Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wahl Hair Clippers

Doing it yourself in today's post 2000 world is becoming a rare thing.

Most of us do not have the time (or even the skills) to sit down and even make small items for ourselves and [say ] the home. 

But in our family team the Marcus haircut is made easily possible using the

Wahl Hair Clipper

 It came in a small and practical zipped case

Inside we have the UK power adapter, unit, and some spacers that attach to give the different cutting length

So how does it work?

  • This is a Lithium Ion unit so recharge a few hours before use, then you can use it cordlessly
  • You will need a fantastic wife like Agata, who will do the trimming and cutting
  • You will need to like and live with a simple crew-cut hairstyle

And the advantages:

  • In Switzerland, more than England, the Hairdressers can cost a fortune!   The unit paid for itself in about 2 non-visits!
  • There is no queueing, booking, travelling  etc
  • You get to ask a friend/family member for special cutting requests, not a strange hairdresser in a shop
  • It's quicker than visiting a shop
  • You are a little more self sufficient

I'd thoroughly recommend Wahl products because they are a professional brand, their higher end product is very solid.

A cordless unit is manoeuvrable and easier to use

Lithium ion provides a strong battery source for even the longest single person cut. 

And the results:

Hair Clippers at Argos UK

Friday, November 29, 2013

Shop Till We Drop

Today, is Black Friday,  the traditional day after American Thanksgiving that ushers in the Christmas retail sales season in America.

Some American examples

In fact the US retail economy counts on this!

And as you can see the trend has made it across the pond to England  (obviously) 

And now even in Switzerland, my oh my.

Whilst Europe has had a shopping transfer frenzy spreading, some American friends expressed it all thus:

Times were, you made a list of Christmas presents that you and your family needed and bought them early and more cheaply on Black Friday  (and Cyber Monday). ... But in 2013 it seems we just have the opportunity to buy an excess of things that we just don't need.  

From expedient expenditure to mere Indulgence?  Or perhaps I am just getting old.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pass the Turkey Darling

I currently work with a US company and so today, Thursday November 28th is going to be a quiet one.

Today is Thanksgiving in America.

Since I used to live in the US I know something of the sentiment that occurs on this day.  First and foremost it's a holiday, a time where families come together, a lot of turkey gets eaten, and in many cases, the Christmas tree is raised and Christmas seasons formally gets into high gear.

In England we have Harvest festival which I suppose is comparable in the Christian faith. Thanksgiving in the USA can be regarded as secular  (i.e. thanks for the harvest), though it is a relatively short step to ... thank GOD for the harvest.

So here is a collection of thanksgiving perspectives ..

Google Thanksgiving

Everything but the turkey

What should an atheist say at Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Two journeys home

What will you see if you zoom in on this picture?

Why on the left you will see Marcus's TomTom heart rate belt and on the right Agata's Garmin.

Because we are both right when it comes to technology and also both stubborn we could obviously only agree to disagree on our exercise monitoring technology :-)

We can also both agree to export our activities into Runkeeper and let each other view our exercise attempts

Marcus cycled:
Marcus cycled in sub zero temperatures and windy conditions and still managed a respectable 25Km/h average.  He also managed to get his heart rate average up past 130 as a test.

Here is the normal home cycle heart rate.  You see I made a real effort!

And after cleaning the bicycle and a shower things return to normal.

Although the blood pressure stays low.  That's good right :-)

Over to Agata

As usual she upstaged me by running uphill for 6Km with a rucksack full of clothes and a 3Kg laptop.    What a hero!

So after all of this exercise, well we are ready to repeat it all again tomorrow.

In fact this morning in Lausanne ...

Yes, it is even colder today.  Just about -5 degrees.

 Number of steps today

Km walked+run

Nevertheless even better totals for today (Wednesday :=)

It is truly wonderful to be young and healthy.  

Long may it continue.


Skyfall (with a touch of Beethoven)

I hate to get all allegorical,  but hey, what's good for the Bible is good for Marcus.

What I can say is that for some time  (and I mean more months than days) I have been very unhappy with some of the very poor decisions I feel businesses and people I interact with have been making.

So to those who do not work in this environment, enjoy the stirring videos for what they are, and to people in the know, unfortunately I predict the future is bleak and ...


Theatrical Trailer

Monday, November 25, 2013

BBC Play of the Week:Well, He Would, Wouldn't He?

Quote: Every Friday we [the BBC] bring you a new drama from Radio 4 or Radio 3. Exercise your imagination with some of the best writers and actors on radio. Storytelling at its very best.

After reading this plaudit I would really hope that you will choose to subscribe to the

On Friday November 15th 2013 we were treated to a play called

Well He Would, Wouldn't He

This is a now famous quote from Mandy Rice Davies, who actually introduces the radio play itself.

This above phrase is now cemented into some sections of British society and for this reason, and also to refresh youngsters who may not be immediately familiar with the Profumo affair in the early 1960's, you should make sure to listen to this charming play.


