Fireball in the blue sky!
I saw a fireball in the sky in broad daylight. Thursday, February 25, 2016 my associate (business partner) and I were heading for France sitting in a car (me in the passenger's seat) when my associate cried out, "look!"
I clearly saw a yellowish fireball in the sky flying across the sky. We don't know where it landed and we did not hear any sound so I decided it was rather small object and it had probably burnt out by the time it touched the ground.
A meteorite (if it had reached the ground before completely burnt out), a.k.a. a shooting star in the night but it was observed at daytime against the blue sky.
It was my first time to see such a meteorological phenomenon at daytime! Beautiful!Business project
Tomorrow we will continue to do further preparation for the small business. The water finally got ready at our company. The water was there but we could not open the valve at the meter as water leaked when we opened the valve. Today the water service men came to tighten the leaking nut at the meter in the cellar. Small thing but now we can flush the toilet, hahaha!
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A fireball in the sky]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/25(木) 19:31:43|
I don't think, unfortunately, that I am going to be there in May but it does not stop me from writing about the stages held in the Netherlands.
Because the peloton (riders will fly to Italy so they are least affected by the remote opening stages) must make a gib transfer from the Northern Holland to Italy, the schedule is not normal. It takes a whole day for all those team cars, trucks and busses, some media people (most of them also fly, I guess) and others have to drive. They will drive through Belgium, Luxembourg (tank and buy cartons of cigarettes here), France or Germany and Switzerland to get on the other side of Alps.
To accommodate this a day long transfer, the first stage is on Friday in Apeldoorn as opposed to normal Saturday.
The stage structure is also not so normal. There is a short time trial on Friday. The second stage takes place in a town not far from Apeldoorn from Arnhem to Nijmegen. Then the third stage goes from Nijmegen to Arnhem. The courses of the last stages are different.
Anomaly does not stop there. Two stages are about 190 km long. Aren't they too short considering the fact that they are riding on a flat area of the country known for its flat profile. What does it mean (the fact that those two stages are seemingly too short)?
It looks like whoever wins the short time trail may keep the leader's jersey for some days unless breakaway riders successfully make it to the finish line.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Giro d'Italia 2016 Dutch stages]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/24(水) 23:56:08|
- Bike Races in the Netherlands
Boucles du Sud Ardèche (Saturday 27. February)
Fumiyuki BeppuJuli´n Arredondo
Drôme Classic (Sunday 28. February)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Saturday 27. February)
Boy Van Poppel
Marco ColedanMarkel Irizar
Niccolo BonifazioStijn Devolder
KBK (Sunday 28. February)
Boy Van Poppel
Jasper StuyvenJulián Arredondo
Two races held in Southern France are too far away from me so I won't be able to be there. From looking at the rosters for these 4 races, I figured out that two riders after finishing Drôme Classic in Southern France will fly to Belgium to race next day. I think Julián Arredondo won't be excited about coming to Northern Europe at this time of the year when the temperature could go as low as freezing cold. I am sure he like hot weather than cold one.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2016 and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2016 Part IV]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/23(火) 22:44:47|
- Bike Races in Belgium
Now I know why that building is still standing
An article that appeared on February 22nd, 2016 (http://www.wort.lu/en/luxembourg/49-boulevard-royal-the-last-building-standing-56cace3a1bea9dff8fa734d4) finally solved the mystery of the conspicuously out-of-place lonely building in the middle of a construction site.
Now I know what happened, why it happened.
The owner of the building refused to be cooperative. Limits is late, again
A new update. It will be late, again. Now they are predicting that the (initial) delivery will be made in April (hopefully).
Now Mr. DCR (http://www.dcrainmaker.com/) will be laughing his ass off. He was right.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The last man standing and LIMITS power meter.]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/22(月) 20:21:18|
- Bike Races
SRAM RED 10-speed Wifli rear derailleur
I was looking for a SRAM Wifli rear derailleur (midium cage) for some time. Two optoins: 1) SRAM Force grade and 2) SRAM Red grade (both 10-speed).
