Saturday, January 27, 2007

History of Religion in 90 seconds

A most amazing dynamic map showing the spread of major religions over past 5000 years in 90secs of video . its interesting to see how religions always appear to start at the fringe of an existing religions zone of influence.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Self Charging Smoke Alarm

Here is a really neat product:-
"Never worry about changing batteries again. This unique smoke detector screws into any ceiling light fixture and operates off your home electricity. Reinstall the light bulb into the alarm, and now you’ve got a light source and smoke alarm in one! Recharges itself every time you turn the light on."

Be cool to make one that works with a standard UK ceiling rose and even better that uses the house wiring to activate all the alarms in the house.

Maybe one exists?

Thanks to the Make blog for the link.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Good news day.

Today French Telecom finally fixed my line in the Les Gets exchange. So after around 20 days, endless phone calls and employing the services of Bernard at Kankoo Informatique in Morzine to pester France Telecom into submission I now have a 1MB ADSL line working in the apartment.

And more good news - the snow has finally arrived in Les Gets village after 3 weeks of rain. Here is the view from my balcony at 3.30pm today. Outside temperature is -1.1 so its looking good for tomorrow.

Cherie radio should have more to report tomorrow although I now have to listen too.

Oh and Nick is getting married in Gozo at some point near my 60th birthday in July.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Rain rain go away....

Another foul day here in Les Gets. Even Avoriaz is now suffering with rain and wind at the tops.

Here is the view at the top of the Telecabine Ardent at 1510 metres. Love the carpet of straw to stop you slipping on the ice.

Snow now predicted in Les Gets next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Oh and still no ADSL in the apartment :-(


Thursday, January 18, 2007

French Connection

Here I am in France at my apartment in Les Gets 74260. Wanadoo aka Orange have been charging me 24.90 Euro a month for a 1MB connection. However, as you can see there is a missing light on my router modem. Yes that's right there is no ADSL on the line. Trying to contact their service assistance on 3901 sucks big time even for native French speakers, we are now on our second 72 hour promise of an engineer. I've now paid Bernard of Kankoo Informatique in Morzine to try and sort out the Orange guys. However, I'm not hopeful ,they seem even worse than NTL and BT. I wonder how Loic gets on with his ADSL connections.

Picture of actual Netgear router lights.

The missing Internet (ADSL) light.

All a bit terrible for an apartment that you only use occasionally. So off to The Boomerang Hotel Stella again to post this post.

Friends are we.

Here is a great piccy of Stan and I. We became friends in infant school at Creswell in 1951. Stan was my protector from all those playground bullies (well he is 6 months older than me which at 60 is nothing but at 5 is like a lot!!). We shared a huge number of experiences together even though our paths diverged when his parents allowed him to do 'O' levels and go to university and then he emigrated first class to Australia. Meanwhile I was forbidden to do full time education after 15 (I know its unbelievable now, that your parents would BAN you from doing 'O' levels etc etc) and ended up in an ironworks and eventually Cambridge.

Well here we are, celebrating our 60th trip around the sun, in Les Gets still the best of friends.Reminiscing about our illegal chemistry and electronic activities back in Creswell in the late 60's

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Les Gets Estate Agency survey

Decided to take a break from the iceboarding today and do a little survey of all the estate agents, with high street offices, here in Les Gets (74260) France. I found 10 unique agents in 11 locations. Here are snaps with their phone numbers and website links. Click the agency name or image to access the agents website:-

Orpi Agences 0450796965

www.acm-immobilier.frACM immobilier 0450758926

Arch immobilier 0450797428

Immo Progets 045075820

Centrale Des Proprieties 0450797812

Century 21 0450745600

Agence Anthonioz 0450798009

Agence des alpes 0450758518

Century21 0450758320

Agence Holiday 045075814

4807 Immobilier 0450758628

Previously known as Agence Olivier

Feel free to leave comments or names of any other agents operating in Les Gets.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow in Les Gets? Must be last year!

Here is a great photo taken outside my apartment in Les Gets in March 2006. (Thanks Kevin & Louise) Currently the same view is green grass with not a speck of snow. Please don't laugh, tonight we are promised 1/2 inch of snow at the mid station :-(

However, according to Jean-Michel at The Boomerang hotel we can expect loads of snow next week :-) Many thanks to The Boomerang for providing free WiFi internet here in Les Gets.

Today Stan and I did the Chavannes run, a tribute to the snow cannon and careful piste management by SA Gets we could actually ski into the village. Even Avoriaz is looking a bit dodgy now, especially below 1800metres.

Monday, January 15, 2007

GPS walking errors

As a little experiment I set myself a little walking route around the back of the apartment on the slopes of Mont Chery and then uploaded it to the GPS. I then tried following the route, with no map, just using the GPS. When I returned I downloaded where I had walked.

The image shows the blue track, my intended route and the red track where I actually walked. As you can see I went wrong 6 times in one hour. Oh dear need to brush up on my GPS techniques :-(

I did a bit of boarding this morning at the back of Avoriaz but got bored after 14 miles in  90mins as it was terribly icy. Here is my route.

The bus fro Les Gets to Ardent takes 30minutes from Mont Chery until you are at the top of the Ardent lift. From tomorrow there is an additional bus at 9.30 the bus at 10.00 this morning was jam packed. 

