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欧州自転車レース追っかけ日記

欧州在住者が自転車レースを追い掛けてる日記とか

Three Italian road race events and my late vacation (and other things)

1. Tre Valli Varesine (Tuesday, 03 October)
2. Milano-Torino (Thursday, 05 October)
3. Il Lombardia (Saturday, 07 October)


Random notes on these races. I looked for more information on participants of these races but some teams put the rosters and others don't in advance. So what I know now is not much.

1. Tre Valli Varesine (Tuesday, 03 October)

The official site has been adding information gradually and by now (September 30) the only missing piece of information will be the list of participants.

Trek-Segafredo has posted numerous rosters for upcoming Italian races. Initially, Beppu's official site said that he would race Tre Valli Varesine but recently changed that he would not.

I am expecting to get there just in time to see the finishing circuit course in Varese.

According to weather.com, the weather of Varese on Tuesday, 03 October will likely be sunny with some clouds and the projected daytime high will be 20 Celsius. Not bad!

2. Milano-Torino (Thursday, 05 October)

The official site has been rather reluctant and has not put up much information. The detailed time schedule is still missing and the official guide is also not present. I hope the list of participants has to be there soon.

Trek-Segafredo has announced that Fumy (Beppu) will participate in this event. I am really happy and excited.
According to weather.com, the weather of Torino (Turin) on Thursday, 05 October will be sunny with some clouds and the projected daytime high will be 18 Celsius. Not bat!

3. Il Lombardia (Saturday, 07 October)

This event is managed by the same organization as Milano-Torino so the situation (concerning the information) is much the same.

Cyclingnews.com has kindly informed me that Philippe Gilbert would be there. Other than that not much I know about the participants.

According to weather.com, the weather of Como on Saturday, 07 October will be sunny with some clouds and the daytime high will be 21 Celsius. Not bad at all.

BLINK S2

According to the latest update (ACTON's blog), my BLINK S2 (for someone like me who paid the VAT after September 18th) is now being processed for shipping by the French agent. I have not received a shipping notice yet and I will be away for about two weeks from home. I may receive mine around October 15th.

Garmin GLO

Since I am now waiting my Garmin GLO (Amazon Germany second-hand) unit, I have done some googling and downloading. My initial questions were; Are there any iOS apps for that? How do I update the firmware on it?

There was no dedicated iOS app for that. Perhaps there are no parameters to tune on that device.

On the other hand, updating the firmware turned out to be quite interesting. This device (Garmin GLO) seems to be born in 2012. Garmin still produces new units because there are constant demand for them.

Anyway, to update the firmware on it, one has to use the WebUpdate software on Macs. I used to use this software but deleted it when Garmin switched to Garmin Express. Yes, around 2012 I think I was still using WebUpdater. Garmin dropped the support for GLO when they switched to Express.

Garmin seems to be still actively working on improving the firmware since the latest firmware is quite new. I installed the WebUpdater on my MacBook and now I am ready.

People like me who own an iPad (or similar device) without a GPS (or assisted GPS) function seem to love this little creature. On YouTube site you will find a lot of people who are using this on their boats, airplanes or vehicles. Garmin offers navigation applications for them.

XGPS series from DUAL seem to be born much later than Garmin GLO. DUAL's devices look more refined and smaller. I wanted to own one but my budget was tight.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[Three Italian road race events and my late vacation (and other things)]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/09/30(土) 16:28:21|
  2. Bike Races in Italy
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Mazda Toolbox

MAZDATOOLBOXWeb.jpg

Mazda Toolbox (Mazda Connect Navigation map update tool software)

I pulled the SD card (was not micro SD but full size SD) out of my MX-5 and tried the application on my MacBook Pro Late 2010 called "Mazda Toolbox."

First you are prompted to create your account (if you haven't done so) by clicking the "register" icon. When the account is set, you can fool around to see if you are eligible for free map updates or so.

It seemed that I was eligible for some updates but did not choose to update then. I need a faster stabler connection to the Internet.

According to the screen messages, my current map license expires on July 24, 2020, three years after my car was finally registered (meaning that three years after it got the current license plate). For the next three years I may be able to receive occasional map corrections and updates. After this initial three years, I get to choose if I want to purchase the license for another three years or just abandon it.

It was easy. When I pulled the SD card out of the slot, I read those small writings and recognized the name "Navteq."

Navteq (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navteq) is a well-know name and certainly I've known this name along with TeleAtlas.

Nokia bought Navteq and Garmin uses Navteq map data while TomTom owns TeleAtlas and also uses the map data from TeleAtlas.

So in a way, I have on my MacBook via Garmin BaseCamp and also on my nüvi device the Navteq maps and now I found out that my MX-5 also has the map that stems from the same source.

I have on my iPad mini 2 or disused iPod touch (4th gen.) and also disused iPhone 4 the TeleAtlas map data via TomTom application.

Of all devices, nüvi 2340 (simple no-nonsense device without Bluetooth or anything) is my main navigation device because I can synchronize all the waypoints that I have accumulated with Garmin BaseCamp on my MacBook. If this current nüvi 2340 breaks, I will buy another cheap Garmin.

I bought it because it was on sale and it came with LMT (Lifetime Map update and Traffic information). It was at that time of purchase, one of the cheapest I could find on the net.

I need this LM (Lifetime Map update) because I want to pair it with the Garmin BaseCamp on my MacBook. This BaseCamp is the reason I have always stayed with Garmin.

