Shoveling Snow Off In Bucharest

After a looong while, I decided to post something more on my blog. Eric has been using most of my spare time (when I was home…) and since I’m not a very frantic blogger (and I will stop procrastinating tomorrow…) I did not miss posting $STUFF here.

As you probably heard, we’re experiencing a pretty harsh winter. The Romanian Weather Service (ANM – Administratia Nationala de Meteorologie) has issued an “orange code” weather alert for the southern part of Romania. Regardless, people went on road… to get stuck in the huge snow. Of course, 60-80 km/h winds were of great help in alleviating this situation. (Until now, one man has died of hypothermia in his car while his wife has been rescued but is still in a hypothermia shock.) Hundreds of people remained stuck in the middle of nowhere; even the snow ploughs could not do much, because there were cars blocking the roads. Oh, and when one way got cleared, drivers would rush on it regardless of their direction of movement… getting it all back to a standstill. Continue reading Shoveling Snow Off In Bucharest

Next gen pilot in the family

As I should have said in a previous post, when we placed the order for our new car we didn’t know that we also “placed an order” for a new member of our family. We found that out almost 2 months later, after some subtle changes in my lady‘s behavior. And I must admit it was a wonderful surprise. Continue reading Next gen pilot in the family

“Sluga la doi stapani” sau cum se promoveaza un teatru 2.0

WARNING: The following post is in Romanian. For an approximate translation, you can check this link provided via Google Translate.

Doamna mea, care este mult mai web 2.0 si mai social media fata de soarecele de biblioteca calculator eu, a primit pe cale directa o invitatie de la Stefan Murgeanu pentru un eveniment organizat de DreamTeamRO. Acu’ nu ca nu mai fuseseram niciodata la Teatrul Masca, dar tocmai pentru ca stiam ce le poate pielea maestrilor de acolo am zis un “DA!” din tot sufletul. Si nu am regretat nicio clipa.

Sa lamurim un lucru: nu sunt un consumator foarte avid de teatru, dar imi place un spectacol jucat bine. Iar “Sluga la doi stapani” de Carlo Goldoni, in regia maestrului Mihai Malaimare, intra cu brio in aceasta categorie. Toti actorii pun mult suflet si rezultatul este vizibil. Dupa spectacol am avut privilegiul de-a putea schimba cateva cuvinte cu interpretul rolului principal – Trufaldino – si anume Andrei Gonczi, de la care am aflat ca in urma unei reprezentatii “scapa” cam de 1 kg. Si nu e vorba doar de consumul de apa… Oricum, placerea de a putea schimba cateva vorbe cu acesti oameni deosebiti nu are egal, si ma bucur ca am avut aceasta ocazie – nu stiu cand se va mai repeta. :)

Nu va voi divulga mai mult din spectacol spre a nu stirbi eventualele surprize. Va invit sa il urmariti, cu atat mai mult cu cat – asa cum ne-a obisnuit acest minunat teatru – spectacolul nu este doar o desfasurare pe scena, ci implica si publicul. Intr-un mod care, sper eu, o sa va faca placere. Pana atunci puteti urmari niste instantanee din timpul spectacolului. Si inca o data felicitari si din partea mea, pe langa toti cei care i-au felicitat deja, pentru o echipa care a inteles impactul noilor mijloace de comunicare si a reusit sa se apropie mult de potentialul sau public.

SPR Mod 0 for sale

Almost a year ago I discovered the game of Airsoft. I don’t like to go to the gym, but I still like to make some physical effort from time to time. And since I was a “n00b”, I tried to head towards something not very expensive but that could allow some popular upgrades. So I ended up buying an improved version of a China-made (ACM, “All China Made”) M16 Navy SPR Mod 0 (Mk 12).

Since its acquisition (around August last year), I only managed to take it out for 3 practice sessions and one game. It was just about to see a second game, but that was a larger one where no “hi-cap” magazines were allowed. Since I didn’t get at least one mid- or low cap[acity] mag, my replica was excluded by default. No worries, I played with a pistol, which brought me the first 5 kills of my airsoft career. :)) But I found out that in order to be efficient in a DMR (Designated Marksman) role, this replica needs several improvements. It already has a good gearbox and a solid, high-torque engine, to compress the powerful spring (being a hot, 135 m/s, replica) so I added a precision barrel and hop-up bucking… but it still needs some add-ons: bipod, a good hop-up chamber, and of course the low capacity (50 BBs) magazines. And then I heard about an opportunity, someone who is giving away his P90. Since I’ve been a fan of the Stargate series, especially SG-1, a P90 seemed quite a hit. So I went to see it.

It is a lighter – MUCH lighter – replica, less than half of the fully loaded SPR. It is less powerful – and I will likely reduce its power even further, since I also intend to use it in CQB (Close Quarters Battle), where distances are rather small so the ball energy has to be reduced accordingly. It comes with a precision barrel and quite a number of standard mags – so what could I further ask for? Therefore I decided to put the SPR up for sale, eventually with the scope – quite big for airsoft, but useful for other long-range targeting activities.

The replica has only very light usage signs and it comes with all original accessories included save a front handle I gave a friend sometime ago. The original connectors have been replaced with more reliable, air model-grade Deans, capable of sustaining up to 40 A. The only really visible usage signs are a small scratched area on the front scope cover.

