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The bug travelling around in Greece (and maybe even further sometimes?)
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17 April 2012

It's Spring

Can't be mistaken, can it?
Naxos in spring, complete with sheep

So, the ADSL works really well here. It's only 2Mbit, but what's more important for my work style, the ping times are good. Also there seems to be no hidden congestion somewhere uplink. Biggest grief is that somewhere in my setup with my wifi repeater upstairs, DNS lookups sometimes take a long time... but only sometimes. Not annoying or often enough to make me track it down.

What else? It's spring here. The island is green. I mean, really green. When we arrived, we got a good gush of heavy rain (I managed to get under cover just in time). Then we had some sunny stretches. This morning it was so warm, it almost felt like summer. There was no wind either, which changed around noon, when the wind started. Now for some hours it's really storming. Windows and shutters slamming, it feels like the wind will tear things off. Well, it has calmed down a bit again the last hour or so, so no worries.

When we arrived, the wonderful bakery in Naxos town was out of bread. We got bread from a "normal" bakery, which got boring real fast. This morning we went to town and got the real thing, what a difference. Combine this with some thick-skinned local oranges and dairy products... I'm happy.

Posted by betabug at 21:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
24 April 2012

First Swim 2012

Too cold really
Little cove on Naxos

It was last Sunday that I had my first swim this year. After many colder days and that storm on last Tuesday, it had gotten a bit warmer. The sun was out and it felt much more like spring, with a tiny little bit of summer. Still, we went to this little cove, where we were protected from the wind on 3 sides. It was beautiful.

Basically I had my first sunbath and a little dip into the water or two. The water was still too cold for my taste. Well, refreshing, if you like. Looking back through the years on this blog, there were some years when my first swim was late in the year, sometimes even in mid-July. A bit like the other extreme, being early this year.

The Lumix had its first bath in the sea as well. It held up well. Some of the pictures look good, but since underwater pictures are in a large part a matter of luck, no comparisons can be made to the Pentax. In any case, I didn't take it into the water for long.

Posted by betabug at 22:43 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
02 June 2012

Work and work and... Naxos

Island life again

Here I am again in Naxos, arrived yesterday evening with the afternoon boat. The boat was full, but few foreign tourists, Greeks had a 3 day weekend. For once, I didn't much move around on the boat, neither much enjoying the air and the see. Instead I was reading. Now I'm here to work (lot's of coding to do), for which the quiet life here on the island is just the right thing. Again there is also good quality Internet access in the house here... which is on the one hand good for looking up work related stuff, on the other hand it's a distraction.

The other work plan is photography. I have something of a concept what I want to do. Actually that is saying way too much. It's more of a rough aesthetical idea of what kind of picture I'm looking for. It's not like I know exactly what pictures I want to take or where, but I have a bit of a feeling how I want the pictures to look like. Going from that idea I'm now moving around, trying to align my "concept" with what I see. Who knows, it might take me somewhere in the end.

Posted by betabug at 21:49 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
19 June 2012

Airplanes now with "integrated literature consoles"

ebook on plane
Bookeen ebook reader on plane

On my flight to Switzerland I was reading with the ebook reader. After a while I got bored holding it in my right hand, then my left hand, then back to the right hand... The table was too low to place it comfortably, so I had to find another solution.

Good for me that airlines these days have "integrated literature consoles" in the backside of your front seat. These integrated consoles are of the "bring your own ebook reader" variety, but apart from that they work fine. How do they work?

The result is a very relaxed and healthy reading posture, due to the ergonomics of having the reader nearly at eye level and having your hands free.

Posted by betabug at 16:27 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
12 August 2012

Es wurde zu heiss, also besuche ich einen Esel

Wir verstehen uns bestens
Me and the donkey (on the left)

Die letzte Woche in Athen war einfach zu heiss. Ich habs ja gern warm, aber es war zuviel. Die Hitze stört beim Arbeiten bei der Konzentration, oder sonst mache ich die Klimaanlage an, aber die ist auch lästig.

Was gibt es also besseres, als in die Sommerfrische zu entfliehen? In diesem Fall bin ich wieder nach Naxos. Im Haus gibt es Internet, so dass die Arbeit auch nicht leidet. Die Temperaturen sind viel, viel niedriger. Hier ist es genau im angenehmen Bereich, zumindest im Haus.

Nach der Arbeit habe ich gestern und vorgestern einen Spaziergang zum oberen Dorf gemacht. Dort hab ich dann einen Freund wiedergetroffen, den ich seit letztem Jahr nicht mehr gesehen hatte (im Bild links). Als wir uns kennenlernten war der Esel zuerst eher abwartend. Dann hat es ihm aber gefallen etwas Gesellschaft zu haben. Inzwischen will er mich nicht mehr gehen lassen, so alleine auf dem Feld ist es ja auch langweilig.

