A wet Winter in Luxembourg

Bill Evans - Moon Beams 1962

My favorite Album by Bill Evans (Trio) released in 1962 is playing. I am listening to it and Hannah is playing at my feet. It is a wet Winter afternoon here in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is wet all through the year. That is what I think of its weather. I sometimes saw news articles saying that a drought of some magnitude had hit the country or something like that. I always thought it had been the case.

Moss is a plant that likes wet surroundings in particular.

When I was living in Los Angeles (U.S.A.) area back in early 90s, I did not see this plant for about 2 years. The first time I saw one growing naturally was when I went to Eugene, Oregon after this "drought" of moss sighting. When I found a small patch of moss growing in the crack of some stone sculpture in a park there, I felt delighted as if I had seen an old friend who I had not seen for a while. As you can guess in Japan moss is abundant.

Here in Luxembourg it is everywhere. It grows on walls, roofs, trees, earth or anywhere it can grow as it is humid.

How My Heart Sing! is its sister album. Tunes on Moon Beams were recorded (on several separate occasions) at the same time as the tunes on "How My Heart Sings!". Moon Beams is a collection of only slow tempo tunes where Paul Motian, the drummer, used only brushes instead of sticks.

As a result the album is a collection of tunes with no hustle and bustle, which some Jazz listers (and critiques) found "dull".

It is my "take it to the coffin" album for some reasons. I have listened to it so many times and still can not get tired of it. I doubt that I will ever grow out of it.

"How My Heart Sing!" is also a good album but it can not beat "Moon Beams".

NTT Pro Cycling Team and Virtu Cycling partnership

I read about this piece of news a few days ago on cyclingnew.com. It said that Bjarne Riis is on his way back to the highest level of cycling sport.

I did not know if it was true or just a rumor as he (Bjarne Riis) had been associated with so many teams in the past and then it turned out to be false.

Now it is official. Virtu Cycling has acquired a small portion of share in NTT Pro Cycling Team.

It is like a reunion of old Team CSC personnels. Will I see him (Bjarne Riis) next year around NTT Pro Cycling Team?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A wet Winter in Luxembourg]の続きを読む

テーマ:日記 - ジャンル:日記

  1. 2020/01/08(水) 19:20:41|
  2. Diary
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Lars Bak and SeaSucker Hogg

NTT Pro Cycling Team

Team Dimension Data is now called NTT Pro Cycling Team (https://nttprocycling.com).

I spent my summer vacation (a bit more than 3 weeks) during the Tour de France last Summer (2019).

I spent a lot of time painting during my vacation. I did not count exactly how many but I am almost sure that I painted "Lars Bak" more than 300 times on the road (asphalt), concrete wall or other paintable surfaces.

In fact I went to the hotel where Dimension Data team were staying on Friday (one day before the Grand Départ (Saturday) and declared that I would keep painting his name on the road.

I knew that he was retiring after 2019 season and that meant it was his last Tour de France in his career. I think that I helped a bit to make it memorable.

I was not sure if he would be involved in cycling sport or leave completely. I was hoping that he would stay and become part of the team management of TDD (would-be NTT Pro Cycling Team).

Now I know that he has become an assistant sport director of NTT Pro Cycling Team. I am happy.

Looking through the management members, I found several faces that I know. I know some Sport directors, a mechanic and doctors as they were once part of "my team" Team CSC (and its successive teams).

I like it.

So my main team would definitely NTT Pro Cycling in 2020.

SeaSucker Hogg

I wrote just a few days ago that the European price for this small item had been slashed by the local (based in the Netherlands around here) authorized distributor by almost 33 %.

Today I noticed something. The price on Amazon Germany (and consequently I checked on Amazon France, Netherlands, UK and Italy) was even lower. From the initial suggested retail price, the new price was about 60 % off meaning the new price is only 40 % of what had been the initial price. WTF?

I could not find any SeaSucker product on Amazon Netherlands. The Benelux area distributor seems to be adamant that they don't allow any SeaSucker products appear on Amazon Netherlands.

