mal wieder geschafft abzustimmen
Eine gewisse Ausfallquote
Dieses Wochenende ist in der Schweiz Abstimmungswochenende. Als
Ausland-Schweizer habe ich es diesmal wieder mal geschafft abzustimmen.
Das klingt jetzt etwas flapsig, aber tatsächlich gibt es bei mir dabei
eine gewisse Ausfallquote.
Das erste grosse Hindernis ist, dass mich die Abstimmungsunterlagen
erreichen sollten. Dummerweise gibt es bei meiner Post eine Verlustquote
von etwa 20% (sehr grob geschätzt). Also kommen ab und zu die
Abstimmungsunterlagen gar nicht erst an. Dann bin auch mal ich schuld,
dass ich die Abstimmungsunterlagen nicht habe, wenn ich nämlich
unterwegs bin (z.B. auf der Insel) und der Umschlag bei mir zu Hause in
Danach gibt es noch das Problem mit den Abstimmungszeiten, bei dem ich
wohl auch selber schuld bin: Die "elektronische" Wahl-Urne schliesst am
Samstag um 12 Uhr (Schweizer Zeit). Es kam schon öfters vor, dass ich
die Unterlagen zur Hand nahm, im festen Glauben, dass ich bis Sonntag
12 Uhr abstimmen kann. Puff, war nix, schon zu spät. Heute fiel mir
dann grade noch ein "hmmm, die Abstimmungszeiten sind immer so komisch,
lieber nochmal nachschauen". Da hatte ich dann noch 40 Minuten Zeit
abzustimmen, aber das reicht ja.
Als Auslandschweizer kann ich übrigens (versuchsweise) per Internet
abstimmen. Ist schon sehr praktisch. Es gibt auch 2-3 Versicherungen im
System, damit man überprüfen kann, dass die Stimmabgabe korrekt zum
Wahlsystem übermittelt wurde. Das ist natürlich schlicht und einfach
Blödsinn. Bei der elektronischen Stimmabgabe ist gar nichts sicher,
alles ist offen für Manipulationen. Spätestens sobald die Stimme auf dem
Wahlsystem ist, kann sie nach belieben manipuliert werden. Im Gegensatz
zum Wahlzettel aus Papier gibt es keine Möglichkeit der Kontrolle, z.B.
durch Nachzählen oder einer unabhängigen Kontrolle der Wahlzettel.
15 June 2015
[x] Swim 1 km
On Sunday I swam 1km. Which is pretty crazy, considering that basically
I've been saying "I can't really swim" 6 weeks ago. I've improved on the
"GPS under Swimcap" trick, by turning on distance alerts every 100m on
the GPS. I wasn't sure if I would be able to hear the beep, but in the
end the sea was very calm, and I could hear it well. Each 100m I counted
to myself how far I had come, and at 500m I stopped for a moment, then
turned around. I went one long line along the Mikri Vigla beach,
going towards some houses (probably in Kastraki) to stay my course.
After the 1km beep, I continued on a bit, rested for a moment in the
shallow water on the rocks, then headed back to the beach. I wasn't
really fast, 29m 10s for the 1km in breaststroke, but that's definitely good enough for
me. Looking how fast other people swim, everybody is obviously faster
than me, polar bears are 5x faster than me, which means I'll better
not go to swim in the Arctic.
25 June 2015
Back on the Bicycle after Five Months
It took some while
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.