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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

An Analogy a la Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: Episode 5 The Empire Strikes Back

I am a fan of this movie series but I did not the way Luke Skywalker died at the end of the latest (as of 2018 now) episode. Anyway.

The episode 5 came out a long time ago when I was still a teenager, I guess. I remember seeing it at the local movie theater back in Japan.

The conflict between the evil and the good escalated and at the end of episode 4 (retrospectively dubbed as A New Hope) the good (Jedi side) seemed to prevail only to be upset by the evil (the Dark side) in this episode.

The balance between the both sides are always in limbo and seems that it never settles. In fact it won't and should not because that what a balance is. Right?

In hindsight (retrospect), I know I wrote something about becoming a vegetarian (or vegan) supporting the cause of sustainable food supply as suggested in "Cowspiracy".

As of this moment I know and I confess that I am not one. I am regularly eating meat and fish.

I am now practicing what is called a low-carb diet. That is to avoid eating carbohydrate stuff like wheat, rice, potatoes, sugar and the likes. The likes include bananas, milk, carrots, green beans, corn and the likes.

I thought eating only vegetable was healthy but found out (or was led to believe) avoiding carbohydrate (ultimately becoming sugar or glucose) inside our body was even healthier.

For me this transition was easier as I was not so much dependent on sugary food. I could go drinking any kid of alcohol for any sustained period of time. I always had my coffee black. I only occasionally enjoyed sweets.

For me it was just avoiding consuming rice, bread, pasta, sweet fruit, milk and the likes. It was not difficult at all.

So what the balance between opposing sides story come in? I will explain it now.

When (and if) the vegan movement gets significantly popular, the meat production industry, dairy industry and fishing industry may suffer. They (those inside these industries) may want to strike back on vegans.

When (and if) the low-carb (kitogenic) diet gets significantly popular, the mainstream (cultivating ride, wheat and potatoes) farming industry may suffer.

Wait a second! Will they? They can still sell their product to meat producing farmers. Would this mean that meat producing industry is on the winning side?

Kitogenic dietary recommends only modest consumption of protein (mainly from meat, fish or others) so going on a kitogenic diet won't necessarily lead to the same level of meat demand.

Anyway, do you see the balance analogy from Star Wars?

Oh, one more thing. Kitogenic diet is good but it won't be too effective on my health if I did not exercise regularly. I am now trying. I walk even more than before. I will do some maintenance on my second bike (Riese & Müller Birdy) so that I can bike regularly (commuting and more) as taking on my main bike (Cervélo) will require getting in the proper attire and some more rituals.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [An Analogy a la Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back]の続きを読む

テーマ:美容・健康・アンチエイジング - ジャンル:ヘルス・ダイエット

  1. 2018/09/25(火) 20:32:34|
  2. Diary
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I want some stuff!

Craven Speed cravenspeed.com

A short antenna called "The Stubby" from the U.S.A.

Mazda MX-5 RF (Retractable Fast Back) had this neat stubby antenna and I immediately noticed it. That was about two weeks ago when I drove my car to the dealer.

The significant part of the antenna was that it had wide foot that perfectly fit the car. Mazda MX-5 ND (as far as I know) had a wider (big circle) foot so that normal (used on mont cars) won't really fit.

The first time I saw this grey RF parked in the parking lot of the dealer, it was not attended (no driver) so I could not do anything.

The second time I saw the car (most likely the one I had seen), I could talk to the driver. He turned out to be one of the mechanics and he did not know anything about it. This time I could observe the antenna and saw the logo on it. It read "TheStubby" and I thought I would search for it on the net.

I did and I found it was from Craven Speed, USA. I searched for it on ebay, Amazon (Germany, France and UK) or so but it turned out that they were available only from the United States of America probably because they were relatively new to the market.

I can buy one of those directly from the online shop of Craven Speed but it will cost me dearly as the shipping fees are more than (double or more depending on the service) the merchandise itself.

How did this owner of that MX-5 get it? Did he pay the hectic shipping fee because he did not mind at all?

cravenspeed-thestubby.jpg

(image from Craven Speed)

This antenna is also available on Amazon (USA), either.

cravenspeedthestubbymx5.jpg

The clip is from Amazon (USA). Here the shipping fee is not steep, half as much as the one at Craven Speed.

iOS 12 on iPad mini 2

My iPad mini 2 sits at the lowest end of the list eligible for this upgrade. My three MadBooks (Pro Mid 2010 and two Late 2009) are no longer eligble for macOS 10.14 a.k.a. Mojave anymore.

So I installed it on it. It works and I am not sure it got responsive than before as the new iOS claims.

I did not installed iOS 11.4.1 but waited at 11.4 because I thought jailbreaking could be made possible on 11.4. I stopped holding my breath and went ahead and upgraded this time.

Software Update-ios12specific
(clipped image from my desktop)

As soon as I plugged my iPad mini 2 to my MacBook Pro and started up iTunes, a message popped up. It told me that I had to install some additional software before connecting the iPad. So I did. The image shows the pop-up window during the installation process.

