Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lifting the Barr to Racism

The brutal truth of the matter is that in 2018 many people of varying colours and ethnicity are still racist.

However times have changed.  Because in 2018 even those who are being racist often know that it is wrong, and gone is the tacit support, or lack of condemnation of any public statements that condone, directly make racist comments, or lend support to them.

Was About US

Some Background reading / viewing

It was the Ambien

Ambers minute of fury

A Rosanne Debate (BBC)

Guardian: Part of the Job

Sleeping Pills and *rump is silent

So when I said that times have changed, let me say that yes Social Media and the 'Media'  are now quick to react,  but others sadly resort to Tu Quoque Fallacy.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Leaving No Food Uneaten

Behind this simple picture is a larger painful story.

In fact right now Marcus is practically unable to move having forced down not one but two large mugs of Hot chocolate together with Good Day Lactose Free Milk.

Yes Marcus and Agata are on the move  (again)

Leaving home, or a place that you call your home is always difficult.  But I think for us our sense of economy, precision and efficiency adds extra burdens.

No Food shall be wasted!  We bought it, we must, or somebody must eat it.

And so as we empty the Refrigerator we try to first find a home for food with friends,  but if they don't share our sense of wastefulness, we do!   We Eat.

Not Just Food

Our lotions and potions are **just exhausted**.  We feel proud to be leaving empty handed!

We've been trying to sell a 150 GBP+ router for weeks now and though it was advertised for a paltry 40 GBP, there were no serious takers.

Many advertisement views, lots  of timewasting questions, but nobody willing to pay under 30% of the new price for a faultless item.

Until today, I know, just when we are packing up to leave.  So economy overriding other important tasks we have had to measure and pack and weight the item.  And then a  40 minute walk to the post office and send all the details to the purchaser to pay.  What a palava, however we hope that we made good recycling of technology that we no longer use.

Adieu to all.  For now.

See You Again

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Delete My Data Please

Marcus and Agata are in the initial stages of a Decluttering / Streamlining project.  But not for ourselves.

Today I thought I'd concentrate on the detail but also the principle requirements.

Our client first needs to ensure that any Hardware we dispose of is either re-used or disposed of so that there can be no data harvesting from Information left on any storage device

Erase My Data
Marcus' normal paranoid rationale is Erase then Destroy

- Connected to a Windows / Linux Dual boot system,  Fast Format Drive, ReFs format
- Now copy over as many GB of Linux .ISO data as it takes to completely fill the Hard disk

I downloaded a set of 16GB files on our Infinitely fast Internet connection  (5 minutes) and wrote all over the disk

- Now reformat the Disk NTFS,  or if you can some very obscure Linux Disk format, ZFS anybody?

Destroy My Data
Now that the disk at best contains deleted Linux .iso data on an obscure File System format it is time to get physical



And Finally brutal destruction.  (Pictures are not shown for the Digitally squeamish, but essentially disassemble the drive itself and scour each platter with a sharp implement like a screwdriver edge so that it cannot be read

NB: A similarly destructive procedure is also used for Tapes.


Whilst I am happy to talk about the process.  The who and the where and the when and the why cannot and should not be revealed.

Discretion is key after all.  Clients want to know absolutely that

- Their Data is destroyed

- You never once looked at it

- Your word is your bond and you did what you promised

And with that
If you need Digital Streamlining,  Decluttering, Office transformation, or just plain Data Destruction, do give us a call,  we will be happy to help, discretely, efficiently and professionally.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Cyclotour 2018

This Sunday, only a day after our somewhat draining Gruyere running  Marcus and Agata are proud to say that we managed a

188Km Cycling Day

We were so glad that we could participate in the annual cycle around Lausanne, Lake Leman called cyclotour   It was different to previous years in that we had agreed to only formally take part in a small part of the course, and with friends who would be taking it easy.

In particular the wonderful Heather who despite all attempts at conversion refuses to use any but regular pedals and training shoes.  This is despite the heartfelt conversion stories to clipped pedals from all friends around.

We had to get up at some un-natural  5.something o'clock and cycle down to the start

Most of the team is assembled, just Ann is soon to appear.  Carsten is giving us a pep talk.

Now they have moved the start to Ouchy instead of the Old Vidy and also have differently timed starts.  This means no long queues as in the past.   

And less than 2.5 hours later we have made the journey from Lausanne Switzerland to Evian France.

Initially is was a little overcast and spots of rain not only threatened but descended.  Thankfully it was at worst spots and nobody got wet at all.   If anything overcast is quite welcome as we don't want a repeat of the 30 degrees C temperatures from the last few days

Heather is almost swooning with her fantastic time.

I have a selfie with Heather and notice that we are all wearing the Race jersey.  The race rules say this is mandatory,  however clubs typically ignore this mandate and cycle in their team kit.   Because of this race organisers have difficulty seeing who is really on the race or not.

Evian To Geneva

This turned out to be about 53Km and we did it in a very respectable sub 2 hour timeframe at a decent 28+ Km/h.  Initially only Marcus and Agata were going further but we were quite delighted when Mark decided to come and make it a trio.

We left Mark at Geneva train station.

And then there were two

Geneva to Lausanne

With just the two of us, and as with all the other stages preferring not to join any peleton  (that's just lazy and cheating right?)   we set off towards Lausanne.

Actually getting through Geneva itself was much improved:  Many sets of traffic lights are set of flashing so pedestrians and motorists alike are more aware that there is a Cycle race going on.  Hopefully then they get out of our way.  There were also many marshals in the Geneva area.

First water stop was at Nyon.    A quick top of of fluids, toilet stop and we set off again

We made another water stop before finishing the course near Aubonne.  Necessary because the sun had come out strongly and Marcus had emptied his first water bottle.