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A lovely of Ellee's

My star blogging protege Ellee is really riding high. Here are some comments culled from the internet today:-

Paul Newman 43 year old Islington resident and London Conservative Mayor hopeful writes his thoughts and says:-

4 Ellee- I sometimes find Elee a bit alarmingly left wing…well compared to me anyway!! . She does like her environmental issues and is nice to everyone ,which I cannot be. I love her blog though . She is more journalistic in style able to present issues clearly with depth balance and always a pleasure to read. There is a sort of calm and good nature about her that is a welcome change form the over heated atmosphere of virtual shouting .
It seems astonishing that you are not required to pay for her posts which are limpid pools of sense with wonderfully presented supporting information.

and from Jeremy Jacobs we get this collective noun - a lovely of ellee's

Gazing into my crystal ball I think Ellee is in for a good year, although my other protege, Sally, is doing rather well too.

No snow Sunday in Les Gets

Looking back from the Nauchets Express into the Ranfoilly bowl. Remmants of artificial snow only. But the lifts are open with the Bruyere run into the village just about open and the Violettes run to the Nauchets still passable.

Looking up the Gazelle black run on Mont Chery - not a spec of snow anywhere. Just forget Mont Chery if you are a skier. walkers and paragliders only.

Well at least Mont Blanc still has some snow - for the time been anyway. View from the Le Belvedere at 1550metres on Mont Chery. My guess is that the snow line is at around 1800metres..

Looking towards the Grand Ourse two man lift, Mont Chery. From the bubble car exit at midway. The green piste is Ourson. The piste basher looking rather forlorn surrounded by slush.

My Sunday afternoon walk up Mont Chery about a 400metre climb and 7km in 1hr 30min with a 30min Vin chaud break at Le Belverdere. I boarded the Chavannes in the morning, that's it though, Avoriaz from now on.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Les Gets to Ardent (Avoriaz) free bus!

A gorgeous sunny day today with temperature over 10 degrees.

Les Gets has now organised a free bus direct to Ardent from outside the Mont Chery bubble car. They depart at 08.45, 10.00 and 12.00 returning at 13.15, 15.30 and 16.45 from the bubble car station at Ardent. TC Ardent is very fast so its a much quicker to get to Avoriaz and the Porte de Soleil.

I did 20.3 miles in 2hr 16min with 8mins of stops a top speed of 38.7mph according to the GPS. A great few hours although a great pity that you have to travel on a bus and also pay the high lift pass rates of Avoriaz. I managed to get my pass upgraded to the Port de Soleil area for no more than if I had done it originally so I'm pleased.

Friday, January 12, 2007

From Les Gets to Avoriaz - rain to snow

Due to the overnight rain here in Les Gets and the lack of snow. We decided to try our luck in Avoriaz which at 1800metres is 700metres above Les Gets.

Much, much better snow and obviously quite crowded, the off piste bits are still very icy but the pistes were in quite good condition. Here is our afternoon's activities. I covered 16.6 miles, so not so bad with my left toe strap snapping on the last run home :-( The afternoon pass cost 24.50 Euro so quite dear.

I ventured to just above where I was walking the GR5 in September. Looking directly down at Col de Chesery and Lac Vert where I spent my second night in the Refuge de Chésery (it was just about covered in snow today.).

It was good using the new Le BaladAulps Bus 55 seater bus service from outside my apartment in Les Gets and Morzine town centre 1Euro each way with buses out to Morzine at 09.15, 09.45, 09.54, 11.14, 12.34, 13.05, 13.45, 13.54, 15.14, 16.10, 16.34, 18.04, 18.50 and 19.10 Returning to Les Gets from Morzine at 06.42, 08.09, 09.27, 09.30, 10.32, 10.47, 12.07, 13.00, 13.27, 13.42, 14.47, 16.07, 17.32 and 19.37 Yep the 17.32 is heaving even out of season. the buses are operational between 16th Dec. and 22 April they also travel down as far as Le Jotty and St Jean d'Aulps and Montriond

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Boarding in Les Gets

The snow might be dreadful with only a handful of blue runs open but that doesn't stop me geeking out . Here is a map of where I went boarding this afternoon, made by strapping  my GARMIN Etrex to my helmet and then importing the track log into my Memory Map.

  Overlaid is my speed profile with a red dot that shows exactly where my highest speed was obtained.  An alternative graph is the elevation profile showing that I used 3 lifts.

Will be interesting to see what happens once we get some decent snow and the red and black runs open. Interestingly I had my first  email request for a summer booking at my apartment today

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Happy New Year

Finally got around to writing a new post (I attempted one earlier but the PC crashed and lost it!) As Ellee reminded me its now 5 weeks since I posted which is some sort of record in my 6 years of blogging.

I thought I would do a quick round up of the year.

 Here is the year according to my  Eatwatch chart ( A Program that made the transition from the Treo650 to the Treo680 nearly intact) . I've finally made it to my target of 78kg set 2 years ago. As you can see the oscillations in weight are getting less as my self control is beginning to improve. The worse peak in August is what happens when you stay on a small island with good food and precious little else to do! (Note that the graph is computed from daily weighing's. The blue dots are Km walked.

A great year for my walking.

Firstly doing The Pennine Way in 15days at the end of April/May. taking just over half million steps compared to the million steps from St Jean Pierre Port to Santiago de Compostella.

Then in September for 23 days I crossed the Alps walking the GR5 around 356 miles.

and of cause just recently I've met Sally in Norfolk.   So in the last couple of months we have been doing many walks in East Anglia. Here is a rather neat map with all the GPS data from the walks superimposed on it.

Will be interesting to see what 2007 will bring. My guesstimate for 2006 is over 1000miles of walking.

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