Discount prices at some on-line shops were under €90. Red derailleurs were above €220. I really wanted to buy a Red one.
10-speed systems are still in use widely around the world but road 10-speed systems are on their way out. SRAM only produces Apex grade 10-speed now and others have been discontinued. 11-speed systems are in.
As I have repeatedly written, I don't have any intentions to upgrade to an 11-speed system in near future. If my Zipp 404 rear wheel goes broken, I may consider this option. My Zipp 404's rear hub belongs to an older generation and it can not be converted to 11-speed system unless the rear hub is completely replaced.
I accidentally but intentionally won an auction on ebay. I won a new SRAM Red rear derailleur midium cage. The price was not bad. I won it by 1 cent (1/100 of an euro) according to the 'bids' history. I have already paid for it. I hope I will receive it soon.
Now I will keep my eyes on a Wifli 12-32 cassette. It should be ready by the Tour de Fracne 2016.
As numerous references have been made to the need of the SRAM Wifli system, I spare it here. I just write here that I will be using my Osymetric 38 inner with Wifli 32 cog to conquer Mont Ventoux this year or maybe not?Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne
I don't know if I can enjoy these bike races this coming weekend buy I will keep my fingers crossed.Money is gone! into my company's account
We will be buying an important piece of equipment for our operation this week. For that purchase I needed to transfer some money from my personal account to my company's account.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [SRAM Wifli, Belgian road races and money]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/22(月) 17:47:05|
- Bike Races in Belgium
One week! Am I ready? Not really!
There are four road races Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th February, 2016.
1. 27 (Saturday) Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Men (www.omloophetnieuwsblad.be))
2. 27 (Saturday) Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Women (ditto)
3. 28 (Sunday) Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne Men (www.kuurne-brussel-kuurne.be)
4. 28 (Sunday) Omloop Van Het Hageland (www.cttilt.be/)
Unfortunately, it won't be possible to watch the last one as I will be attending the third one while the fourth one is going on.
Provisional starting lists are available for download from the respective organizers' sites.
Riders on my watch list are as follows:
1. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Men
BMC riders like Philippe Gilbert and Manuel Quinziato
2. Omloop Het nieuwsblad Women (unfortunately no starting list available for the moment)
Possibly Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle-High5)
My special interest is if a rider "spelled" Niklas Arndt (GER) from Giant-Alpecin will be there. I thought his name was Nikias Arndt but I could be wrong.
4. Omloop Van Het Hagaland
Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle-High5) but I won't be there.
Over the years I came to understand a few Dutch (Flemish) words. Some more other words I can guess what they mean by assimilating them to German words, which I understand not too much but moderately better than French words.
Omloop, I believe, means 'loop' (maybe the English word LOOP is related to it, either) or 'around' as it sounds like this German word 'Umlauf' (go around or so). In German this Omloop may be translated into 'Rund' as in 'Rund um Koeln' loosely means around Cologne. Rundfahrt will be a specific word for 'going around'.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2016 and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2016 Part III]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/20(土) 18:44:54|
- Bike Races in Belgium
An article I read a few days ago. A group of scientists suggested after researching the subjects that there is always a portion of ants within working class ants who are not working as diligently as others and that those lazy ants work when other diligent ants get tired. In essence they are lazy for reasons and their existence is essential for the survival of the society.
A discovery that is now scientifically proved but already suspected long before.
I also know that the unemployment rate never gets 0 % (in a healthy society). If it (unemployment rate) hits the all time low of 0 %, the society that holds it will be doomed. Certain numbers of people have to remain unemployed to ensure a quick and fluent transfer of labor force to where labor force is needed.
If, theoretically, everybody is employed in a society, who would work for a new business or refill the position vacated by someone who is sick, taking a parental leave, dead or absent for some other reasons.