Anyway, here are some clips that I made while updating the map data on the SD card.

MAZDATOOLBOX_oldmap.jpg
This shows (and also hides my name and my car's VIN number) what is going on while updating the map data. There are a downloading phase and installing phase. The old map data was 6790 MB big.

MAZDATOOLS_installing.jpg
The downloading phase took about 10 to 20 minutes? It depends on the speed of your Internet connection.

MAZDATOOLBOX_updated.jpg
The new map data takes 7035 MB of space on the SD card. It got bigger, hopefully with more of useful information.

MAZDATOOLBOX_home.jpg
This is the "home" screen of Mazda Tookbox.

One thing that this software lacks (or maybe I have not found yet) is that it does not state the map data version information. I think that when I put it back in the car and get to the info screen, I will get that information. I am just curious.

Garmin gives us about 4 updates every year (like 2018.10, 2018 20, 2018.30 and 2018.40). I wonder this could be the case with Mazda Connect navigation map updates as they come from the same source, Navteq.


Garmin GLO

I have been looking for a cheap GPS signal receiver that sends the GPS info to smartphones or tablets via Bluetooth. Since my main concern was the TomTom application on my iPad mini 2, I got my eyes on Dual XGPS or Gamin GLO, both of which are compatible with iOS devices. Others are compatible with Android devices but not with stock iOS devices (in other words, iOS devices need to be jailbroken).

It has been a while since I started looking for a candidate. Last night (or Today early in the morning) I finally found one and bought it. It was a Garmin GLO and the seller on the Amazon (Germany) claimed that it was "used" but almost "new."

It does not go into the details of how it was used but I assume it could have been a store demo display or somebody bought it but returned it without using after just opening the box. It did not also say that I would get the original box. Let's see what happens!

I won't get it until I come back from my little trip to Italy and Switzerland.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mazda Toolbox]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/09/29(金) 15:50:32|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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's Hertogenbosch, Netherlands and Seasucker

Boot Bag from the UK

Boot-BagforHondaS2000.jpg


(Written on September 26 evening)

I have been waiting for this to arrive since about a week ago. I am expecting it to get here by Friday or Monday (October 2nd) at the latest. I don't want to wait till Tuesday, October 3rd because I will be in Italy on that Tuesday.

I am tracking the package and it has been asleep for about 4 days since it arrived at the hub (for some logistics company's international packages) in the UK.

Today, the status has been updated and I know now that it was at another hub in 's Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. It still has to travel about 500 km by track or rig to some another hub in Luxembourg. Earliest possible arrival at my place could be on Thursday but I am expecting it to be delivered on Friday, 27th.

(Written on September 27)

And Today the tracking information was updated. I had to follow the links: 1. ebay site 2. wnDirect 3. PostNL and finally 4. DPD (Luxembourg) to find out that the package would be deposited at the end of the delivery man's shift at the super market (I have been there quite a few times recently). I can pick it up on Thursday, September 28, I think. Thank God for that!

Seasucker products were present at the UCI WC in Bergen, Norway

I found this article on cyclingnews.com that Seasucker (Florida based US company, it seems) products were present at the UCI road race events held in Bergen, Norway. It makes sense. All the rental cars (provided by UCI?) that were used as support cars had Seasucker suction cups on top of the roof to support bike racks.

Nice idea. It takes minutes to equip one of those heavy duty racks on a car by using the suction cups. Otherwise you have use wrenches, hexagon wrenches and others to mount one of those and at least half an hour.

Does that mean that Seasucker was promoting their products or that UCI paid them to ship suction cups to Norway from the USA? If the former is the case, Seasucker was serious about promoting their bike rack line of products to bike fans in Europe as well as other parts of the world.

I once considered the possibility of purchasing their Komodo for my Mazda MX-5 (which has no solid roof), just briefly and abandoned the idea as it was too expensive.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ ['s Hertogenbosch, Netherlands and Seasucker]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/09/27(水) 15:07:30|
  2. Bike Races
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Mazda Connect Navigation Map Update conundrum?



www.nng.com/partner-materials is the URL given in the info section of Mazda Connect as I have already shown here before.
mx5navigation-website.jpg

Was that 10 days ago? Or was it more than 2 weeks ago?

I wrote back then that my quest for updating (or receiving free updates) for my navigation map on Mazda MX-5 had met a dead end as it turned out that the software was only for Windows system.

Several days ago I was looking for something and this something led to something and finally I came to a blog site by a Japanese person who also owns (or once owned) a Mazda with Mazda Connect system. Scanning a couple of his entries, I learned that the procedure for updating the map in Japan seemed to be a bit different.

Curious, I searched for the Japanese site of Mazda and followed the links to come to a site where I could download a Mac version of map updating software. Only in Japan or other parts of the world, I wondered.

A couple days later, I decided to reenter the path I took to find out the method of updating the map. This time, something was different. I did not find the links immediately but wandered a bit to get to the software download page.

It took a while (because something had been changed) but I found my way to get there. The two images below give the glimpse of my quest.

This time I found that there was a software program for macOS, indeed!


https://www.nng.com/navigation/customized-update-methods/
wwwnngcom.jpg

https://mazda-na.naviextras.com/shop/portal/downloads
Mazda-naNaviextrascom.jpg

The software is called "Mazda Toolbox" and the program icon is Mazda logo (emblem) itself. It looks authentic. I will try this later when I have time.


