Upcoming climbing trip

Only 3 weeks before my buddy Bart, me and a few others leave for a rock climbing trip in the Calanques, South of France. Right above the .Mediterranean! April weather can be really nice, we might end up swimming!

Counting down

As usual on the Saturday I did my tour de van Harten, to see if there was any progress with my bike. And guess what, I can pick her up next Saturday! Click title for more pics.

New site to maintain...

For those of you interested in motorcycles, I have recently opened a new website dedicated to my latest toy. The HP2 Enduro. I wrote about that before but now I don't just have the bike, I also have the accompanying website

Lost Summit wishes all visitors a Happy New Year!

Ladies and Gentleman, we've got him

Well, actually I have him. The HP2E. Was delivered at my dealer today, crated and with a full load of complimentary dust. Appears the bike had been in London, Hellas (Greece) and was almost shipped to Singapore. So I guess the dust is from dusty Greece?

Doesn't matter, below the dust it shines!

Some pics here: My HP2 adventure

Flirting with the devil...

Actually this is something I have been doing since this 'thing' came out. Back in 2005 I was totally impressed with BMW's plans to bring out the extreme HP2 series of bikes. The Enduro, the Megamoto and Sport. When they arrived in the shop I kept on flirting but never did the deed.

At the time my dealer told me 'the Enduro is nothing for you, better take the GS'. And when the '08 R1200GS came out I traded in my R1200S Special and never regretted a single day. But now, as I like the GS concept so much I started to think back to '05 when BMW introduced the awsome the HP2's. Too bad the Enduro is no longer made. In fact, BMW only produced 800 of them (although 1600 and 2000 has also been said) and only 20 officially came to the Netherlands (but there's actually a few more now overhere).

Lucky me I managed to locate the last HP2e on the planet. I'm now trying to get it, fingers crossed... Got it

Holland's #1 BMW dealer does it again: Van Harten Amersfoort

This is not the first time and probably no news to you but I want to say it nevertheless.

Van Harten Amersfoort is again Holland's top BMW motorcycle seller of 2008. They have managed to secure their #1 position as top seller.
BMW A.G. does not want to disclose specific facts about their position and how far the competition is lagging behind.

At any rate, this a a great achievement given the difficult circumstances at the market this year.

I also want to take the opportunity to disclose that Van Harten is working on a secret project. More than that I cannot say at this point in time... new project which you can see develop here: New HP2 racer

Thailand 7th on the Dangerous Countries list

Thailand is no longer a tourist-friendly country.

On November 26, the people of the PAD movement in Thailand decided to hold over 300.000 foreigners hostage by refusing them to leave the country through main-port Bangkok.

I consider this a terrorist act and believe that Thailand is fully entitled to stay on the Dangerous Countries list until democracy has been fully restored and aggressive movements like PAD end all their activities.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, South Africa, Jamaica, Sudan
Colombia, Haiti, Eritrea, Liberia, Pakistan, Burundi, Nigeria,
Zimbabwe, India, Mexico, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Why such a strong statement?
Because my wife and my friends are being held there against their will after their holidays and with them many, many others.

Do not visit Thailand!
Update: They're back. Nevertheless: There are too many instable countries out there. Beware! Travel at your own risk!

Ubuntu 8.10

I talked about Ubuntu before. About a year ago I bought a brand new Asus F8P laptop with Vista Home Premium edition (or something like that). I gave me WiFi problems, it gave me Video problems, it gave me sleepless nights. So I wiped the disk and installed Ubuntu 8.04 (the 2008 April release).

After some fooling around, tweaking it, installing the latest drivers and what have you, I can't say anything else than that I'm totally happy with the setup. It's so much more stable than XP that I still run on my server. And so much cleaner than Vista. The only wish I have is better (laptop) battery management...

In short, I'm counting down for the next release of Ubuntu:

Climbing Jungfrau and Monch * CANCELLED *

What we feared has happened. The weather in the Alps is still very unstable and there's too much snow fall above 3000m.

We have therefore decided to cancel the tour this year. Maybe 2009 brings better weather. Although with global warming becoming more and more evident I sort of doubt it...

Hobbies, more hobbies...

My Koga XPM-M

This one is actually good for my health and will get me in shape! I have been trashing my hybrid bicycle and thought it was time for a real bike. So I got myself a really nice MTB, handmade by Dutch specialist Koga. Just did my first test run on an old dumpside, Spaarnwoude. Basically our own mountain range near Amsterdam :)

Although this little circuit of about 4kms is not known as technical it sure is hard enough for me. I did 2 laps and was completely knackered!

