Saturday, February 25, 2017

Don't throw it all away

Given the title I had wanted to start this posting with Don't Throw It All Away but really that song is far too morose and we'd like to chronicle a happy not sad situation.

The Driveway

Sooner or later, and with the usual caveats like: legality, and Internet connectivity, we plan to move from Lausanne.  This is our prospective new driveway.   It is 1.1Km long so we are already planning to measure and mark a kilometre section.   Morning Hill rep practise here we come!

Don't throw it all Away
What you see above is some plugs that Marcus has been saving for a little over 15 years.  As Engineers we can use the mantra We just knew that theywould come in handy

But more seriously in a house move you have to decide what to keep and what to discard.  Our full list of items for sale, at very reasonable prices is here

As you can see, the sale of these items is not going to pay even for the petrol costs of moving.  It's more about finding these items a new home rather than the dumpster.

One nice consequence is that things at home are beginning to look really Zen.  Ultra minimalist.   We like!

The Big 3
We are firm believers in the rule:  Don't change more than 2 of the following at one time

- Your Partner
- Your Job
- Your Home

You will be glad to hear that we are following this mantra obediently.

Learning Points

- Take our advice: Never change the /dangerous three/ all at once

- In our lives humility and realistic expectations are the key

- We spent over 1.5 years looking for the right country and place that matches our expectations and budget. Never rush these important life changes

- In the Marcus and Agata team, and we suggest in your team,  the most able person to tackle the issue challenge,  starts first,  with the partner as willing (not reluctant assistant)

Blues Brothers: Rawhide

Friday, February 24, 2017

Lausanne Motorcars in 2016

As a run up to the Geneva Motor show which starts on 9th March 2017 I have trawled thru the photographs taken in 2016 of cars in the local area.   Here are some of the Highlights:

And I uploaded a larger collection to Google Photos.  So they are (of course) at full resolution  here



Thursday, February 23, 2017

First Cycle 2017


Yes, today, with 12 degree plus outside temperatures in Lausanne Marcus and Agata just could not wait to get on our bicycles for the first time in 2017

But  2017 the game has moved on....

I have already espoused the mantra that Daily exercise is something that should be part of everybody's life. Being fitter and healthy is of course not just about exercise, but requires positive diet and lifestyle choices too.  However the no exercise viewpoint,  because you know I'm just so busy is really short-term ism.

In the longer term bad health renders you less capable to live your life happily, or to work effectively, and most importantly places you as a burden to society.  In Westernised societies, "we"  are then forced to [expensively]  put right your health issues, or at least try to stem or decrease the rate of your decline.

And everybody really knows this, however I still think it helps to say it.   People so often push these obvious statements to the back of their mind.

Upping the Game in 2017

Increasingly in Marcus and Agata's new vocation and lifestyle choice as Athletes leads us to realise that exercise norms even for us have ramped up:

It used to be that Daily Exercise was the norm, but somehow seasonal: At certain times of the year a Pause could be initiated due to the weather. Especially for example in rainy England.

This is no longer true.  The new fitness standard for many is

- Daily Exercise
- There is no off season.  You need to practise your sport or sports 365 days of the year if possible
- But say during the winter,  when Cycling may be difficult, partially substitute say Nordic Skiing or Indoor Swimming to take up the slack

Combination Exercise
The other trend that is necessarily developing is integrating your exercise into your day.  And please, I am really not talking about Standing Desks  (of which I am quite a critic).

But for example Cycling to Work, or Part Scootering to Work.  In other words replacing part of your daily travelling with Exercise.

The BabySitters
And so to prove a point, yesterday instead of driving to my babysitting appointment, Marcus cycled. First non trivial cycle of 2017.  Wahoo!

 In summary:  Keep Exercising!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

More Nordic Skiing in Vaud

Depeche: Walking In My Shoes

Over dinner last night Marcus failed to get sympathy from friends with a complaint that almost every muscle in my body seemed to be aching. I explained that the 2 hour plus Nordic Skiing session at lunchtime was quite tough today.

So more seriously,  we are grateful for all the Winter Sport opportunities that Lausanne and the environment here in Canton Vaud Switzerland provides. 

With temperatures hitting an all time high this week, I would say there is an obligation on all athletes to get out there before the big melt ...

Running Chalet a Gobet

Which route shall we choose today?