Posted by betabug at 08:31 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
05 September 2012

Donkey Ball and Tombola

Speaking of donkeys...

Speaking of donkeys, this Saturday evening there is a "Donkey Ball" on Naxos. It's an event that's part of an initiative to support donkeys on Naxos. Here, like in most rural parts of Greece, donkeys can be seen less often. They have been replaced by trucks and motorbikes in their traditional work roles.

But still we like to see them around, even if it's only to have some intelligent companions who don't talk so much (donkeys are pretty intelligent beasts). So the "donkey ball" is an effort to try to get some money collected to support the situation. As you noticed, I'm not fully aware of all the details (yet). But there is a tombola with some prices to win. Rumors has it that the first price is a real donkey. No matter if that's true or not, I will be there to take my chances!

Posted by betabug at 20:20 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
06 October 2012


Hacking till the drinks are on fire

So, here I am, on the other corner of Europe. Together with graffic we flew via Madrid to La Coruna and then drove with Wu to his place in Lugo. Yesterday we started "sprinting" on our customer's pyramid app. Sprinting, what's that? It means that for some days we work really concentrated on programming this thing. It also means that for once we're working in the same room instead of cooperating over the net.

It's really great to work with these guys. Yesterday r0sk was working with us too. We got tons of things done already, despite "wasting" some hours at the start having a meeting about what to work on first. Now the sprint will continue till Tuesday and then we'll have our queimada and we'll be relaxing in the countryside of Galicia for a while.

Posted by betabug at 11:40 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
16 October 2012

Back from Spain

Good times, food troubles

So I'm back from Spain. We (graffic and me and the friends from Spain and Portugal) had a great time there. There was a lot of work, see previous post about the sprint. Also we had the time to see a bit of Galicia, with a landscape that quite often reminded me of the lower parts of Switzerland and a wonderful coast (that didn't remind me of Switzerland at all).

The last few days there were different though. Graffic and me choked on some bad seafood (probably, you never really know) and spent a day in bed. We both recovered in short time. Apart from some streaks of exhaustion and a picky stomach, nothing remains. We didn't let it overshadow the fun and good times we had there. Meeting our friends was the best of it all!

Posted by betabug at 17:13 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
29 April 2013

Athens - Patra by Train (and some Bus)

The main train line is interrupted

To go from Athens to Patras, there used to be a great little train line. It was a bit old and slow, but it worked just fine. Then they started to dismantle it and building a new one. The old one is gone from Kiato to Patra, but the new one isn't finished yet (and due to the crisis, building it continues at a snails pace).

But it's still possible to go part of the way by train and have a continuation bus service by the train company. Advantages: - No need to go to the horrible KTEL bus terminal where the Patra busses leaves (it's horrible when you're there and it's complicated to get from there to the city center, and horrible especially at night). The central train station is connected to the Metro system. - You can enjoy a fast train ride till Kiato. - I found the bus for the continuation service to be more modern than most KTEL busses.

What we did is to go to the central train station (Stathmos Larissis, Larrisa Station) and buy our tickets and get our reservation there. The timetables can be found at the Trainose page for the Proastiakos . Scroll down to the bottom and open the last PDF link. Yes, the PDF is in Greek, but I guess it should be possible to figure it out. At the time of writing, I see 6 connections per day.

In Patras we got the tickets and reservation to go back to Athens right at the train station. The reservation cost nothing, the ticket was 17 Euro.

Posted by betabug at 09:27 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
03 July 2013

Vacations... Amorgos

Enjoying the slacking

Yesterday night we arrived on Amorgos. Wait, make that almost this morning - the boat arrived at almost 4 in the morning and it was almost 5 till I could shut my eyes.

Now I got some breakfast. I'm sitting in a cafe in the shade and the slacking can start. It's been years that I had a real vacation. There will be time for swimming, for walking around and seeing things and for just doing nothing.

Posted by betabug at 12:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 July 2013

The Easy Life Continues

In the shade and the sun

Surprise, surprise, I woke up and was still on Amorgos. The easy life goes on. Today with swimming at Agia Anna, where the bus takes you down serpentines and serpentines to a rocky beach. Since it was noon I was also working on my tan. Also when you swim out a bit, you can see the famous monastery.

Yesterday I did some sketches, today one more. The Hora of Amorgos is very beautiful, so there would be lots of things to draw. But then I'm slacking. Just sitting there and looking at it is easier. I also met some friendly cats. The one in the pic was only sleeping though, no matter what happened around it.