In Japanese; 続きをどうぞ [Mazda Connect Navigation Map Update conundrum?]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/09/24(日) 15:19:27|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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An attempted telephone scam?

Scam?

I just had a phone call and I answered it. I said, "Hello" but I just heard several seconds of that famous phrase from "Take Five" with alt saxophone part played by Paul Desmond. When the music died, I heard this recorded message, "This is a priority call from our financial manager. Please do not hang up" or something in that line and then the call died.

I immediately checked the call history and saw this international code "+212." What the hell is this call about? Which country uses this +212 code?

I checked it and the answer was "Morocco and Western Sahara." I am sure this was a some kind of attempted telephone call scam. If I return the call, I will surely have to pay for something, some hefty international charge and then some pay service (automatically donating some money to some obscure organization or something).

I will ignore that call. I don't have anything to do with Morocco or Western Sahara area. Period! Nice try!

"Take Five" is a jazz standard composed by Paul Desmond and originally recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet for its 1959 album Time Out.


(From Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Take_Five)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [An attempted telephone scam?]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/09/22(金) 14:43:06|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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How about SJCAM SJ 7 Star? And what about it?

Action cams

I wanted to have an action cam on my bike and I want it even now.

Related URL: SJCAM (https://sjcam.com)

I found its products while looking for cheaper alternatives other than GoPro 5 or GoPro 5 Session on YouTube. Its SJ7 Star is a 4K action cam with some nice reviews. It costs just as half as a GoPro 5 cam.

Watching those comparison review videos, I concluded that SJ7 Star fails in low light recoding quality and sound quality but it compares to GoPro 5 in other areas.

Should I go for it?


Android 8.0.0 on Google (LG) Nexus 5X

My Google Nexus 5X is on Android 8.0.0 (Oreo) for several days. Have I noticed big differences? Have I felt anything different?

The answer is not really. All I can say is this:

It has got easier to toggle some settings under Android 8.

For example, the pulldown menu (settings and others) is now black on white (white background). It is easier to see.

Toggling some settings has improved. For example, when I wanted to turn on the "battery saving" under Android 7, I have to 1) pull down the menu, 2) click on the battery icon to invoke another dedicated menu and finally 3) toggle it (although the only thing you can do is just toggle one slider here).

Now I need to 1) pull down the menu and 2) click on the battery icon to do the job. One click fewer and my thumb or index finger does not have to wiggle over the menu to do the 3) manoeuvre.

This seemingly logical improvement was done to others like turning "cellular data" on and off and etc.

I did not understand those behaviors under Android 7. It was completely waste of time and resources to do the 3) maneuver because there was only one toggle switch in the menu there.

Finally someone has realized that the 3) maneuver was not necessary. Thank God for that!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [How about SJCAM SJ 7 Star? And what about it?]の続きを読む

テーマ:Android - ジャンル:携帯電話・PHS

  1. 2017/09/21(木) 23:52:08|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Archos 70 Oxygen repair 2, Boot-Bag and ACTON BLINK S2

Archos 70 Oxygen repair

I went to the local post office to pick up a package sent from (where else?) China. I did not know whether it was a lithium ion battery for my tablet or a Garmin Edge-compatible adapters with a sticky pad. Both of them were supposed to arrive from China.

As it turned out as the title suggests, it was the small battery rated at +3.7 V / 3000mAh. The size was almost identical to the corrupt one installed in the tablet. The replacement is a bit smaller. This was expected as the part is a generic one and was not an authorized repair part from Archos.

Smaller (possibly thinner?) is OK. I only hope this battery is as good as as it says on the spec sheet.

Unfortunately I don't have the time nor inclination to do the repair. I don't have a soldering iron with me. The repair requires one to unsolder the cables (red + / black ground) and solder new ones in place. It is a delicate work and should not be performed when you have the concentration to endure the procedures.

Boot-Bag (from Boot-rack.co.uk)

It has been sent. Currently the tracking info is not available. I can not wait to have it and I mean it. I want to have it by Monday October 2nd when I am still here in Luxembourg. I am planning to leave Luxembourg early in the morning of 3rd (midnight possibly). It would make a great difference if I could have my hands on it before I leave.

Acton BLINK S2

There was an email from Acton urging me to pay. The amount they requested was oddly round, round in US dollars. The local currency must be € here in Europe (France or Luxembourg).

I paid it anyway. Now I am waiting for the news of shipment notification with a tracking info. I hope and I really hope it arrives before I leave for Italy.

An action cam wanted but I have to wait

I was wondering what difference it would make if I had an action cam like GoPro or similar cams. I can put it on my bike while I ride.

There are reasons (scenarios) why one wants a camcorder on his/her bike. Here are some of the reasons that I can think of.

(Random order)
1) You can use the recorded video as a piece of evidence in case of accidents much as the same way people equip their cars with a dash cam (or commercial planes with so-called a black box).

2) You can share the recorded videos over your favorite SNS channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or so.

3) For keeps or for the posterity

I don't think I can afford GoPro 5 (or imminent GoPro 6) cams. They are simply out of my reach in terms of prices.

If I were one of those YouTubers who make a lot of money (or living) out of the uploaded videos, I would go, with no hesitations whatsoever, for the best action cam on the market.

The fact is I am not one of those people.

For me an action cam will serve as a security device (scenario 1 above) and occasionally as a device for scenario 2 above.