How many times I have changed my line of jobs? I have been many things. I have had many odds jobs, too. The job that I am doing is not what I had dreamt that I would have when I was a teenager. I took up this job because I wanted to live in Europe. I don't hate my current job but I don't love what I do now. Maybe I will learn to love what I do in the future.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Worker ants and inevitable lazy ants]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/17(水) 19:31:27|
- Miscellaneous stuff
I lived in the States in the 90's. I saw the first episode of X files, Friends and others. I watched the last episode of Cheers. If I start talking about these things, it will take some time so I stop here.
I am writing this as I watch X files (the latest revival version) on TV (German TV). David Duchovny was younger then.
I remember this particular appearance of him on the Late Night with David Letterman. I have seen so many of those shows with other hosts but this particular appearance remains deeply seated in my memory.
Those hosts have queue cards before them when on-air. They (about 60 x 90 cm sized cards) help the hosts know what's coming up or so.
He (Letterman) introduced him and David Duchovny sat in the sofa. Then he unexpectedly sat up from his chair with arm rests and went out of the screen before coming back shortly.
He went to the man holding the queue cards beside the camera. He showed the cards to the audience (or to the TV viewers). He thought it was amusing and it was. The card board had the following letters.Duh-Kuv-Knee
Letterman commented that "hooked on Phonics is working."
"Duchovny" is not an easy name to pronounce unless you already know how to read. The producer or assistant producer thought it would help Letterman read the name correctly. It did although I think he already knew how to read Duchovny.
I am writing this on my MacBook Pro 2010 and the its OS is OS X 11.10 (Yosemite). My other MacBooks 2009 are on OS X 10.11 (El Capitan). As this MBP is my main machine and it is used as the home for iTunes (to sync with my iPhone) and also for Garmin BaseCamp (to sync with my Garmin devices, I wait until the last moment to switch to El Capitan.
When I was living in the States, Windows OS finally became usable with the version 3.1. I remember using some PC's with that OS. I also had access to MacOS. Later when I came home (Japan), I bought a Mac. It was the time when MC68040 was top of the line. Later machines with PowerPC came out. I never had the chance to own a Mac with PowerPC. By the time Steve Jobs came home (Apple), those Macs with Motorola chips became obsolete and became abandoned. I rescued as much as possible.
I had functional Mac Plus (x2), IIcx, IIsi, Quadra 610, PowerBook 500, PowerBook 140 (x2), Portable (broken), and some other machines. I could not bring them with me to Europe. My favorite was IIcx.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [X files, David Letterman and Windows 3.1]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/16(火) 00:03:46|
- Miscellaneous stuff
It was (seems at least) a long time ago when I first knew about Brim Brothers' project. According to a description on some site, it took 6 years for them to make it happen. Wow! I think I first learned about them about three, likely 4 years ago or more (at least).
As a Speedplay user, I was excited about this project chiefly because power meters on the market at that time were really expensive. Brim Brothers seemed to have a long slow progress. I gave up and purchased (yet to be delivered) the Limits pedals. They (a pair of pedals) cost really a fraction of those top-of-the-shelves products like SRM.
Now they (Zone products) are out. They are using Kickstarter (kickstarter.com) for the initial sales promotion (at the same time for the initial mass production funding). The single (left only) version seems to be $ 440 (with the funding backer discount). The world first wearable power meter, so the the promotion line says. It is true. A Zone power meter sits on the sole of the shoe(s) and its emitter on the shoe(s). The sensor part has to be glued to the sole of the shoe.
I have three pairs of cycling shoes. One pair of cheap (cheapest at the time of purchase) Shimano shoes for Winter training (as they get muddy). One pair of Sidi for dry weather training. One pair of Spiuk (to of the line at the time of purchase) for other occasions.
By the way these Spiuk shoes fit snuggly and they feel really surprisingly superb. I learned something when I tried them on: Mr. Forrest Gump was right. Did he not emphasize the importance of comfortable shoes at the beginning of the film?
