Sunday, September 30, 2012

Trophee Cuisine

It is in fact that time again.  One of the two principal supermarkets in Switzerland  (yes there are only 2 chains Coop and Migros) have another legendary special offer.

I have already talked about the Coop Superpoints scheme

They have an additional regular scheme where you complete  cards with labels.  Once a card is full you can buy some goods at a special price.

 The current offer is pots and pans.   You get one stamp per 10 francs spend, so you see that you need to spend 300 CHF to complete a card.

There are a few disclaimers and conditions

Right now it is Fissler pots and pans.  Being a sceptic I checked.  Yes these goods are a fraction of the price that you can buy them in their native Germany or even England. Indeed a bargain.

So what is about to happen?

  • Coop will indeed lure many buyers into their supermarkets, buyers want those pots and pans at the super cheap prices
  • I predict they will make a lot of sales.  Fissler will be pretty happy
  • They did this about 2 years ago too.  What happened then?
  • Coop single handily decimated the new Pots and Pans market for about 6 months.  After their offer nobody needed any pots or pans for some time.

    I predict this will happen again, so condolences to other manufacturers.  You are basically screwed.

Fissler - Perfect every time
Fissler pots on Amazon

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lutry Harvest Festival

Subtite:Fete des Vendanges

At the end of the Summer the small village towns to the east of Lausanne along the lake take pride in celebrating the harvest.

Well, the harvest might be kind of notional or perhaps to celebrate the wine grown in this area.    Vaud Wine, or Swiss wine is not greatly known outside of Switzerland, but I can assure you, it's the natural selection of restaurants in this area.

What happens at the festival?  Well it's (thankfully) not exactly Wicker Man

 A nice quiet Lutry street

 Wait just a minute, who are all those people?

 Switzerland, well including this region of Vaud produces a lot of win

 Patisserie Vincent

 We saw the music

 We found the cigarettes

 But they were very rude

 I've never seen so many people in Lutry

 Agata is in / with good spirits

 One Food Stall

 Another food stall.  There were many.

 Soap or Cheese, we are not sure.

 The Lake at Night

First casualty of the night

 Some girls need to take a rest

 They still have bumper cars?

 And Giant toy stalls?

And apparently  the Break Dance

I have never seen Lutry looking so racy,  but it was definitely fun.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chain Slip Part 2

This time, I hope I am indeed writing the concluding part to the Chain slip story / saga.

On September 10th with a bevy of new parts I was convinced that my previously unridable bicycle post 'upgrade' was fixed.  However,  on the lowest 4 gears, ascending steep hills the chain would violently jump off the rear gear block, making the bicycle unusable.

To recap I had upgraded / changed

Front 52 Chainwheel
Front 39 Chainwheel
The small jockey Wheels
The Campagnolo C9 chain
The Rear Block

All components were new except for the Block.  I corresponded with the eBay seller.  His instructions

Well that is both non-understandable but more importantly did not work.  So, I ordered a cheap and heavy new Block from Wiggle and another chain.

By a process of elimination what would be the error?

 Old Block is removed.

Campag blocks are toothed wheels with plastic spacers.  My Shimano Dura Ace blocks are made of cogs with build in ridges.

 After 2 weeks this Wiggle ordered  Veloce block arrived

 2 new Chainwheels

 Original Campag Record rear mech showing 2 limit screws and on the left the fine adjustment nut

New Veloce block is mounted.

And Finally!

Well I've made 2 sample rides up the local, steep, very steep hills.  No chain slip!

The block is all steel so rather heavy, but it works.  I now have this old 13 year bicycle as a backup in case the primary bike is sick.  I'm so happy.

The eBay'd block re-assembled.  If I used paper  (I don't) then it could be a good paperweight.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

3 Strikes and You are Out

I am sure the naivety  I am about to relate has never happened to you,  most cautious readers

Strike #1
I needed to download (ironically) a security fix to the IBM AIX Operating system.  But on the client site PC, going to IBM's website was disallowed and a firm popup displayed in my browser screen urging me not to continue.   I followed the weblink at page bottom and emailed the person in the Security Brochure.  I then got a call from Corporate Legal asking me why I'd emailed a member of the Executive board of this 100 billion Franc per year corporate.

Always check to whom you are emailing :-(

Strike #2
Last week and this week I several times had the opportunity to work until about 04.00 in the morning.   It quite challenged the weekend .

My client's time management system that I was told to always complete, (in addition to my client timesheet, employer timesheet and employer hours record)  goes bananas when you work thru midnight.

So I always clock out at 23.50 and clock back in at 00.10

Seems now this is not enough and I'm getting 5 firm yet polite emails per day telling me to rectify the error I don't have.  I called help desk who either accidentally or on purpose gave me the name of the Head of HR on the Executive Board.