There are cheaper action cams on the market but not all of them (cheap ones) are a suitable substitute for me. As I intend to use it on my bike, an image stabilization feature is greatly desired. With this feature, you don't find a desirable camcorder under $ 100. They will be over $ 150 or close to $ 200.

I will keep looking but it is not an urgent business.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Archos 70 Oxygen repair 2, Boot-Bag and ACTON BLINK S2]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/09/20(水) 22:31:14|
  2. Bike Races
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Three, Two, One and Won or Drei, Zwei, Eins und Meins!

I used to live in Germany for several years (almost 5 years) and used to watch a lot of TV programs. Watching TV dramas, movies and news programs helps one learn the language.

There was this TV commercial by ebay Germany. Basically it was a scene of someone getting orgasmically ecstatic about winning an auction. To highlight the moment, the bidder counts down the remaining seconds toward the end of the auction. That was Drei (three), Zwei (two), Eins (one). This person wins the auction and declares that the item is his/hers by saying (it is) mine (Meins)!

You see they rhyme, Eins and Meins (read - eye-n-ts my-n-ts). If you translate this line into English, you can see that the English version also rhymes; One and Won (well, identical a.k.a. soundalikes or homophones).

What I am trying to say is that I one an auction, no, I won an auction.

I have already paid by PayPal, whose European headquarter office seems to be located here in Luxembourg.

I won this. It is easily available or purchasable from boot-rack.co.uk, ebay or somewhere else but they are bit expensive for me.

The seller seems that he/she had once used it on his/her Honda S2000 but does not need it anymore. The seller also lists the Boot Rack (seemingly from boot-rack.co.uk) up for sale. I assume the seller wants to sell his/her Honda S2000, too (or crashed it?).
Boot-BagVacation-overview.jpg
The system goes this way. The mat goes on top of the boot hatch to prevent the bag from leaving scratches. The entangled straps keep the bag in place. The bag itself ("Vacation" model with 75 litters of volume) goes on top the boot and the bag claims to be waterproof.

Boot-BagforHondaS2000.jpg
In this picture, the bag is perching on the rack, which is perching on the boot of his/her proud Honda S2000.

Boot-BagLogo.jpg
The logo looks like a side view of Mazda MX-5 (NC version?).

I am happy that no one else was interested in this item and I could safely win it.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Three, Two, One and Won or Drei, Zwei, Eins und Meins!]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/09/18(月) 15:59:09|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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  4. | コメント:0

Android 8.0 Oreo and iOS11, macOS High Sierra etc.

Apple has announced various things several days ago. The main focus was on the iPhones 8 and X (ten). I am not interested in buying either of them as they are too expensive.

Today, I received an email from Apple telling me that iOS11 and High Sierra were available for public beta testers like me.

I will definitely upgrade my MacBooks to High Sierra in near future. I am not sure if I should jump to iOS 11. I would very much like to know if I can jailbreak my iPad mini 2 with iOS 11 first.

I had another notice before the event described above.


Yesterday, I noticed that my Google (LG) 5X received a system upgrade notice. It was Android 8.0 a.k.a. Oreo.

The upgrade for Oreo is about 1 GB in volume so I need a very stable and fast connection. I should not try it home as my Internet connection is not too fast nor stable.

I remember reading a couple articles about it but don't recall what the main benefits for this Oreo upgrade were. Yes, almost always they say, "new and improved" but is it really?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Android 8.0 Oreo and iOS11, macOS High Sierra etc.]の続きを読む

テーマ:ソフトウェア - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2017/09/16(土) 13:45:21|
  2. iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
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ebay auction and rainy days

BLINK S2

I am one of the EU backers (of Indiegogo campaign). I am waiting for its arrival but it seems that I have to pay the local VAT (Value added tax) and maybe import tax or something.

I have received the notice by email that they (French distributor) would notify me further.

ebay auctions

I just lost one. I bid for an Exposure Lights Revo / SP dynamo combo (used) but lost. I was not seriously wanting it so I was relieved that I had lost. I already have two Revos.

Now I am watching another item on ebay and the auction will come to an end in two days. This item (used) is something that I really want.

I can buy the same thing new from the manufacturer but it will cost me more.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [ebay auction and rainy days]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/09/16(土) 00:29:07|
  2. Diary
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Tre Valli Varesine 2017 details or sort of and iTunes 12.7 scheme

Tre Valli Varesine

Today, earlier I checked the site Tre Valli Varesine (http://www.trevallivaresine.com) to see if they (organizer) had posted any new information and I did not find any.

Later, Today (Wednesday, September 13) I checked again to find that they had posted further details.

Now I have the time schedule of the race. The time schedule along with the altitude information on a PDF tells me a lot of things and now I can plan the day.

There is a climb section just before reaching the city of Varese and enter a circuit course. This climb section is not long and won't do any damage to the riders. The altitude gain is under 300 meters and I wonder if it is worth going there to watch the peloton.

I will be there after a long drive so maybe I should take it easy and sit back in the city.

The race starts in Saronno around noon and finished in Varese around 16:30 to 17:00. I am not sure when I can be there. If everything goes well (no highway constructions or accidents on the way), I can be near Varese around 13:00.

The race passes the climb around 13:40 to 14:00 so I can not make it there before that, I will just drive to Varese.

After the race, I will check in a hotel about 20 km from Varese and it is near Como.

iTunes 12.7

Apple released this new version and the new feature worries me a bit. It won't download iOS device apps or keep them at all. All the apps have to be handled by iOS devices.