Do I regret having given up on the Zone? I don't know and I can not tell yet. First I have to see how the Zone power meters will be accepted on the market or by the users. Secondly, I have to see how the Limits goes (if it ever takes off).
What I like about Limits pedals is that you can attach them and detach them in minutes. You can use them in almost any bikes out there. Of course I liked it because of the price.
I am really looking forward to getting them soon.Money pit (or money pot)
The Money Pit is a movie featuring Tom Hanks and Shelly Long who somehow mislead to purchase a house which turned out to be a worthless property.
I am spending money on the project. I am going to withdraw another big sum of money Tomorrow (Monday) and spend it. This time it will be the first rent and guaranty (three month rental fee worth sum). Last Tuesday I also spend a big sum of money on some equipment.
We (not only me but my associate) are expecting to spend more on a big piece of equipment soon. Wow! Will this project bear some fruit? I hope it will bring me some peace of mind that I am not dying in poverty.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Zone by Brim Brothers and my money pit?]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/15(月) 01:01:31|
- Bikes and related things
Memrise (not a misspelled word for Memorise) app
I regularly check wort.lu, a site that has an English version along with German and French language version. It does not have a Luxembourgish site, which gently and inadvertently suggests that Luxembourgish is not really meant for use in a written form but the verbal communication. You can use Luxembourgish for written communication, of course.
Anyways, wort.lu occasionally and rather frequently has the topic of language, concerning Luxembourgish. Be it about the levels of fluency of the language command required for obtaining the Luxembourg citizenship or others.
Just recently there was an article of courses offered at various institutes for those who wish to learn French, Luxembourgish or others. I want to enrol some day soon but for the moment I can not.
I also read this article on wort.lu a long time ago that if one enrols in the state aided Luxembourgish course as a part of obtaining the citizenship and one passes the proficiency tests and consequently get the citizenship, the government reimburses the course fees. It is tempting. I will do that.
There was an article just recently about apps that would help one learn languages. As you may already know, Luxembourg is a multi-language nation. If you announce that you can speak three languages fluently to anybody around you in Luxembourg, this person will go,'And?' or 'What is your point?' but will never say that he/she is impressed.
If you are born and raised (educated) in Luxembourg, you will automatically learn to speak four languages or so. Some people when their parents are from, let's say, from Portugal and the Netherlands, outside French/German area, will grow up to speak, Portugal, Dutch, French (through their education system as French is the language they use in class to read any textbooks), Luxembourgish (through peer pressure as everybody around including the teachers speak it) and to some extent German (as Luxembourgish is a dialect). A lot of them speak English as English is relatively an easy language to learn and many foreigners living and working in Luxembourgish use it. So far 6 languages.
As you can see, nobody will be impressed when you say, "I can speak 5 languages" in Luxembourg. When you say that you can do 7 languages and one or two of them are non-European languages, people will be impressed (or maybe).
I am trying to learn to speak French. French is considered to be most versatile language here.
Scanning the article, I decided to give Memrise a try. I downloaded it and installed on my iPhone 4. I am using it to learn French and Luxembourgish with the app.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Memrise (iPhone/iPad app)]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/08(月) 22:59:46|
- iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
Before (transformation) and After
I am looking into the De Ronde (RVV = Ronde van Vlaanderen) 2016 course. I don't plan to go to Brugge at this moment as it is a bit too far away.
The image below is a screenshot clip from my Garmin BaseCamp. It reflects the some of this year's KBK and Omloop climbs and RVV 2015 (last year) climbs. This is the 'Before' view of the waypoints.
The image below is another screenshot clip after the modification.
It seems that this year the numbers of climbs has decreased by one. Otherwise the basic structure of the course has not been changed.
I haven't looked into the course of the women's edition. By the way this 'Camping Panorama' is the one I stayed before the RVV 2015. It is a nice place and I am planning to come back this year but it is not open until March first.
I noticed that KBK's course passes near this camping ground. I am writing this that I remember this route that the peloton participating KBK will take clearly.
