Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Extremes Below

Observers of this blog will note that I have included "Blind Descent" in my list of favorite books. I have always followed the extreme tales of the great mountain achievements, but I never realised that adventures below the surface are equally if not more extreme and dangerous
This is a fascinating description of the efforts by a number of teams to find the deepest cave on Earth. It explains the traumas of exploring in absolute total darkness, where the possibility of an accident or fatal tragedy is ever present, and the near impossibility of a rescue or a recovery. from such remote confined locations, thousands of meters underground.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Its on Again soon

Yes its that time to start thinking about the Tour de France.
This year it covers some of the country that we are familiar with - especially stage-18 which goes through a section of the French Alps that we visited in 2015.
For that previous tour we saw stage-17 at Pra Loup near Barcelonnette (near the bottom of this map). The following day we drove north to Briancon, on the same roads that the tour will follow this year in the opposite direction.  The roads around the Lac de Serre-Poncon and over the Cote des Demoiselles Coiffees were quite spectacular.  I just hope that the SBS live telecast will start in time to show the riders traversing those areas.

Friday, 19 May 2017

A Dismal Day

What is on the program today?

Not much as far as I can see.
My bike will stay in the shed today, and I may be forced to get comfortable in my little office with my computer as a friend. It is amazing that I am prepared to make such sacrifices.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

A Night at the Opera

Well not quite - but a pleasant afternoon with the Australian Army Band in our magnificent Empire theatre.  This band was a bit different, because they not only played the traditional military marches, but they also performed a bracket of "big-band" favorites, and also some music and vocals from popular musicals.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Another Milestone

In the recent past I seem to have added a disproportionate number of blogs about bikes and related activities. and unfortunately here is another one, but this time it is a bit special.
Since I bought my current bike a few years ago, I have faithfully recorded every one of the training rides that I have done. This week my trusty cyclometer recorded my 300th training ride which brought the total distance up to 10,149 km.
My rides are now not quite as long or as fast as they have been but a brisk 30km in the clear air of my home town does wonders to my health. Of course the BMC drink bottle handed to me at stage-17 of the 2015 Tour de France by Rohan Dennis, definitely inspires me to carry on.
How long will it continue? Who knows - at an age approaching 81 years, every ride is a bonus.

Monday, 5 December 2016

EBooks made easy

Creating your own Ebook is quite an easy exercise, and in recent times I have created 3 ebooks covering various aspects of my historical family records, plus this one that records a visit to Europe to see a stage of the Tour de France in 2015
The main text of an ebook is written in HTML, which is the same language that is used on all web pages, but you do not need to be concerned about this, because the source text can be written in MS-Word (or any other text editor) and a software package can then be used to convert it into unfiltered HTML files for inclusion in the ebook.
There are lots of software packages available that are easy to follow, and which create excellent results.  I use Sigil which is a free package only 27mb in size which creates ebooks in the "epub" format. These ebooks can easily be converted to various other formats using Calibre.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Parking - Italian Style

We have all heard of the many narrow roads in the Piemonte area, and the associated parking problems.  It is always best to keep to the side of the road to allow other traffic to pass.
This motorist has made sure that the road is not obstructed.