I read some comments on some forum that some were welcoming that feature saying that it would get rid of bulky apps on their PCs and Macs. Well I disagree.

Nowadays HDDs and SSDs are getting cheaper while their capacity is growing. It won't matter a bit to have some software on their PCs and Macs, will it?

It DOES matter when you run out of place on your iOS devices since they won't take any SD or microSD cards at all, does it?

I hate it as downloading a big app like TomTom Western Europe takes time and a lot of battery.

It is another scheme by Apple to force people to opt for more expensive iOS devices with more built-in memory. Don't you realize it?

Those who are welcoming this new feature will be fools.

Apple has just devised another brilliant scheme to justify the rising prices for their shiny iPhones and others.

Applause!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Tre Valli Varesine 2017 details or sort of and iTunes 12.7 scheme]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/09/13(水) 21:45:16|
  2. Bike Races in Italy
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  4. | コメント:0

The buck stops here or does it?

I bought something from the UK (still in EU for this moment so no import charge imposed) on ebay. I was told that this item was sent through ebay global shipping. OK.

I was tracking the item to see whether it on the way. I knew by Yesterday that it was close. Today I learned that someone seemingly had attempted to reach me and failed as I was not home at that time.

I wanted to know if they would attempt again or the transporter had deposited the item somewhere (there are numerous pickup stations.

It took me not too long but a short while to find out where my parcel was.

ebay's purchase history page first sent me to here.
wnDirectTracking.jpg

Then I clicked a link to get here.
PostNLTracking.jpg

Finally I found out that the parcel had been left at a pickup station near my residence.
dpdTracking.jpg

So the buck stopped there. I knew immediately that someone (from DPD Luxembourg) came and went back with the parcel but did not know what happened to it. I had to dig further to see where the parcel had gone.

The last site carried the information that I needed; the name of the pickup station where I was supposed to go.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The buck stops here or does it?]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/09/13(水) 18:43:06|
  2. Things European
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Garmin Map Update 2018.02 and power from the OBD II or fuse box

Garmin's map 2018.20 is available for download

I will try to update mine this week.


Power tapping

Today I continued to work on the small electrical task that I started a while back; tapping power from the car without using the cigarette socket,

Do you smoke? I don't.

This time I tapped into the fuse box that lies by my left foot. A "mini" fuses are there, These mini fuses (11 mm by width and 10 mm by depth) may be space-savers and the Mazda MX-5 ND which has gone through a rigid diet does have them, of course. The tapping (forking) wire that I purchased has been tentatively attached and working, I have to unscrew one of the bolts near the fuses to secure the negative (ground) line to the body and screw it back,

fuse-fork-wire.jpg
This tapping (by tapping, I don't mean bugging or wiring to phone lines or anything) wire works but the connection is not secure, in other words, this simulated fuse part does not plug tightly,

12vtousb5vcomverter.jpg

Now this device is ready,

I still have to secure the device and cables that are still dangling inside.

One note: Initially I planned to tap power from number 15 of the fuse box inside the cabin. No. 15 is used for "Seat heaters" and has enough juice. I noticed that the this fuse was on even though the ignition was off. I did not understand why. In the end I tried No. 7, which was not used for my car as it was reserved for "AT shift Indicator."
fuseblockdiagram02.jpg


OBD II

OBD2-MiniUSB.jpg

There are these wiring parts on the market. This one plugs into the OBD II socket and taps power from it.

It seems that OBD II can supply constant power (directly connected to battery) as this particular device has a switch on it to cut the power.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin Map Update 2018.02 and power from the OBD II or fuse box]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/09/12(火) 16:45:37|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Swiss Motorway vignette and December holidays planning

French Motorway Companies Site (www.autoroutes.fr) is a useful site that I use on occasions like planning a driving trip though France and when I would like to know the toll charges beforehand.

Here's what they told me when I simulated the trip that I would make in coming October.
MotorwayFrances.jpg

The actual toll charges I will pay is €9.5. I have made several drive trips on this route. Most (or much) of the stretch is free of charge fortunately.

I have to pay for the Swiss Motorway Vignette, which will cost 40 CHF (€ 37 ?). It is valid for 14 months. For example the one I have to buy will be year "2017" one. This vignette is valid (or has been valid) since December 2016 and will be valid until the end of January 2018. When I buy it, it has 4 months of validity but I intend to use it only in October.

December holidays planning

I have two weeks of paid holidays in December. I have no plans for the moment. I have nowhere to go; I checked the UCI calendars for road race and cyclocross races but there were no suitable events in that period. I don't want to drive 600 or 700 km to get to the places along the Mediterranean Sea just for warm weather during that period. If I was going to go somewhere, I want to go with my bike and ride it.

Getting ready for the draughty swirling winds around the neck

BikerjacketHM.jpg
(from H&M's site)

In the previous entry, I wrote that I had felt a bit cold around the neck when driving in cool air. I was wearing a cap then and so I did not any wind in my hair.

"On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night"
(Hotel California - Eagles)

I have a strong, very strong feeling that the driver of this car was driving a convertible and was not wearing a proper eye protection like a pair of wind blocking sunglasses. This is what I was talking about in the previous entry. Thanks to the excellent aerodynamic design by Mazda engineers, my MX-5 (ND) gets me less draught while driving but it was true that I was feeling a bit cold around my neck.