I didn't check the name, so after having having spoke to her (she was very polite) I emailed her at her request.  2 days and 10 more emails later I sent a less politically correct email.   My manager just asked me why I have been emailing the Executive Board level HR member.

Always check to whom you are emailing :-(

So the moral of the story is

When somebody tells you to email someone with an issue, concern or complaint, no matter how valid.  Well please check who you are emailing

Before it is too late

3 Strikes - Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Slow Fibre

Since my last report on August 29 2012 I am sad to report that the installation of our Fibre Internet connection  remains incomplete.

After September 18th I did not think the non_installation could get any worse.  On that day:

  • They had no wiring diagrams of our apartment
  • They had not made any attempt to contact our Building Maintenance company to find any details
  • They did not know the location of the Optical Termination Unit 
  • Our Apartment is on the 3rd floor, they would need a ladder for installation, they had none

Today September 26th:

They used this feeder cable to lay an optical cable in the same cable run as the existing copper connection

The Fibre comes in a long reel, but no attempt was made to find if its going to be long enough for our purposes.  I wonder

Unlike last time, this time they brought a ladder

And finally they did install an optical socket in our apartment.

So, what enormously large detail did our Installation team forget to mention (until the end)?

  • Yes, we are going to install a fibre socket in your apartment
  • But we are not going to connect it to anything!
  • We'll take the connection down to the Ground Floor
  • I mean not even to the basement level
  • Then we will route into the basement, and the substantial distance to the Optical Termination Unit, well, another time.

So who knows when the connection will be made.  They said they would first have to get the keys from all of our neighbour's  cellars .. hmm that's going to be easy then!   Plus how they will do a continuity test without involving me further, well it's a mystery.

So still, no fibre,  we are now at about 3.25 years of waiting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rain Enhances Play

There is nothing like the threat of a downpour of rain to energise me into cycling as fast as my short fat hairy legs will allow.

Certainly that and the prospect of 2 work related conference calls after 20.00 !! spurred me on home.  The sooner I returned the sooner I could see the wonderful Agata and stop for a glass of wine, and some Pasta.

So full speed ahead and back in just under 43 minutes.  

Another Personal best!

Average speed is above 25 Km/h with a 600 metre plus climb.  Heaven.

And this was the blood pressure immediately after the cycle

And how is the pressure over 60 days  (normally taken in the morning)

So all is looking good, well for cycling at least.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just one More Thing

I have heard it said that the new Apple iPhone5  has been the cause of some malcontent recently

Still,  the faithful have been standing in rather long lines the planet over

And it's all original Apple work, honest.

And the next big thing has a few speed bumps.

I have been trying to persuade Agata, the Apple Geek-lady in the family to take the plunge but so far she just  went to IOS6 and not the new phone.

To be fair, Switzerland, is normally last in line for Apple product launches.  Maybe in time for Christmas? 2012?

Until then I just smile and taunt Agata with this video.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stressed on Sunday

I'm very sorry to say that I felt 20 years younger this Sunday.

Why sorry? Because it reminds me of the IT  (Information Technology) game of about 20 years ago.  Then, as this weekend I have been busy computing, sleeping, computing, sleeping.  An not much else.

What did we miss?

The 23Km tour around Lausanne on bike, foot, or however you please.  We are so sorry to have missed you.

The night of the museums, where for a single small fee you can visit all the Museums in Lausanne throughout the night.  It's a sort of cultural party.

So as a solitary Sunday nightcap  (well at 1am) I broke open the emergency ALDI, screw-top, delicious, Cab Sav and drowned my sorrows.



Lausanne Night of the Museums 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Running in Renens

Renens is a small town slightly to the west of Lausanne.  It has been regarded as quite a modest  (read poor) neighbourhood, but times are changing!

New shopping centres  (well  I mean in Swiss terms quite good) and now  quite a well published Saturday run...

 inside the town.  So we thought we would participate.

The most difficult aspect was getting there on time.   After working most of Friday night it was all I could do to get up mid morning.

Race Report
It was a 4 lap race of 2.5Km per lap.   It turned out to be surprising hilly.   It was flat then hill, then flat then hill.  And then a long downhill back to the start.

I swear it was more uphill than downhill, but then that's impossible.   There were a lot of fun runners so since we started from the back section, well some time was spent overtaking.

A nice short race and a lot of fun.   Thanks Renens!

And here is the video report and Agata finishing

Marcus time  42:47
Agata time 48:00
Marcus drank twice (100ml) and ate nothing

Marcus Post Race report
Renens 10Km web page