I know, perhaps I should try a little harder

And Nordics

 Today Marcus is not on Childminder duty

With Global Warming and Old Age to come, the time is now to get out and exercise.  Don't delay.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Geneva Motor Show: Who is With Me?

Geneva Motorshow Buildup

Even though with Palexpo halls being about 40 minutes drive away I could be considered a tad biased, I honestly feel that Geneva Motor Show is one of the best Motorshows of the year.

In fact I'd say the best

So what do you need to know?

- 09 to 19 March 2017 at Geneva Palexpo Halls, Geneva Switzerland

- The official website is here 

- The Exhibition halls are actually physically walking distance from the Airport

- Easyjet flies to Geneva Switzerland

- For dumbos, please remember Switzerland is not in the EC !

- Flights permitting you can easily fly in, Do a full day of Show and fly home

- For those with deeper pockets I'd spend a full weekend or even a few days at the dhow

- Obviously at weekends, or after working hours the show gets impossibly crowded.  Best avoid if you can

- Our home town of Lausanne is about 45 minutes away by Train.  If you were booking a hotel then you could consider Lausanne not Geneva, we'd like your business here, it's much more beautiful, and cheaper too.

- You can book online for 16 CHF here

- This is the Autocar preview here

- This is the EVO magazine preview here

If you are interested in cars, or in fact just looking at cars and not buying a new one  (far cheaper!) then I can heartily recommend Geneva.  What are you waiting for?

Monday, February 20, 2017

In Sweden

You look at what's happening in Sweden

If you can bear it the full speech is here

2 things appear to be quite clear

- No terror attack has been reported in Sweden on Friday as was stated by Donald Trump in his speech

- There was however a Fox News report about troubling issues related to Immigration into Sweden

I have to conclude that since no Swedish Government source can confirm any Friday terrorist attack and that no US Government spokesperson could confirm it either, then it seems likely that Donald Trump is indeed getting his World news update from Fox News.

You really could just not make this kind of thing up, could you.

To me what Donald Trump has directly spoken, and please check these other sources,  really qualifies as fake news

In Politics those caught in a lie are normally dismissed or resign.  Just ask Michael Flynn.

Socratic Paradox
Plato's report of Socrates "I know that I know nothing" or what I shall corrupt to "I know that there is a problem" is a phrase to describe Donald Trump's vision.

To Marcus it is undeniable and clear that the USA and much of Western Europe does have major systemic problems in regard to Jobs, Immigration, and I would argue false entitlement  (societally: we deserve it), and delivery  (Governments and Individuals will borrow to afford it regardless).

Listing problems is easy,  but fixing problems is not so simple, especially if

- the 'others' you have targeted as principally responsible, are not
- In fact a 'complex solution' to obvious problems is all that can be attempted.
- And that even complex solutions may not work
- And that nothing works quickly in the realms of International Trade and Tarrifs.

To take a lesson from the UK's BREXIT.  Extracting the UK from the European Union must be done (by law) in 24 months after article 50 is triggered.  Most UK and EU sources believe this is not time enough.

Simple solutions belong in the playground with the Children, not on the Interconnected World Stage


Sunday, February 19, 2017

This is the Modern World

The Jam: The Modern World

I shall be brief because Marcus is travelling back to Switzerland.

In fact I am writing this from the quayside at Dover, England.

But I am far from alone

If you click to zoom in you will see that on my makeshift table, my wonderful Lenovo U430 laptop is pumping Iron with  3.5MB/sec average download and 2.5MB/sec Internet connection.

To Marcus, simply astonishing.  I've told the story before, but whilst working on a contract in Krakow Poland, our entire Office of over 100 employees supporting a large Manufacturing plant had a private leased 0.5MB/second link to support the Intranet. And now I have 500 times the speed per employee, and over a mobile link.

Yep, Bonkers.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Body Positive

Louis Rossmann: The Body Positive

The back story is that I recently sold an Ultrasonic cleaner to a nice Swedish man living in Switzerland.  We both have a passion for computers and he mentioned that for Apple repairs I should seek out the YouTube channel of Louis Rossmann.

So YouTube then
We now have over 300 YouTube subscriptions with varying levels of content.   So it is no exaggeration that instead of tuning into [Internet streamed] TV channels; much of our daily learning comes from watching daily updates.

And I can do this whilst on the Metro, on my SmartTV or even on a spare monitor on my server, whilst I'm otherwise working. [As I am writing this article in fact!]