Update: the SPR has been sold to a friend of mine who has finally managed to start practicing this wonderful game. Since he was looking for a good replica and liked this one. He’s happy with it, and we measured it today to find out it shoots at a very decent 120 m/s, slow enough for a rifleman role (allowed to also shoot on full auto, MED (Minimum Engagement Distance) of only 7 m. And I bought the P90 I saw when I wrote this post, and I’m VERY happy with it.

See you on the battlefield!

Piano. Not “forte”… yet

Late last year I discovered that I have quite a number of hobbies. Coincidence or not, all of them are of the “outdoor” type. And I discovered that during the severe weather conditions – wet / snowy, cold and windy – I’m stuck inside with not much to do. And it annoyed me.

I like music. I like it a lot. I used to listen to a bunch of vinyl records when I was a kid – on an old, tube-based Telefunken radio and record player, something similar to this Mozart FA-1886. (The records are still there, although seldom used these days.) I remember that I was a bit envious on others who could play an instrument, any instrument. And I wished I could play one too. Unfortunately – or, maybe, not… – my parents never thought about putting me up to study an instrument. So I decided that since I know a piano teacher, why not give it a try? Yes, I know, a guitar is lighter than a piano – so you can carry it with you if you like – but I’m not much of a traveler, so piano is equally good. And, more important, I know a piano teacher, not a guitar one. Continue reading Piano. Not “forte”… yet

A long wait worth it

Finally, as mentioned in my previous post, “it” has arrived. “It” being our new Skoda Octavia 2 Facelift. Still red, as our current car, a very good Dacia Logan. I won’t start comparing them – it’s like comparing a 286 against a Pentium Core 2 Duo. “It” feels good – and NEW. :) I spent some time in it after we received it, on Thursday evening, to get a bit used to the new console – and the new audio system, and boy does it sound GREAT!.

At a first glance, the driving position is slightly lower than in the Logan. I’ll have to see how can I adapt to it after being used to the high position in the Logan. But it seems pretty much ok, at least in a stationary car. I can’t drive it yet since I chose to get the permanent license plates, so I’ll have to further wait a few days. I only drove it in the dealer’s parking lot – and I must admit that the DSG gearbox is an absolute joy. We will have to get used to each other, of course, but I loved it from the moment I first drove a car that had one, so I guess it won’t be something very hard or annoying. Continue reading A long wait worth it

Soon, a new member in the family (sort of)

My first car, a Dacia Logan I bought since the release of the model (actually I placed the order 2 months BEFORE the car was released) has just made 6 years. Six great years when it didn’t fail me once. Oh wait, it did once, kind of. But that got fixed rather quickly. Yet it’s true that I cared about it – not in the obsessive passionate way I heard (or even seen) some people do (cleaning it weekly or even more often, inside and outside, caring about every single scratch, let alone pimp it up or “tune” it…) But given that this car has been designed for a lifespan of 5 to 7 years, I thought it is better if I either sell it or retire it as a backup vehicle. It does not even have a great mileage – only 88.000 km in 6 years. Not a large number, but for the first 2 years it more stayed than traveled. Yet, if I keep on using it, I expect the maintenance costs to slightly increase. So… to keep it or to replace it? That is the question. Continue reading Soon, a new member in the family (sort of)

RC sailing 21 years later

21 years ago, during a nice summer day in Constanta, my uncle let me use a radio remote control transmitter for the first time in my life. It was controlling a sail boat, a nice device built entirely by him. The only purchased items were the accumulators and the control servos. Other than that, the design, theĀ  build, the setup, the radio part – transmitter and receiver – were ALL built by my beloved uncle.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to take my wife to the seaside, since she was longing for a bare foot walk on the beach. So we headed to the seaside around 06:00 from our place in Bucharest, the entire back seat of the car filled with our dog Maxie. We parsed the A2 motorway to the seaside in an hour and something, and after 2 1/2 hours we were on the absolutely empty beach, the autumn breeze gently blowing from the sea, and Maxie very happy to have plenty of room to run. The only nasty part was that there was a lot of water around; still plenty of room to run – and plenty of birds to chase! But this part of the trip can be read on our travel blog. Continue reading RC sailing 21 years later

The Historical Film Festival in Rasnov

Yesterday we decided to take a trip to the medieval fortress in Rasnov, Brasov county. The compelling reason for me was the presence of Tritonic Publishing House and of its general manager, Bogdan Hrib, who decided to organize an airsoft shooting range in the area. A must see, for me…

Tritonic is the organizer of the book section of the Historical Film Festival in Rasnov. The movies are displayed mostly in the city movie hall, save the last two each day. These last two are projected on a large inflatable screen in front of – and, maybe later, in place of – the scene. This scene is where the children participating at the first edition of the international children canto contest “Liga Campionilor” (“Champions’ League”) perform on. This contest is taking place in the same area, the fortress main yard, as I write this post, although it is not a part of the film festival.

Continue reading The Historical Film Festival in Rasnov

Operation Black Thunder – 2010

Like I said in a previous post, I came in contact with a very nice outdoor leisure activity called “airsoft”. 16 years ago I had my last shooting session (with LIVE ammo), as a student at the Romanian MTA, and I’ve been searching for ways to try this practice again ever since. Given that in Romania it is forbidden to own firearms (except for certain categories of people such as hunters and those in the military, police or other special services) this was a difficult task, to say the least. Yet it proved to be possible in the form of a non-lethal copy of a real weapon, a copy that fires 6 mm plastic ball bullets (BBs) at velocities up to 160 m/s. Continue reading Operation Black Thunder – 2010