And of course, my iPad showed up on iTunes properly after this installation. It is iOS 12 specific software (an iTunes patch or some additional USB driver?).

TomTom Go Mobile (on iPad mini 2) map data update!

Haven't I gotten one just recently? I have Western Europe map on it and I remember updating to the lasted just in August. Hmm? Was there a minor bug (or incorrect information in the last update)?

How to buy stuff (directly or indirectly) from U.S.A. cheap (I mean reasonably)?

I have been wondering for some time by now how to do this.

I remember back in 2014 or so when I bought my MacBook Pro Mid 2010 from there, the exchange rate between US $ and Euro was 1 : 0.75 or so. Even after paying for the import charge into Luxembourg my MacBook Pro Mid 2010 was a relatively good deal.

Now in 2018 the exchange rate is like almost 1 : 1 (as the value of Euro decreased over the years).

On my wish list are 1. SeaSucker Hogg and 2. Craven Speed The Stubby.

One of the problem is the shipping fees, of course. Another one is the mysterious hike in the price sold by the authorized (or are they?) distributors in Europe. Yet another one is the mysterious fees imposed on the imported stuff by the Luxembourg customs explained as processing fees. It is not the import charge but some extra charge on top of the import charges.

The best way of dealting with the situation is to ask someone travelling from the U.S.A. to Luxembourg to pack the stuff in his/her back/suitcase innocently or nonchalantly. This way you wave the shipping fees and the tax. Of course you have to tip the person.

This is what I normally do when I have visitors from Japan.

Do I have someone to do this from the U.S.A.? For the moment no. Sigh!

A Hear Rate Monitor wanted!

I want a list watch with a heart rate monitor (with a sensor built-in) function. It is not too expensive these days.

Bluetooth devices

I would like to have a compact Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. I blindtype when I type (on my MacBooks) so looking at that tiny keyboard on the iPad makes me go crazy. I don't want to stare at the letters; I know where they are!

I would also like to have a Bluetooth mouse for my MacBooks. For the moment I use a wireless mouse with a dongle. A dongle that plugs into one of the two USB ports on any of my MacBooks. That one in two, in other words, 50 % of the USB ports is lost. What a waste!

I would also if possible like to have a LCD screen for my MacBooks so that I can confortablly use them. For example my MacBook Pro Mid 2010 supports up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on an external display.

I can go for the lowest price LCD screen as I only want to get a bigger picture. I don't expect it (LCD screen) to be a gaming or photo eiditing screen as for these purposes one wants a high contrast or a very responsive high-end LCD panels.

I would like to have a tiny bluetooth earphone set so that I can listen to one of my portable devices wirelessly. I had one but I broke it.

Amazon (Germany) purchases

So I purchased some stuff.

1. A Bluetooth wireless earphone set. An Apple earbuds set rip-off! Hahaha.
2. A battery-operated small vacuum cleaner to clean my Mazda MX-5.
3. Two bottles of Apple cider vinegar (unfiltered).
4. A rubber band to fix my iPad mini 2 to Mazda Connect screen.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [I want some stuff!]の続きを読む
  1. 2018/09/23(日) 17:27:35|
  2. Diary
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Low-carb diet, does it work?

Low-carbohydrate diet

I am currently on this "low-carb diet" and I am happy about it.

It dawned on me that I should eat healthier. But what is a healthier meal, anyway?

The last trip to Japan (only one week stay) had a great effect on me and made me think (or wonder) of a healthier diet.

I started watching some videos on YouTube and I decided that low-carb diet would be the way to follow.

I had already interested in shedding some weight off and getting leaner (and hopefully meaner in terms of athletic or physical achievement like climbing the mountains faster on a bike) before my travel to Japan.

I had once thought vegan diet or vegetarian diet could be the way to go after watching Cowspiracy or What the health? .

Now I think it is worth while trying this low-carb diet and see if I like it.

I don't do it to lose weight but I do it because I believe excess carbohydrate consumption is nothing but a way of slow suicide like refined sugar is as life-threatening as some substance like so-called drugs.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Low-carb diet, does it work?]の続きを読む

テーマ:美容・健康・アンチエイジング - ジャンル:ヘルス・ダイエット

  1. 2018/09/18(火) 23:32:43|
  2. Diary
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The Dark Side and shopping till you drop!

I confess (I was tempted to the dark side and used a forbidden substance)

That was when I was perched on the side of the climbing road leading to Col de Romme (Stage 10). I drove there the day before and found a nice place to put up the tent.

I drove from the pavé sector 15 (Pas-de-Calais Nord) all night and slept for a couple of hours at a parking of a gas station along the highway before heading to Col de Romme. I think I got there sometime before noon. So far so good, I thought.

Since I was there one day before the stage, I thought it would be fit to stretch my legs. I began to check my bike. I knew that the tubular tire on the rear wheel had been in trouble since the year before. I knew the tire (tube inside) had been leaking slowly. I could ride a mountain and safely ride back but the next day it had no air left. Why had I not tended the problem earlier? Because I was lazy.

