The best way to camp in Europe

Short and sweet post. This is by far the best way to go camping in Europe: Decathlon Quechua AirSeconds 4.3 tent, full of luxury for two people. Cayenne Turbo, to get there in very fast safe style. Il Gatto e la Volpe campsite for the best of pizza and the best of locations for a hiking holiday in Valsesia.

Eurocamping with a bit of hiking. Holiday summer 2022.

Given I’m based in Central Europe, I own a niec car, I own a nice tent, and I have a stout pair of hiking boots, I decided that we would try a camping holiday with some mild activities in lieu of the “standard summer holiday” that people would normally take. The plan was to spend some time in the Soča Valley, with a hike or three up the surrounding ridges, taking a look at the odd preserved Italian trench warfare system, visit a fort or two, dip the toes in the Soča river, visit the source of the Soča, have …

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Ugh, Covid

So, after some two and a half years since the current unmentionable plague was first noted, we (finally) fell foul of the virus last week We were wondering why we felt crappy and ill from ~Wednesday/Thursday, and we did lateral flow home tests on Sunday last. Both of us came up with a red “T” line before the wicking even reached the “C” line. Off to the doc Monday for PCR tests, both came back as Positive, unsurprisingly. I have the week signed off from work, and I’ve needed it to recover. Moderate symptoms, including some of the more esoteric …

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Trip to Ireland for a wedding

About 3000km, three named storms, a large diversion, a wedding, and a lot of fun. A lot of driving. Oisin was due to marry Romy, in Kerry, and we were invited. Given I wanted to collect the kayaks from Ireland, and we had a few items to collect from Limerick that the moving company couldn’t carry, I decided that we would take the Swiss car over for the trip. The outbound journey was originally Zuerich to Avallon on the Tuesday evening, then head for the Cherbourg ferry (via Le Mans to avoid the Paris metropolitan area) on the Wednesday, getting …

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Some updates to the main PC.

WD lost something like 6.5 percent of the world’s yearly supply of NAND flash memory, so it seemed like a good idea to do the planned SSD update before prices started to rise again in a few weeks.. I decided to continue to stay within the Asus/Corsir theme for the main PC, and I’m updating the main SSD from the current 960Gb Corsair MP510 to the uber-fast Corsair MP600 Pro XT, this time in the 2000Gb sizing. Expected read and write speeds are in the 7Tb/sec range, which is a little boost from the ~3Tb/sec I am currently getting. The …

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This Website is now back up and running

After a hardware failure earlier this year of a portion of the Skynet cluster (the University of Limerick Computer Society system that hosts my site) my website was not able to be served to the world at large. This situation has been fixed, and I now have my space on the web available again. I’ll be resurrecting some of the posts made since March this year as I recover from backups. It is good to be back online here!

Mak 102 and AZ-GTi

In about March of 2021 I placed an order for a Skywatcher AZ-GTi mount with the package including the Maksutov 102 telescope on it. I had been on the lookout for a fairly cheap electronic driven mount that would be usable when e.g. on holiday, that wouldn’t take up too much space, but would work well enough not to be a hindrance. The scope was only some €150 extra on top and seemed like a fairly good fit for my stable of scopes. Unfortunately, with the Covid situation and the all-pervasive issues with semiconductor supply shortages, my order was significantly …

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Change of car.

I am now driving a very Switzerland-appropriate car. It’s left-hand drive, and amusingly enough it actually blends in with the other Swiss cars fairly well.. This new car is an October 2011 built Porsche Cayenne Turbo, in Meteor Grey metallic paint. It’s got a few nice extras over and above the normal Turbo specification which is plush enough to start with. The extras include the double-glazed cabin glass, the panoramic roof, the 14-way electric comfort seats with heat and ventilation, the keyless-go system, the removable hitch, the carbon interior accents, the cargo management system, the radar-controlled adaptive cruise control, the …

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New callsign allocated

As I have a valid HAREC certificate from the IRTS exam I took last July 2020, I am entitled to apply for a local callsign here in Switzerland. The application went in to the BAKOM group last week, and they send me out a lovely little very professional state-generated credit-card sized ID-type card with my photo and my new callsign on it. So for operating here in the Zurich region, I am HB9HJF, with a full Swiss amateur radio license, and I can use the full 1000W allowed under Swiss law for the majority of the amateur band allocations. Some …

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Bikeforums.net – Idiots? Maybe. Illegal? Probably. GDPR violators? Definitely!

I joined the online forum “bikeforums.net” back in 2012, just to be able to read some of the postings on the road bike section. I didn’t post anything there in my time as a forum member, the community just didn’t interest me much, and they really didn’t seem like the most friendly bunch, but I thought nothing of it really – no skin from my back. However, over the past ~18 months or so, I started to get really stupid/medically dangerous spam to the address I used to sign up to those forums. Upon checking the forums, I could see …

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