Louis Rossmann is most recently famous for his Apple repair tutorials.  And know how difficult it is to shoot and edit anything, whilst solo, and actually do something useful, his content is absolutely frikking amazing.

But the above video is all about something completely different.  In a nutshell taking time to keep in better rather than worse shape.  Daily exercise,  not eating Crap all the time,  for those without medical issues: not accepting obesity,  and not inventing medical issues!  Not rocket science.

So I subscribed.   It is great.  So great.

Friday, February 17, 2017

President Trump Holds a Press Conference

A Press Conference

Firstly, if you care about World Affairs then I'd recommend that you do subscribe to the White House YouTube channel.

Once subscribed you then have the option to watch some of the videos.

And, oh boy, the one shown above, unimaginatively titled:

President Trump Holds a Press Conference

is well, quite extraordinary, but not I feel in a good way.  I've watched and listened to American Presidents talk, and whilst I've not always agreed to what they were saying,  at least it was well structured and made Logical sense, as opposed to

- Unstructured
- Rambling
- Reeking of Paranoia

I cannot begin to say how shockingly inappropriate I found this display of quite frankly Ineptitude.   Quite honestly I hope that you don't believe my words and want to refute my statements with your own counter point.  So then please start at the hour (60 minute) mark, and watch the next 90 minutes,  because I f*****ing had to.  It was my duty as a citizen of the world, acknowledging that America's actions have a profound influence on my European world and in fact that of the whole world.

Bingo Card
To keep you awake, you can all play a tragic game of Bingo.   I wrote down some of the more unusual (yes, I am that diplomatic) parts of the speech.   Your challenge is :

  1. Gather some friends and family
  2. Watch the above video
  3. Tissues and Refreshments are optional
  4. Every time one of the following phrases from the speech is heard you can shout DONALD
  5. The winner is the person in your group that gets the most DONALD calls in first.
  6. Score Double points if you find more astonishing lines.  

You know what uranium is, right?

The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake, because so much of the news is fake

Flynn did nothing wrong

Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars

Nuclear holocaust would be like no other

I've done nothing for Russia. Hillary Clinton gave them 20 percent of our uranium

I’m not ranting and raving

I'm really not a bad person

I didn't divide this country, it was divided when I got here

There are two Chicagos - one is posh, safe; one is crime-ridden

I'm the least racist person, least anti-semitic person around

The whole Russian thing is a ruse

Just one More Thing
Here is the transcript  (annotated)

22.00 Update

The eloquent Trevor Noah now of the Daily Show adds his perspective on the speech too

Thursday, February 16, 2017

England: Just too Easy

Father Ted: Charades   (Too Easy)

Indeed,  today Marcus realised how living in the UK, as compared to Switzerland can sometimes be so, so, so easy.

 Marcus drove to a UK shopping centre.  Coming back and about to enter on the drivers side I noticed that the front wheel had what looked like 2 nails embedded into the tyre.

In such a situation

DONT remove the nails!   Our motorhome and it is typical does not have a spare tyre, and even if it did,  no scissor style jack would be strong enough (so they don't supply a jack either).

Instead using my excellent Smartphone and 3 SIM I googled Replacement Tyres sellers.

0.7 miles away, and open at 17.00.

I drove over

Less than half an hour later all was done.  I would expect that the replacement tyres and labour would be frighteningly more expensive and I'm pretty sure the number of shops in our home in Lausanne who can change commercial vehicle tyres is between small and zero.

So thanks GB.   You were great.  So Great.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


For many years Marcus experienced a solitary Valentine's day experience. I recall one particular close family relation who used to ring up and say (sic): "Poor Marcus, ..." . I used to think, don't give up your day job to become a Standup Comedian.
And so, now I'm happy to report, yes well Feb 14 2917, it was far from solitary, but that Agata and Marcus had another brilliant Valentine's day

7 deadly sins run #1

Our initial plan this week was to run at least 5 races. But we are really , #really busy this week.  So all I could encourage Agata to run today was a trivial 1/2 marathon.

Ragley Hall Tour

Marcus put in a bid to receive valuable Husband credits by booking a special Valentine's day tour of our local Ragley Hall.

Rumour has it that they can see our house from their house.  

Valentine Cream Tea

Cream tea, and it turns out a whole tower of additional goodies.   Rather nice.


Let me say, we shopped responsibly with restraint

And finally

When you finally have a partner that loves you back, and makes you feel great,  it becomes so easy to reciprocate.  We hope those reading this have found or will find their match forthwith.