So I pumped the rear tire hoping that it would hold for a day or so. It did not. In ten minutes or so it was flat. I had to face it now.

I had already used Tufo tire sealant (creamy goo that fill small holes in the rubber tube) that I had purchased years ago a few days earlier. It had not worked obviously. The hole (or holes) must have been bigger than they could be patched.

I ripped the tire off the rim (glued to the carbon rim with tire cement) and tried to determine the cause of the leak. I figured out that the leak was at the neck of the air valve. This meant no possible repair. I had to change the tubular tires.

God favors the prepared! Lo and behold! I had a tubular tire in my toolbox, of course.

To my great disappointment, I had left the rim cement (glue) home!

I consulted my GPS deviced (Garmin nüvi and TomTom Go Mobile on my iPad) for local bike shops, sporting goods shops and supermarkets in this order. A bike shop was most likely to have the dedicated product, in this case, a tube of rim cement. A sporing goods shop might be helpful if they sell bikes and had mechanics there. If all fail, the last resort would be buying a gooey glue sold at any supermarkets.

No bike shop in the area (at the foot of Col de Romme). So I drove to the nearest sporting goods shop only to find that the shop had been long gone. That fading glue residue on the walk that used to hold the shop name sign denied me of getting a proper product.

So I drove to Carrefour Market and bought a forbidden substitute. I am very sorry that happened.

Shopping, shopping and more shopping!

So now I have to buy some items from my favorite online shops, namely, tubular tires, tire cement tubes and so on.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[The Dark Side and shopping till you drop!]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2018/09/17(月) 15:49:51|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Inflight movies onboard Aire France

The last trip to Japan that I made recently was a kind of Kamikaze one. Just being there enough for something to be done like the one I made 13 years ago. Done in just one week.

This time the first flight (Bombardier Q400) from Luxembourg to CDG, Paris was early in the morning (around 10:00). I had a quick connection from CDG to NRT (Narita airport Tokyo, actually it is not located in Tokyo but in an adjacent prefecture Chiba).

So the entire flight time was for me daytime. Naturally I did not sleep at all. By the time I was in Japan it was morning but it was sometime past midnight in the originating time zone.

My flight home (NRT to CDG) was also the same. The departure time was in the morning and the arrival also in the morning. By the way my homebound flight flew just hours before the strong wind by the big typhoon that left a lot of damages in Japan kicked off in Tokyo area.

I had to watch a lot of movies. I think I watched full length of 8 movies or so.

1. Solo A Star Wars Story, 2. Star Wars The Last Jedi (although I had seen it before), 3. Thor Rangnarok, 4. A wrinkle in Time (was boring one), 5. San Andreas, Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle, 6. Murder on the Oriental Express, 7. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri and more to name them to the best of my recollection.

Some were good, others not too good.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Inflight movies onboard Aire France]の続きを読む
  1. 2018/09/16(日) 15:57:27|
  2. Bike Races
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A lot has happened since I left

A lot of things has happened since I last updated this blog.

The biggest event was that I flew to Japan only to fly back after one week. It was obviously not a sightseeing trip.

It was my first time in Japan (where I was born and raised) in 13 years and 13 years ago (2004) was there only for one week. In 2004 I reluctantly flew back to Japan to talk to the police, who wanted my statement for an upcoming trial. I provided much damning evidence because I had been the person who knew it all and knew better than anybody.

In the end the DA's office almost got the one they were after. I know at least two people (the president of the small company where I had worked for several years and one of the vice presidents or similarly positioned person of a much much bigger company) were found guilty and subsequently given suspended sentence. I quit this company in 2003 and thus the DA's office and the police knew that I would be the best chance to collect the enough material to convict them.

So I went to the police every day for one week to talk without hiding anything at all. The last day I met the assigned assistant DA personally in his office for a brief chat. He said that they had been after bigger fish and had no intentions to involve me in the trial. He kinda (because it was not his role to do so) thanked me for my statement and then told me that I would be free to go back to Germany (I was living there at that time).


I don't describe the last trip too much because it was very personal. Japan was still Japan, of course. In Tokyo area (as I landed NRT airport near Tokyo) I saw the changes that I had been told by my Japanese friends and acquaintances repeatedly. There were a lot of foreigners working in various places.

In Tokyo area almost every single sign at train stations was written Japanese (inevitable), Roman alphabet (Westerners and also non-Westerners), Chinese and Korean. In those places announcement on board trains or on the platforms was made in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.

The last time I was there (or at least as far as I remember) English was the only foreign language used in those places.

The recent flood of Chinese and Korean-speaking visitors triggered this trend several years ago, I imagine. No doubt this trend will grow more popular toward Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

Garmin map update

Version 2019.20 came out. I have already updated the map data on my MacBook Pro and nüvi 2340.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A lot has happened since I left]の続きを読む
  1. 2018/09/09(日) 15:04:57|
  2. Diary
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