Anyway, I compared the price (and the shipping charges) on the Amazon stores and decided that I would buy one from the distributor's site. The shipping was really reasonable.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Lars Bak and SeaSucker Hogg]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. 2020/01/07(火) 19:37:28|
  2. Bike Races
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Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack costs more than € 150 Today

The price is back to a normal

So Yesterday I stumbled upon an incredibly price of this bike rack and ordered it incredulously.

Today, just out of curiosity and out of practicality (cheking its status), I took a look at it again and sure enought the price was more than € 150 (completely normal).

I ordered it for a price of well under € 40 including the shipping.


I know that they (Amazon) have limited time sales occasionally but the discount rates are normally around 10 %, 20 % or 30 % as far as I know.

The discount I had was around 75 % reduction. This isn't normal, at all is it?

Anyway, I am happy. I don't care really what had transpired Yesterday but I was just there.

Seasucker.com HOGG

I have been wondering why this tiny piece of bike rack accessory is so expensive in Europe or in Japan. It is notoo expensive in its native country U.S.A. The price gab is almost double, in other words, it is sold twice as expensive.

The price has started decreasing gradually but it is still out of my budget.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack costs more than € 150 Today]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. 2020/01/05(日) 16:47:37|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack again?

Saris Axis 2-bike rack

I bought this almost two years ago (I think) on Amazon Germany. This bike rack worked well and served me well during the car trip vacation back in July, 2019

The rack was attached to the Euro-style trailer hitch installed on my Mazda MX-5 (ND). This installation of the trailer hitch cost me dear. I had to drive to a remote town in Northern Germany and stayed there the previous night.

The rack had a defective part when I opened the box. I don't know how it happened. Anyway, the broken plastic (of some kind, ABS? or ?) part did not affect the use of the rack.

I contacted the local "authorized" wholesaler (who supplies Saris products in my area, namely, Belgium, Luxembourg and so) if they could provide me with a replacement part (not just the plastic part but as an assembly including the defective portion). They said that they could not. The exact model (or compatible models) that use this particular part (the arm) had been off the inventory and thus (subsequently) they had stopped providing the repair parts.

The logic they used was not totally agreeable but I could not hire a lawyer to sue them. So I gave up.

From time to time, I search the part on e-bay or Amazon hoping that some people have new or used Saris products that I can salvage the needed parts for reasonable cost.

Saris Axis 2-bike rack can be fitted with 3-bike rack's arms, Bones 2-bike or 3-bike rack's arms.

So far the search has not been fruitful until just now.

I found a really incredible deal on Amazon Germany. I found that I could buy the entire Axis 2-bike rack for a price of the replacement arms including the shipping charges. How is it possible?

Maybe Saris (and/or its European branch?) wants to stop selling Axis series for good and this seller wants to sell its stock because the sales have been too slow. I don't know.

So I bought a second Saris Axis 2-bike rack but the price was irresistible.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack again?]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. 2020/01/04(土) 19:59:21|
  2. Bikes and related things
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The shape of eneloop pro batteries

MAG-LITE (classic 4 C) for a spin

Not all but most of the items I ordered the last time (2019) have arrived. I am still waiting for the last one packet from China, which was actually the very one that I really wanted to have.

All the good things arrive last! (maybe)

The items that I purchased for this old school MAG-LITE® was additional Panasonic eneloop pro AA batteries, an LED bulb with the matching socket and 4 AA to C conversion adapters.

What I learned was that eneloop pro batteries are (seem to be) slightly (1 mm or so?) longer than ordinary AA batteries and so they won't fit in the adapter. Damn! Excuse my language!

I am not sure if the thickness of the plasting coating (carrying the printed logos among other things) overlapping the edge (shoulder) of both ends where the adapter try to cling to is the cause of this woe.

I may peel it off to see if my guess is correct later. I hope I am right.

. . . .

Later, I did it. I peeled off the plastic cover and put them in the adapters. It is still a really tight fit but it works.

The LED bulb worked well. It emits bright white light. I can not say it is brighter than a filament glow bulb (as I have no proper equipment to measure their brightness, of course) but it is OK with me.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The shape of eneloop pro batteries]の続きを読む
  1. 2020/01/04(土) 13:07:52|
  2. Miscellaneous stuff
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