Look at the jacket I bought at the local H&M! It is a biker jacket. I liked it because it had a strap with buttons to choke the neck. I am not a biker as a motorbiker but I felt like I needed this jacket.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Swiss Motorway vignette and December holidays planning]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/09/09(土) 23:53:25|
  2. Things European
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97th Tre Valli Varesine (2017)!

I am going and I have to go there BECAUSE Fumy Beppu is scheduled to participate in it! His site (www.fumy.jp) warns that this schedule might change without notice. I hope that it won't.

I looked for an inexpensive accommodation around Como, Italy and booked a room available at €40. I decided to stay here over cheaper rooms (beds) at almost half prices because I am bringing my bike and wheels inside the room.

And my only object there is to sleep and recover from the long drive, I need a quite room and €20 more to pay is almost nothing.

So my fall vacation plan is getting solid.

I wish the site (www.trevallivaresine.com) will reveal more information on the race event quickly and swiftly so that I can plan more what to do and how to do them.



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [97th Tre Valli Varesine (2017)!]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/09/09(土) 12:59:09|
  2. Bike Races
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Project Milano - Torino / IL Lombardia trip Part IV

OMG! The route of 2017 Il Lombardia has been announced and there was a surprise there!

No Valico di Valcava!

No, wait a second! That is not all! The finish and the start has been swapped!

The race starts in Bergamo and finishes in Como! Now that's something that I did not anticipate!

So I have to re-plan according to the new route.

I noticed after looking at the Trek-Segafredo site that the team is participating a race in Italy on October 3rd. Its official site is found at http://www.trevallivaresine.com.

Is it possible for me to get there in time and stay overnight near Como? Is it too much to drive there in such a hurry?

Modified and tentative itinerary

Tuesday, October 3 2017
00:00 Leaving Luxembourg (Home - Varese 660 km/410 miles)
04:30 Entering Switzerland at Basel (one break stop expected in France)

--- Break (maybe a nap in the car) ---

08:30 Leaving the Swiss highway before St. Gotthard Tunnel
10:00 Reaching the other side of pass (after making a stop at the top of the pass)


11:30 Entering Italy (one refuelling stop expected)
12:30 Arriving at Varese

--- Race watch ---

17:30 Leaving Varese for Como
18:00 Arriving at a unbooked and unknown hotel in Como.

Wednesday, October 4 2017

10:00 Checking out
11:00 Checking the finish area of Il Lombardia around Como

13:00 leaving for Madonna di Ghisallo visiting the museum
16:00 Arriving at Maglio and riding the climb on a bike?

18:00 Leaving for Bergamo
19:00 Arriving at the B&B in Bergamo


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Project Milano - Torino / IL Lombardia trip Part IV]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/09/08(金) 20:20:03|
  2. Bike Races
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Fuel consumption data in! Mazda MX-5 (ND) 1.5L

Fuel consumption

It was the second third time that I pumped gasoline into my car. I keep the log with iOS app called "Road Trip." I have used this one for several years with my previous car Ford Ka (2010 - 2017) until I dropped the habit a couple years ago.

This app is very neat and I like it. I started using it after getting the new car; a fresh start.

Here's the fuel consumption data. I pumped 98 octane premium gasoline each time.

1. July 24: (105 km) € 1.18/L x 37.96 L = € 44.79
2. August 10: (497 km) after running 392 km € 1.199/L x 21.44 L = € 25.71
3. October 5: (1,160 km) after running 663 km €1.243/L x 36.65 L = € 45.56

Between 1. and 2. I was driving really easy as it was the break-in period. I did not rev beyond 3,000 rpm. The fuel consumption is 18.28 km/L, which is 5.5 L/100 km, which is not bad at all.

Between 2. and 3. I sometimes revved the engine over 3,000 rpm but not beyond 4,000 rpm as the initial break-in period of 1,000 km had passed. The fuel consumption is 18.09 km/L, which is also 5.5 L/100 km.

Wow! It is good. The numbers are not as good as the ones that Ford Ka (1.3 L diesel turbo) had made.

I guess it will be possible to make over 20 km/L when driving on the highway quietly at around 90 km/h to 100 km/h at night following big trucks and rigs.

I also deplore the fact that I have spent about € 150 for gas in two months. Going to Lanaken, Belgium and come back was the biggest factor for this spending. I have to be careful not to spend too much.



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Fuel consumption data in! Mazda MX-5 (ND) 1.5L]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/09/05(火) 23:16:36|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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  4. | コメント:0

DVB-T2 adoption in Italy and Tranvia Dentiera Sassi Superga

Tranvia Dentiera Sassi Superga

I was looking at the Garmin BaseCamp map to see where I would stay and watch the race (Milano - Torino) and realized that there seemed to be a rail line going up to hill close to the finish.

What is it? The mysterious line is called "Tranvia Dentiera Sassi Superga." I quickly looked it up on the net and found that it was really a tram line going up (and of course, down) the hill. Subsequently I visited its official web page found out its operation hours and how much it would cost. One way €4 and round trip ticket €6.

Details here (http://www.gtt.to.it/cms/turismo/sassisup)

It seems that senior people and students have discount rates and the fare is free for some people.

I see it. People go up the hill using this transportation means.

Then I may (or will) go up the hill on this ratcheted tram and later come down by foot or by Blink S2 (if it gets delivered by then).

DVB-T2 adoption in Italy

It suddenly occurred to me that I should check the DVB-T2 situation in Italy before embarking on the trip this coming October.