By Charlotte Williams. In 1963, eighteen year old Mandy Rice-Davies found herself caught up in one of the most sensational events of the 20th century - the trial of Stephen Ward.

Peter Rachman

Stephen Ward

Christine Keeler

So please listen now  and be enchanted.

Mandy Rice-Davies
He Would, Wouldn't He

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Black Box

Black Box: EveryBody Everybody

In Engineering parlance a Black Box can be thought of as an abstraction, a device or subsystem that performs a function without the need for one to know or care exactly how.

And here we can see that Black Box is also a late 80's pop group.   Unfortunately the songs above are really the only notable ones and after their Dreamland album that was more or less it.   

So let us go back to Engineering.

These days, many people are interesting in owning, selling, talking about, or showing off their new Technological Gadgets.   From iPhones, to Laptops to SmartWatches.

However the majority of the population have no idea how these items actually work.  They are 'looked down on' as merely black boxes.

Next time you use one, or brag about it to your friends, perhaps reconsider the status in your mind of the  averagely paid Electronics Engineers (et al) who after 4 years at University, and maybe a decade working have then turned the idea  (the easy bit)  into hard silicon and made it work, reliably.

Electronics Weekly jobs

Ride on Time, 12" mix audio
Everybody Everybody, Rockapella Mix
Dreamland album

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sunday Sermon: So much Beauty in this World

Winter has at last arrived at home here in Lausanne Switzerland.  

But besides the nonsensical seasonal excitations   (of course I refer to the media inspired  Shopping frenzies),  Marcus and Agata have noticed a disturbing trend creeping across our neighbourhood.

On the path from our apartment to the local forest we find the dismembered remains of a motorcycle.

It has been there for several weeks now.

As responsible adults we make sure that all our PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottles are recycled.  However a change in the local law means that PET recycling is now must be the responsibility of shops and not the council.  

So late this Saturday we decided to walk to the Supermarket to deposit our cargo, the PET container box outside our apartments having been removed.

Agata smiles wonderfully but I can also see the graffiti.

A discarded ladies handbag

Some locals feel that the educational notices are better overwritten with spray paint

And that the stream is a fine place to dump their rubbish.

Even ALDI bears the scars of a mindless attack.

Q:So how can I comment?

 The forest is perfectly beautiful on its own.

A:If you don't have the imagination, or creativity, or patience to create and make a positive contribution.

Then try very hard not to make a negative / destructive one.

So much beauty in this world, dubstep
American Beauty, the end

Friday, November 22, 2013

Winter Preparations

Disclaimer: Marcus and Agata are not accredited healthcare professionals.  But we hope we are not idiots!

So, what preparations do we make for the winter season?

What you should not do

  • The Christmas season has already started.  However stopping exercising and frequenting office 'celebration' parties of  drinking and abusively eating. NO! 
  • Some people actually take a 100% exercise break over Christmas.  To us, again NO!  At most go easy, but there is no excuse not to take a good walk daily.  Certainly try to maintain a 10,000 step minimum

What you should do

  • Put away summer exercise clothes.  In Lausanne, winter weather temperature will normally be between -5 to +5 degrees Centigrade

    Before you head over to the likes of Start Fitness or Wiggle to order winter replacements, check what you already have!
  • It might be time to stop cycling as the snow starts.  But make sure you fully dismantle, clean, and hibernate your bicycle carefully.  If you don't have the skills then take it to a Bike Shop, they will be glad of the custom in the winter months.
  • Dress appropriately according to distance and temperature.  

    We use WeatherPro  to judge forthcoming weather for the next day and week
  • Long distance training (say 20K+) will need layered clothing. You will likely get hotter in the middle of the run (layer off), and then colder towards the end
  • Precautionary clothing: What happens if it suddenly starts to snow, or it gets dark, or you lose your way.  We carry rucksacks with emergency items in winter.
  • No Solo: Training with a friend means less chance of stupidity  (you can't both get lost in the mountains right?),  shared carrying  (you carry most of the food and I'll carry the hydration)

And of course the essentials:

Turn up the eating to offset the extra energy you will be burning

Take advantage of the long winter nights to increase sleeping

Thursday, November 21, 2013

GT-R is back

Our decision not to purchase a Nissan GT-R I some years back still echoes in my mind.

It was based primarily on the lack of folding rear seats of the 2012+ GT-R and a rather more important fact .... we take pains never to drive any car unless absolutely necessary.

It's far more environmentally friendly and way cooler to just run or cycle instead.

But now I am being taunted with GT-R pictures everywhere, this time in the latest Elysium film that I was told to review

I can also admit to having sneeked a peek at the latest offers on Swiss website Comparis

So compared with the Mclaren MP4  (dear Mclaren, we could be your best and most careful advocates after your MP4 donation, honestly),  it's a big old beast, but still just sooo attractive.

[Note to darling wife Agata: So far, self control is intact !]

Nismo GT-R November 2013

Cars of Elysium
McLaren MP4 Geneva dealer

Nismo GT-R, Ring, 07:09
Autocar Nismo first drive
GT-R 2014 Spec Revealed