Saturday, June 23, 2018

Olympic Run in the Sun

We missed it last year in 2017 and in 2018 we only found out about the Lausanne Olympic run at the last minute.    We subscribed!


There are no dossards for the event, only the requirement that all participants wear the provided T shirt.   Marcus reluctantly did so.  Reluctantly because it was almost 30 degrees C and my sensitive skin needing covering meant I had to wear 2 upper body layers.  I was really roasting.

The things we do for our sport.

My understanding is that the run is a celebration of the Olympic Spirit and Lausanne as Olympic capital.  As such the head of the IOC gave a little pre race speech.

There was also some dignitaries present.  In fact there is a big doo at the Olympic Museum just out of shot of this photograph.   I know, we were not invited!

A Glorious Run
The run started at an early 17.15 which meant many working people we know could not get away in time.  Nevertheless we were still a group of over 6 friends gently running together.  As you can see the scenery of Lausanne is not bad.

Agata is behind Kathy pushing the buggy with Dominic freeloading inside.  I mean at 3 he should be able to run 5Km right :-)

I got Dominic some Rivella after the race. After all somebody has to drink it.  Dominic said he was exhausted and that being a passenger is not as easy as it looks

They even laid on some free healthy food.  What a top class event

 Over 1000 people participated in this celebratory event.

We took Dominic to the Sandpit to teach him some Engineering post race,  he can't have it too easy right :-)

Thanks to the IOC . (International Olympic Committee) and Lausanne City and all the unpaid volunteers that helped make this fun filled run in the sun possible.

Friday, June 22, 2018

This Complex World

Whilst Marcus and Agata are officially on vacation we have got ourselves involved in a variety of projects in our home from home Lausanne. Marcus is having to work with Apple again.  Aargh!


We live in an increasingly complex world, and the Threatwire report, an offshoot of Hak5 is an example of the battles that Engineers need to understand and react against in a timely basis.

Arp Poisoning

In Marcus' worldview it is all I can manage to unravel complexity, when a trusted party behaves,  and it leaves: 

No Room for Mumbo Jumbo

I read a critique of Halotherapy in Science-Based Medicine journal that I follow.  It will take about 5 minutes to read the article, make up your own mind.

No Room for This Behaviour and Attitude

No Room for Bad Faith

In this  world we are all held back when we talk to people who use lying or obfuscation as their opening gambit.   Figuring out what is true and making detailed plans that work is difficult enough in this extremely complex world when people co-operate with each other.

But if those around you are intentionally misleading, lying, bullying, our reparative actions become just impossible.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Riding on my 20's

In the olden days, and I mean as late as 2010, the received cycling wisdom was that thinner and lighter tyres and tubes gave you a competitive advantage on the road.

Sure these tyres and wheels were more delicate, but anything in the pursuit of a more responsive, faster and physically easier to ride bicycle

Supercars vs SuperBikes
These two objects of desire have something in common, the sheer delight that you can experience from driving either.  It could be acceleration, cornering, stopping power, nimbleness, there are many factors.

But for bicycles there is a distinct differentiator.  Whilst the motorist can be a fat, ageing, argumentative so and so  (look at the ever expanding stomach of Jeremy Clarkson, Grand Tour as an example),   the cyclist must stay in shape if he is to exploit the pleasures of a superbike

GP Supersonic Tyres
I've been carrying a selection of tyres on our current vacation / temporary relocation here in Switzerland.  In particular a 

- 20 mm section
- GP Supersonic
- Race only recommended
- to 170 psi pressure
- 150 gram

Clincher tyre.   It's so fragile and thin that it would probably last about an hour of riding on the bumpy, podholed roads that now dominate the whole of the UK

But hey I am briefly in Switzerland, where the gravel road may be only found in the most rustic forest.  And on main, and even country roads, you will be met by a polished, manicured, smooth, gravel free road.

Something that perfectly matches the lightweight, fragile and ultra responsive tyre that I have been saving for some years now.

I carefully mated it to the ultra light Mavic R-SYS I have also been saving for only the smoothest and choicest of times

I can just say that Sandra and Marcus took to the Swiss hills around us today.  And armed with this slick Tyre and front wheel combination I climbed almost effortlessly up even the steepest inclines.  

The feeling of gliding down these ultra smooth wheels on ultra smooth bearings and wheels, well it really is an experience

And Finally
The evening was not to be complete without some kitty affection.

Good Times indeed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

That Football Season

As I pen this plea from very sunny Switzerland I first remark on the similarity between the England and Swiss flags, but for the choice of where the colours go.

What would happen if England is playing Switzerland.   Would fans and players and home viewers get as confused as Marcus?

Not Really Interested

One of the benefits of being in Switzerland during this critical time is that friends around me don't expect me to be supporting and talking incessantly about  the game or some game or some combination of circumstances that will propel the England team towards the final and then to win the Championship.

The Swiss in Switzerland are not great football supporters, but all the immigrants to Switzerland most certainly are. Car horn blowing seems to be a famous past-time when a particular country wins a game, sending that nationality into the streets of our Lausanne for example to blare out their horns ...

I am glad to see however that our local police have set limits on this kind of annoying shit!   After 60 minutes you will be officially nicked.  And that is official.

Only The Music

I struggled hard to find any positive purpose for the football but then I remembered the music.  Music and good cheer, they are certainly in plentiful supply in the streets of our local Lausanne as business's fall over themselves to help you watch a game.  In IKEA Aubonne this week they announced on the tannoy that you can watch a game inside the store if it is on.   And Swisscom is playing a good luck message when you call and wait for service.