1 Oude Kwaremont 13:00
2 Kortekeer 13:10
3 Eikenberg 13:25
4 Wolvenberg 13:30
5 Molenberg 13:45
6 Leberg 14:15
7 Berendries 14:20
8 Valkenberg 14:30
9 Kaperij 14:45
10 Kanarieberg 15:00
11 Oude Kwaremont 15:15
12 Paterberg 15:20
13 Koppenberg 15:30
14 Steenbeekdries 15:40
15 Taaienberg 15:45
16 Kruisberg-Hotond 16:00
17 Oude Kwaremont 16:10
18 Paterberg 16:15
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [RVV 2016 climb sections preview part I]の続きを読む
テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ
- 2016/02/06(土) 19:01:36|
- Bike Races in Belgium
KBK's organizer's site (www.kuurne-brussel-kuurne.be) provides us with GPX files. I open this file with Garmin BaseCamp and check the course. It is extremely easy to spot the climbs on the way. I found much belatedly that some of the climbs are also featured in other races like De Ronde (van Vlaanderen) or so and famous climbs are already marked as waypoints in BaseCamp.
On the other hand Omloop's organizer's site (www.flandersclassics.be) seems to have stopped providing GPX files. I downloaded them last year so I have the data of the course of 2015 edition on my BaseCamp.
I noticed while plotting KBK's climbs and also checking De Ronde's course that a climb section called 'la Houppe' (one of KBK's climbs) seems to be included in De Ronde this year.
The site (www.flandersclassics.be) hosts several races including, 1. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, 2. Dwars Door Vlaanderen, 3. Gent-Wevelgem, 4. Ronde van Vlaanderen, 5. Scheldeprijs and 6. De Brabantse Pijl.
(a screenshot clip from Garmin BaseCamp showing the route in black between Gent and 'Muur')Click on the image to magnify
Anyway, the following is the time table (roughly rounded) of the climbs
Omloop 2016 Feminine
1 Nokereberg 12:20
2 Tiegemberg 12:50
4 Cote de Trieu 13:15
5 Paterberg 13:20
6 Kortekeer 13:30
Feed Zone 13:30
7 Ladeuze 13:35
9 Molenberg 13:55
Omloop 2016 Men
1 Leberg 13:10
2 Berendries 13:20
3 Tenbosse 13:25
4 Eikenmolen 13:40
5 Muur - Kapelmuur 13:50 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muur_van_Geraardsbergen)
6 Valkenberg 14:20
Feed Zone 14::20
7 Kaperij 14:40
9 Taaienberg 15:15
10 Eikenberg 15:25
12 Leberg 15:40
13 Boembeke 15:50
Looking at the PDF files from the organizer's site, I realized that climbs used in men's and women's races are different. The race courses are also different, too.
My tentative plan A is:
09:30 Arriving in Gent
11:30 Leaving Gent for ???
16:00 Arriving in Gent
My possible plan B is: (in case Wiggle-High5 selects Mayuko Hagiwara)
09:30 Arriving in Gent
11:30 Leaving Gent for ???
15:00 Arriving in Gent
I am not sure if the podium ceremony for women will wait for men's finish but I hope it will.
Where should I go after the start? How about Kapelmuur? Is it good. I know it is at least good for one thing; it is the closest climb to the camping site I am planning to stay that evening. It is about 40 km away from Gent by the way. [Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2016 and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2016 Part II]の続きを読む
テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ
- 2016/02/06(土) 00:01:49|
- Bike Races in Belgium
Road bike races in February
I am planning the race watch trip.
February 27 (Saturday) Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Gent-Gent)
(Professional) Men 11:30 - 16:30
(Professional) Women 11:30 - 15:00
February 28 (Sunday) Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne (Kuurne-Kuurne) Omloop 2016 (Men/Women)
1. I have never been to this race. Naturally, I am excited. I think and I hope I can get there. It depends on the project I am working on whether I can go or not.