My primary objective of the trip is to 'live' watch two road bike races there, namely Milano - Torino and Il Lombardia. I am very sure that Italian TV stations (like Rai) will broadcast the events as they unfold.

I was thinking of bringing my TV tuners or mini TV sets to watch the live broadcasting while I wait for the race to come.

Wait a minute! Majority of my TV tuners and mini LCD TV sets are made for DVB-T standard. I have a small micro USB interface tuner for Android devices that seems to be able to decode H.264 (still it is called DVB-T2).

In Germany they started DVB-T2 broadcasting with H265 codec. I think I can not watch those programs in Germany with none of my tuners.

So, how about in Italy? How are they doing? This was the question that popped up in my mind.

H.264 vs H.265 HEVC

My quick search has confirmed that Italian broadcasters are using H.265 HEVC codec standard. Several articles on several sites in various chronological stamps taught me that they started the testing phase in 2012 or earlier and then Italian regulators forbade (forbad) the sales of non-coforming (non-H.265 or non-HEVC) TV tuners later once they decided to go with this codec. As of now DVB-T2 is in use.

Gee! What shall I do? Do I have to buy a new tuner or mini LCD TV set before leaving for Italy?

An H.265 mini LCD TV set has been on my wish list at Amazon (Germany) for some time. At least 6 or more months. As the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2017 was in Germany, where H.265 codec had been set to launch.

It is not too expensive but it is not cheap. If I was going to buy it, it should be now!

I should probably not buy a new TV set but wait until next Spring.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [DVB-T2 adoption in Italy and Tranvia Dentiera Sassi Superga]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2017/09/05(火) 15:26:00|
  2. Things European
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A purchase denied and also a purchase denied!

Shoes

I purchased two pairs of shoes a couple of days ago at an online shop from Germany. They were two identical pairs of shoes. Identical! It means I just bought two pairs because I liked them.

Denied!

Today (Tuesday, it was the second business day since my order) I got an e-mail from the customer service personnel telling me that they could only get one pair from the supplier as they had been completely sold out. I agreed to have only one pair sent to me and cancel the rest (provided they would return the money).

Dual Bluetooth GPS receiver

I purchased two sets of Dual XGPS150A from an ebay seller from the U.S.A several days ago. They were unbelievably cheap and in the back of my mind I did not believe that they would be delivered. The price was too good to be true. It turned out that it was not true, of course.

Denied!

The seller contacted me immediately and told me that his/her (I don't now of course) account had been hacked and he/she had no wish to sell those items at the price that I had already paid.

Then ebay had already decided (after the discussion between the seller and the ebay customer service) to refund the money that I had paid.

Is it my karma? At least for the moment?


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[A purchase denied and also a purchase denied!]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/09/05(火) 01:04:45|
  2. Diary
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BIL or Billy or Mac or Buddy?

An article on Wort.lu (https://www.wort.lu/en/business/takeover-who-are-the-new-chinese-owners-of-bil-59aaa9eb56202b51b13c2946) drew my attention.

As a side note, slightly, just slightly related to the news article that I am writing about, I want to say that I like listening to the song by Sheryl Crow, "All I wanna do" while driving.

This song makes me think of the time I was living in the USA because I was living on a street one block down from Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica, California when this song first came out. I never found out the big car wash (if it ever existed) that the lyrics were based on.

BIL (Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, I think this is the official name) is my bank, not that I own it but I am one of their customers. BIL is referred to as Bill most of the time.

I knew that the bank's biggest owner (shareholder) had been a Qatari investment company. It has been lately in the media spotlight that a Chinese investment company was interested in taking over. I do read news articles if they were in English.

Now it seems to be official according to the article that appeared on Wort.lu.

Are you sure? (I am talking to the government of Luxembourg, who might have the authority to approve the matter)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [BIL or Billy or Mac or Buddy?]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/09/03(日) 18:48:34|
  2. Bike Races
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  4. | コメント:0

It is getting colder and colder in Luxembourg.

It is getting colder especially at night. Today (September 2nd) I drove the top down in the evening and it was 15 degrees Celsius. I drove under 50 km/h wearing a thin jacket. I did not feel cold but clearly I would not drive any faster or longer without something that would make me feel warm.

The coldest point on my body was the back of neck area. I had expected this or foreseen this and bought a pair of muffler this Spring. I got them at a discount price because they were specifically marketed for 2014 up to 2016 as they have OPQS (Omega Pharma-Quick Step, a cycling team existed between 2014 and 2016) logo. They are practically sold off as though they had been something forbidden for public viewing.

I don't understand this. It is just a label stitched to them and I can peel them off and then they are generic mufflers. They look and feel very nice to me. I don't think I will even peel the label off them unless necessary.

I did not test the seat heater because it was only 15 degrees Celsius, which is mildly cool not cold.

What am I writing about? Some of you (if you ever exist, hahaha!) may be wondering.

I chose a Mazda MX-5 and before choosing to buy it, I did some research on the net. Most of them, actually all of them raved about it. Those countless YouTube videos were not going to change my mind. I was going to buy it and I was just preparing to be a owner.

One of the things I closely watched was how cold you would feel in cold weather. Some people advocated that the point of owning a cabriolet was opening the top when you could. I could not agree on that more.