Posted by betabug at 18:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
06 July 2013

Back to work... on my tan

Ρεμάλι μ' είπες μια βραδιά...

I'm sure there are a lot of interesting places to find on this island, hidden gems of places to discover - but I'm not having any of it. I'm trying hard to get the maximum slacking I can fit into my vacations and work only on my tan. Besides, the Hora of Amorgos (where we're staying) is really beautiful, both in spirit and looks.

Yesterday evening we happened on a festival of young musicians from the Kyklades and Dodekanissa. We got a table close to the stage at the cafe where we have our breakfast, listened and watched. Some very good music.

In other news we've been to the place in the picture every day. It's the Agia Anna beach (down below the little church). Behind that rock at the top lies the famous Monastery. Those clouds you see there were moving across the sky at great speed, quite the spectacle to watch while laying on the rocks, sunbathing. I think you can see how clear and blue the water is.

Posted by betabug at 16:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
08 July 2013

Hausgemachte Limonade im Ilios

Geniessen auf Amorgos

Jeden Morgen hier auf Amorgos sind wir ins Cafe Ilios gegangen. Dort haben wir auf dem grossen Platz unter einer Pinie, einer Platane und einem Eukalyptus gefrühstückt.

Heute sind wir zu Fuss zum Kloster, auf dem alten Pfad - den Rest der Woche waren wir eher faul mit dem Bus unterwegs. Das Kloster ist eindrücklich, es hängt in den Felsen. Innen kann man eine Kirche besichtigen. Die Treppe dorthin gibt einen Eindruck, wie eng, steil und verwinkelt es im innern des Klosters sein muss.

Nach dem Kloster sind wir zu Fuss zum Strand und von dort auch wieder rauf zur Chora. Vom Strand waren wir 53 Minuten unterwegs. Jetzt sitzen wir wieder im "Ilio" und trinken hausgemachte Limonade. ξ

Posted by betabug at 18:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
13 July 2013

Vacations II - Return to Bike Island

Sometimes the sequel gets it right too
Enjoying the view on a ride

That week on Amorgos was great. Only thing I would change on the next time: I'd definitely walk everywhere. No more bus to the beach (it's an easy walk anyway, and then you can go any time and come back when you want). They also have a good set of ancient walking paths, connecting all the villages together. So I'd do the sightseeing by walking too. Even in summer, with the wind and being high up on the mountains, it is ok to walk there. Just bring enough water. I definitely recommend staying in the Hora - it's by far the nicest village, and one of the nicest village of all the Aegean islands.

Now I'm back on Naxos, and after 2 days of half-working, I'm back to another week of vacation mode. It's quite different, as I have net access. Mostly I cycle and I go for swims. Sometimes both of these things combined, ride to the beach and back.

Since it's summer, the idea for cycling is to use either the morning hours or the evening hours, when things are a bit cooler. For going to swim, evening hours work better for me. Otherwise, both systems are great, since I love the landscape both in the early morning and late afternoon/evening light. What doesn't work so well is the really long rides: when you want to do more than 4 hours, either you start to run into the mid-day heat, or the night. I'm thinking about ordering a stronger bike light and see how night riding works out.

Coming back from swimming

Posted by betabug at 11:29 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
31 May 2014

Travel May, Photo Shoot, and Summer is Here

Filling my minimum quota of one post per month
Going to fly on a turboprop

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.

Posted by betabug at 21:43 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
21 October 2014

Mal wieder in der Schweiz

... und es hat gar nicht gross geregnet
Pack den Tiger in den Koffer (oder so)

Anfang Oktober war ich wieder mal in der Schweiz, zu Kunden- und Familien-Besuch. Böse Zungen mögen jetzt behaupten, dass es da bei gewissen Kunden auch keinen grossen Unterschied mehr gibt. Unter anderem gab es einen Gesellschafts- und Pingpong-Abend und gemeinsames Arbeiten im Café.

Wettermässig hatte ich Glück, Regen gabs gar keinen und kalt wars auch nicht. Da ich nicht zum Velofahren kam, war ich zweimal joggen. Das hab ich schon ewig nicht mehr gemacht und der entsprechende Muskelkater hat mich dran erinnert.

Der Hinflug war nicht so angenehm, ich sass auf der Sonnenseite und hatte vergessen im Sicherheitsbereich des Athener Flughafens noch eine Flasche Wasser mitzunehmen. Das gab dann eine durstige Sache und meine Ohrstöppsel hatte ich auch vergessen. Der Rückflug war umso angenehmer: Den besten Platz beim Notausgang erwischt, mit 1.5m Fussraum und zwei Fenstern. So lässt es sich dann schon reisen.

Posted by betabug at 16:51 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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