Well there is just the smallest of chances that England will win, but really I would not place any kind of bet on it.

Three Lions: Coming Home

New Order: World in Motion

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Review: Sandisk Extreme GO 128GB

Marcus and Agata are doing some project work for a friend in Switzerland.

Part of the plan is to implement secure duplicated offsite storage. Initially this will be placed onto a USB key, I think differentially copied using Syncback

Later if data volumes increase the target could always be an external Hard Disk or preferably an external SSD.  I digress....

Over 4 years ago . (I checked) . I bought and have been delightfully happy with my Sandisk Extreme 3.0 USB key.  And so I thought the 2018 version: Sandisk Extreme GO 3.1 USB key would surely be better ...

 This is how it comes from the manufacturer

Quick Windows explorer copy managed only 120 MB per second.  A tad slow I thought ...

Using HD  Tune these are the reported characteristics of the key

I ran some tests and to my horror the speed on every test was slower than I expected.

On the new 128 GB key the write speed is always about 90 MB/second

On the old key is is always over 140 MB/second.  What a difference.  It is bonkers.

 Both keys are defined to Windows 10 Enterprise the same

 I tested it again to see I was not going mad.  Above is old USB key

By reformatting and increasing the Block Size I got it up to 92 MB/sec.  exFAT and NTFS filesystems were also tried.

Let me assume a nightly delta is about 1GB so this would take 1024/90 = 11 seconds to complete

Let me assume a full archive is about 20 GB so this would be 20480 / 90 =  228 seconds, whereas the older USB key would take only  20480 / 140 = 147 seconds.   What a difference.

I've had a succession of newer USB 3.x protocol drives and been disappointed that they all seem to be slower than my 4 year old Sandisk USB drive.   But I was certainly not expecting the 2018 generation replacement Sandisk product itself to also be slower.  Probably the one example I've had in years whereby a follow on product is just a tad slower than its forebear.   Disappointing.

Monday, June 18, 2018

General Guisan March 2018

Agata and Marcus love lucky connections.  In fact when life is enhanced by them it can make you feel very good indeed.   On Saturday we were finishing a significant Mountain cycle when we saw signs of the form . "MRGG" by the roadside.

We had stumbled across some signage for the General Guisan March,  a walking event held yearly in Vaud canton Switzerland to celebrate  General Guisan. Luckily it is held over 2 days so we have the evening to plan and the Sunday to enter, well, we presume .....

Sure enough, we found we could still enter.  So it was a late night Saturday preparation and then a 06.00 Sunday alarm clock start. There are quite a few courses from the family 7Km upto the maximum 40Km.   Guess which one we will be attempting :-)

Slow Walking
If we average 5Km walking up and down mountainous terrain we would be lucky.  At this speed it would take us 8 hours to complete the course.  Too long! And so: of course we will run it :-) .  Any time it is flat or down hill == run, and anything resembling an incline up == walk.

About to Start

Buying our Entries

This was the position in Meziers hall at about 07.30 this Sunday June 17th.  Nice and empty so we have their full attention.

As in last years you get a race number to wear and it is colour coded.  White means, you idiots chose the longest distance, 40 Km.

Our names are now on file meaning that we can get a printed entry which needs to be shown and stamped/ punched at each checkpoint.  Previous years used a manual form you had to complete.  Progress eh!

And so we start!

Agata at the start

We had just great weather and by starting early at 08.00 the sun had not yet arrived which mean that temperatures were only at 18 degrees C.  Yikes.

We do not take so many photographs this year but we remember all the greatly unusual landmarks as we pass them.

The first of many split points were other distances go another way to form a smaller loop.

As kitty enthusiasts we did indeed take along cat food for the race and this was the first spotted kitty.   We would see about 10 kitties along the way which we think is a rather small number.  Possible explanation is the burning hot sun that came out later.

First checkpoint.

Checkpoints tended to have Water/Sweet Tea/Bouillon Soup to drink and Apple slices to eat.   The guy was very insistent that the Soup with its salty content would help me in this hot weather, so we drunk and smiled.

We did actually each carry specialist trail running rucksacks with Liquid bladders.   This would have almost been enough to get around the course, perhaps with one refill.  So with these checkpoint drinking stops we hoped that we would not need to refill our bladders at all.

You know you are in the Swiss countryside when you meet actual horses, training facilities, and a variety of people on horses in the road.

We past this man in traditional i.e. old skool trekking gear.

As we plodded along we began to catch up other 40Km competitors who were walking.  They had about a 1 hour head start on us.

For this event the start time was flexible, it was not timed except by our Garmin watches, but our entry times to each checkpoint were recorded.

12Km was our first food stop.  We had brought a limited selection, because this is all we brought from England,  of Energy bars.  Tastes good though.

So many cute sights along the way.  Tortoise.

Miniature Ponies

Checkpoint 2

Checkpoint 3

When it is flat we run

I think Agata makes quite a fetchingly sexy tractor model

Checkpoint 4

Checkpoint 5

Canine assistance at the checkpoint

It does not look like much of a hill but nearing 30Km we found it so.

Checkpoint 6

Checkpoint 7 and only 5km to the finish.

Always time for a traditional Marcus with Swiss cows photograph

And so about 6 hours after starting,  we finished.

We selected the much more useful Wine Glasses over the Medals.   We will treasure them as a memento of this charming day out in our local Vaud.

We are quite chuffed that we managed this stroll the day after our half day Mountain cycle ride and we still have energy for tomorrow.  Marcus does have another sore toe . (like last weekend! ) but otherwise no injuries or sprains or difficulties to report. 

Official website

Guisan 2016 attempt