If you have a cabriolet, you should open the top as often as possible even in winter unless it is raining. A gentle snow fall is even welcome. The Mazda MX-5 (ND) was built for that. Look how easy it is to open and close the top!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ


[It is getting colder and colder in Luxembourg.]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/09/02(土) 01:01:05|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Madonna di Ghisallo and Valico di Valcava

This year's Il Lombardia (a road bike race held in a region including Como and Bergamo, Italy in October in case you don't know what it is) is held on Thursday, October 5 and the detailed information is not yet available to the public like me. They do have announced the participating teams on their site but no further. I would like to know the course layout and the time schedule to see if my watching plan is viable.

My current working plan is based on the information from its 2016 edition. I guess not many changes will be made in anyway.

I am working on the side trips I will make during my late Fall vacation. For example, I am planning a visit to this very iconic place near Como, Madonna di Ghisallo. It is one of the must-visit places if you are a cyclist or cycling fan. Please refer to other sites dedicated to explaining what it means to us. Wikipedia will be good to place for that.

Museo del Ciclismo - Madonna di Ghisallo (museodelghisallo.it)

Madonna di Ghisallo refers to the church located on a hill in the town of Magreglio near Como or Lecco. Since it got so famous and has become a tourist attraction, it added a museum dedicated to cycling. I don't know (since the site is only in Italian with a dash of English) how much the entrance fee costs or if it is open now. The information is a bit sketchy.

"Orari" seems to be the opening time table like French word "Horaire" or more like "Horaires" (plural). I know by now after living in Europe more than ten years that Italian nouns ends in "i" when made plural.

"Orari" sections says that "... The Ghisallo Museum reopens after the winter closing, from March with this calendar: 7 days out of 7 9,30 – 17,30" but I wonder it is open as of now (September 2017)? And what year are they talking about? 2017, 2018 or 2016?

The entrace fee seems to be €6 for adult but is it up-to-date?

SunsetBergamoOctober.jpg
(from timeanddate.com)

The table clip from the image above tells me that the Sun sets around 19:00 in October in Bergamo. It would be safe to arrive at the B&B around this time.

I want altitude information
BaseCampSanGottardo.jpg
(a clip from Garmin BaseCamp around San Gottardo = foot town of Valico di Valcara)

GoogleEarthProSanGottardo.jpg
(a clip from Google Earth Pro ditto)

These images show almost identical area around San Gottardo and Bergamo. I am planning to get off the highway (toll way) at Como and drive through the local road to Bergamo in order to pass San Gottardo located at the foot of "Valico di Valcava" where I will be cheering at the passing cyclists.

Why have I gone to the troubles of making clips from both Garmin BaseCamp and Google Earth (Pro)? To make sure that the route I am taking (Como - Bergamo) will be nicely flat and not too bumpy. I would like to arrive at the B&B before 20:00. I don't want to lose time unexpectedly by going over hills.

I am planning to visit the church on Friday, October 6. Is the museum open? Even if the museum is closed, I can visit the church and see the climb. Maybe I should skip the museum at all and bring my bike there to ride.

Here's the rough plan for driving and making stops.
Wednesday, October 4 2017
04:00 Leaving Luxembourg
08:30 Entering Switzerland at Basel (one break stop expected in France)
12:00 Leaving the Swiss highway before St. Gotthard Tunnel
14:00 Reaching the other side of pass (after making a stop at the top of the pass)
15:30 Entering Italy (one refuelling stop expected)
16:30 Arriving at San Gottardo (and then I will check out the area)
17:30 Leaving San Gottardo for Bergamo
19:00 Arriving at the B&B in Bergamo

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Madonna di Ghisallo and Valico di Valcava]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2017/09/01(金) 19:06:48|
  2. Bike Races
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Booking.com vs Youth Hostel direct booking

I was curious. I used Booking.com for searching for accommodation for some occasions. Like times when I suddenly needed some place to stay overnight. It helped me to save money by finding cheaper hotel rooms.

This time I was looking for rooms in Bergamo (Italy), in Hospental and Sion (Switzerland) in this upcoming October and Liège (Belgium) and Maastricht (the Netherlands) in April, 2018.

I used Booking.com's site or its dedicated app (iOS version and Android version).

Youth Hostels belonging the "Hostelling Inernational" organization in Switzerland can be booked via Booking.com. Or should I say they show up in Booking.com's search results.

Youth Hostels in Belgium (equally under the roof "Hostelling International") did not show up there. I can easily book rooms (or more precisely beds) directly on their site (wwww.lesaubergesdejeunesse.be).

Anyway, I had been presented with two options with booking beds at the Youth Hostel in Sion, Switzerland, which explains the title of this entry.

Convenience and prices are the criteria for judging which is better, via Booking.com and directly at www.youthhostel.ch.

Prices: www.youthhostel.ch wins

Convenience: Booking.com wins (or at least 'ties').

Because;
1. I can use my Youth Hostel membership card which I acquired from the Youth Hostel organization here in Luxembourg and get some discount. Booking.com's price does not (it seems) reflect the discount rate for the members.

2. I have to pay immediately with my credit card with the direct site but I don't have to pay until I check in there when I make reservation with Booking.com.

I don't know if they (YH Sion) would give me 10% discount when I pay at the counter if I present my membership card. If so Booking.com wins for the prices category, too.

3. If I keep using Booking.com, I will get 10% discount for the future booking.

In the end, I booked my beds directly with www.youthhostel.ch this time.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Booking.com vs Youth Hostel direct booking]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2017/09/01(金) 01:17:17|
  2. Things European
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  4. | コメント:0

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