Actually this means for the 188Km I consumed about 1.2 litres of fluid.   Pretty minimal if I say so myself.

Post Race   aaaah

We arrived to Ouchy where of course we were in the company of other participants that we knew.  Very charming.

The Long ride UP home

So when you are rested and also full of pasta cycling a constant 7Km uphill is not so appealing.  We could have taken the Swiss metro but we don't anymore have the Half Price travel card.  So this would mean a charge of 16 CHF  (12 GBP0 just to get home and we can use this money more usefully for our Wine and Ice Cream fund.   We cycled :-)

And So
After a solid day of exercise, in stunning weather, with no injuries or accidents,  we reflected on our day

Good Company,  Great Weather,  Grand Times.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Gruyere Running 2018

So yes, it is time for the yearly Gruyere Running.   This is the 6th edition of the run.   How did Marcus and Agata get on


In retrospect an absolute disaster!  Marcus did not have breakfast and we were all too busy getting race numbers for tomorrow's Cyclotour around the lake and then distributing them to other people.

As a result Marcus started the race de-hydrated.  I know, how stupid is that.  I found this out because at Km 3 I was forced to consume my Race Gel that I had calculated I would take at Km 8.  It was an emergency 


The whole of the run was charmingly rustic / rural.  Meaning its in a very villagy area,  we love Gruyere anyway for the cheese, even the presents looks and probably are sourced from local providers.  Really fantastic

Oh and you can sign up on the day, meaning that in the case of bad weather you can just stay in bed or decide not to participate

Today however it was anything but cold and this would come to haunt Marcus in the race

Race Report

So I started from the back which is always a pretty dumb thing to do, especially if at Km 3 or thereabout there is a single track part which the competitors I was behind were walking.

Practically speaking then it is almost impossible to catch the front runner since they will not have walked increasing their lead.

So at this point I got a little grumpy and decided to go for it.  Actually doubly stupid as I realised that I had started somewhat dehydrated and in this heat things were rapidly going downhill

KM 4 - 12
I really went for it and thought that I was really moving past many people with moderate effort

KM 13 - 20
What a disaster!  After a feed station around KM12 at the end of a big hill I was not expecting  (because I did not study the race profile ... idiot!)  I was basically done!   I managed to keep going on the flatter sections that represented this latter half of the race, but naturally most other people were accelerating and did so, flying past me.

I made up some time on any descent where by some miracle I was always quicker than other.  Remarkable since native Swiss normally descend like rabbits and my UK roots mean I am still a little wary.

KM end
There is a hill at the end.  I waddled up it like a pensioner on their last legs.   I was overheated,  dehyrated and a little cross at my slowness. Still the majority of the race was great, so beautiful that for a time I actually switched off the Musical entertainment  / assistance just to take everything in.

I Finished

I was initially okay but then due to lack of water I felt exceptionally tired.  I had to lie down.

Marcus Recovers
Surprisingly after seeing my darling wife, she was as I suspected only minutes behind me, and drinking some liquid I made a complete recovery.  I am smiling and feeling fit again. How about that then

 One Last look Around

Husband, take me home.  And so I did.

Tomorrow rumour is that we might be cycling upto 180Km around the Lake, in the yearly Cyclotour race .  So an Early night I think  (although it is midnight now and I have to rise at 5am hmm).


Yep,  too slow gromit!!  > 15 minutes slower than last year! The Garmin graphs are not helping as they are not baselining well but I don't have time to correct this now.

Official Gruyere Running

Saturday, May 26, 2018

So YouTube has Shortcut Keys

Marcus and Agata spend a lot of time in front of a monitor or TV screen watching video.  But increasingly practically none of it is live broadcast TV.

In fact I just cancelled my current 150+ Internet TV channel subscription which saves me over 100 GBP per year

What has replaced live TV programming?

a) TV programming via BBC iPlayer or Channel 4

b) YouTube

And to speak of the latter I just bumped into this helpful article about YouTube hotkeys

Of course there are hotkeys.  Why didn't I check this before!


Click on the above video and try out number 1-9 and the right arrow or l (for Lemon) key  to seek forward 5 secs or left arrow to seek back.

Absolutely fantastic.

These shortcuts will save me soooo much time with the number of videos I watch daily.  How about you?

And to celebrate, my favourite video of the moment, one that you should of course definitely not skip any parts of.

John Mayer: New Light

Friday, May 25, 2018

Not Dog Walking

When a friend asked us to take care of her gorgeous Australian Shepherd dog, Agata and Marcus thought


In order to save Petrol, money, the Environment (et al) we made efforts to cycle from home but this resulted in Marcus looking rather strange.   But hey,  why ruin the habit of a lifetime :-)

Just next door we appear to have the absolutely stunning views of the Swiss Vaud vineyards against the backdrop of Snow capped Swiss and French mountains.

Saffy is now fully grown so she has a new super comfortable harness to which we attach a traditional yellow elasticated lead that wraps around Marcus's waist so we can run together handsfree.

It never ceases to amaze me the quantity of expense and also weird vehicles you see on Swiss mountainsides.

 Back to that view again

 Today it is over 25 degrees.  Saffy is absolutely boiling

 It might be for my toursistic benefit but I find a local council operated Cleaning lorry.  I do like out mountainsides clean.

 There are an infinity of water troughs around however this one is Eau, not potable: not drinkable.  In an emergency we would drink from it, today we'll find drinkable fountains.  Keep running

 Agata leads the way again.  I would recognise that silouhette anywhere.  I like.

 A brief rest at the halfway point, obviously for Saffy's sake and not her unfit running companion

 Time to turnaround and run back

Keep on running.

And so another exhausting day is complete.  We are all happy  :-)