2. I know that both Trek-Segafredo and Wiggle-High5 will be there. I am hoping Fumiyuki Beppu and/or Mayuko Hagiwara will be there.
3. I am scanning the PDF files available on the organizer's site. I am now plotting some of the points on the Garmin BaseCamp as waypoints. They will later guide me through the race watch.
4. So far, I know that the starting places for the men and women are different but the finish seems to be the same spot. Consequently the courses are different although I guess some of the cobble stone sections and climbs are shared.
5. I try to drive to Gent (University of Gent) to watch the men's start. Then I will try to get one of the places where real actions are likely to take place before going back to the finish. I have to coordinate the move not to miss anything important. Home - Gent is about 280 km apart.
6. After the race I will find an inexpensive hotel or camping ground to rest as KBK is taking place the next day. I don't have to come home. Gent - Kuurne is about 50 km apart. There is a camping site near Ruien (not far from Oudenaarde), where I spent a night before De Ronde van Vlaanderen last in 2015. I think this camping site is open even in early Spring. I will use Booking.com to decide on the overnight options.
7. I found out (after writing 6.) that the camping site near Oudenaarde is open from March 1st to November 15. I found another site near Oudenaarde and it is open all year round. I will try to get there if I am free then.Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2016
1. have been to this race many times. And I mean a lot. It is one of my favorite Spring races.
2. I have always done the same routine. Start - Feed Zone - Finish. This year I will change this this year. I will try to get one of the climb sections.
3. I even try to do more. It depends on what I am doing in terms of job situation in February (end of February). If I have already occupied with work, I won't be able to do more. If I am still free and have free time, I will stay in the area a couple of days more and ride the area. This area is full of Spring Classics spots, cobble stone sectors and climbs. I would like to enjoy them if possible.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2016 and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2016]の続きを読む
テーマ:自転車レース - ジャンル:スポーツ
- 2016/02/03(水) 22:45:47|
- Bike Races in Belgium
Andy Schleck is to open a bike shop in my neighborhood this coming Friday
This article on wort.lu caught my attention.
Itzig is a small community that lies just several kilometers away from the VdL (capital city of Luxembourg). It is located south of the capital. From the humble studio apartment where I live, Itzig is just less than a kilometer apart.
According to the article above, the bike shop (Not to be confused with 'The Bike Shop' by Philippe Gilbert in Monaco) is housed in a former barn. Yes, it is easily imagined as the area is really a rural place.
Tomorrow I have no plans, no work so I will explore the area to find the shop. It won't be too difficult.
Speaking of no work, ...Work for food
I'm working for food (metaphor for money) for this moment as a short part-time worker (for my ex-bosses). They need men and I need money. OK.
I am writing this entry, Wednesday evening and I finished the one-week temporary job this afternoon. I made a sum of money that was not enough for the monthly rent, close but not enough. I may work again for my ex-bosses next week. I won't refuse. I appreciate the every penny I make.My next work
'The wheel is in motion'. I think I heard (learned) this expression in a Seinfeld episode. The sitcom comedy that saw Jerry Seinfeld playing the title role. I saw the comedy shows a lot while living in the USA back in the 90's.
This particular episode featured an Indian man (or could be from one of the neighboring countries) whose legal status was in danger. He needed some documents to apply for (or extend) the visa to stay legally in the States. Jerry and/or his entourage tried to help this man get the necessary documents in good intentions but in the end unintentionally made him deported. To make this man feel secure while waiting for the documents, Jerry told him that the process (some legal process or procuring the needed documents) was well underway by saying 'wheel is in motion.'
At the end of the episode, now deported and being in his home country the poor man repeated this expression with a grudge.
What I mean is that I can not let the guard down until the f*t lady sings.
Can I fill this * (asterisk) with 'a' or 'i'? Is it OK to use this expression?
My humble business is halfway done. We are fighting the uphill battle for the moment.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Itzig (Luxembourg) is just a couple of minutes bike ride from my place]の続きを読む
- 2016/02/03(水) 19:36:26|