Check out the gallery:

Rock climbing week in Kandersteg, Switzerland

Freak's hobby

The six of us went for a week of rock climbing in Kandersteg. Well, Ton and Niek went walking really. Jolijn, Michael, Bart and I did one or two easy routes every day until 3 of 4 pm when thunder clouds set in.

The climbs could have been a bit harder to my taste, the most difficult multi pitch had one 5c bit in it (that felt easier, more like 5a). But we had a nice week, good company and great scenery around us!

Bart and I also did a 6a which was also pretty easy.
Check out the pics here:

Vosges off-road solo July '08

Vosges jungle

This must be one of my best trips ever. 600kms from Amsterdam...

As I couldn't find anybody to join me I went solo. The Vosges has many unpaved and sometimes rough roads that criss-cross the landscape bringing you to places only foresters see.

On my trip I've seen deer, foxes, martens, eagles and zero people. That introduces a risk as well, if you fall off and break something you're not going to be found soon. There's little or no cellphone reception...

I did 1450 kms in 3 days, 600 km in and 600 out. The second day only off-road, I estimate in total about 250kms. This doesn't seem like a whole lot but riding on gravel, small stones and mud, up and down the mountains is really exhausting!

Check out the rest of the gallery:

The future of cars (and motorcycles)

Everybody knows that we're gonna run out of oil sooner than later. With oil prices skyrocketing electric seems to way to go. With cars like the one below I believe things may turn for the better after all! By the end of this year, entrepreneur Steve Fambro plans to begin selling the Aptera. That means "wingless flight" in Greek, but don't think this car won't fly. It's a sleek two-seat, three-wheel electric vehicle with a top speed of 95 miles an hour. It comes in two versions - all-electric and hybrid - and should sell for around $30,000. (Only the electric is due in '08; the hybrid doesn't have a street date yet.) Made of a Space Age composite material, the hybrid gets 300 miles per gallon, while the electric can travel 120 miles or 193 kilometers on a two- to four-hour charge.
This article continues...

Here's another update from the Ubuntu front

Screenshot-Aqua aero. - Mozilla Firefox

As I said a while ago, I tossed Vista and switched to Ubuntu 8.04 running the Gnome desktop. This great distro runs my laptop pretty much out of the box, now including tv-out, 3d graphics, wireless, bluetooth, it recognizes my new Sony Ericsson W890i and so on!

With Compiz-fusion for the best graphical effects and Emerald theme manager!

Climbing Jungfrau and Monch


July 4th I'm finally going back to the mountains for some serious exercise. I'm going to try to summit first the Monch (4107m) and then the Jungfrau (4158m). Of course I'm not doing this alone, I've hooked up with 5 other veterans so if the weather gods are with us we'll make it.

Update June 30!
The trip is rescheduled to August 22 due to expected dangerous conditions.

Failed upgrade, successful rollback, another 2 failed upgrades, more rollbacks and...

Upgrading Drupal is still no trivial task as I learned this weekend. I spent dozens of hours trying to move from 5.7 to 6.2 and every time images (attached to nodes) failed to show.

After 2 days of trying and Googling I came a cross this great piece of SQL from a Mr. pulsar
insert into image select upload.nid as nid , files.fid as fid , filename as image_size from upload, files where upload.fid = files.fid and files.filemime like "image/%";

Anyway, I've got it working. All I need to do now is get some sort of messenger back...

Got myself a new camera - Panasonic DMC-FX500


I wanted a new camera for a while now, to replace my 'old' Panasonic DMC-FX9. All things considered I again choose for a Panasonic, the just released and top-of-the-line DMC-FX500.

With a 25-125mm (35mm eqv) lens and all the latest goodies from Panasonic I took the plunge and bought it without even having read a review.

From now on probably most of my pics will be taken with the FX500.

No more Vista, I switched to Linux

Update May 15 08 - Vista is fine, tons of applications, drivers, no issues. But...
Everybody needs a challenge every now and then right? Like I don't have enough of them!
But anyway, So I wiped my brand new Asus F8P notebook and installed Opensuse. No success, I couldn't get my screen resolution right, TV-Out didn't work, sound wasn't good, mouse behaved funny and so on.

But after a bit more research I decided to start over with Kubuntu. More specifically Kubuntu which adds the KDE desktop. 8.04 with KDE 3.5.9

As I'm a total novice when it comes to Linux it took me a bit of figuring out. But 2 days later I was up and running. Everything worked. TV-Out so I can play videos om my TV, sound, mouse, even the power-save settings are all working as they should.

Happy New Year!

It's been said millions of times before but nevertheless it is a strong message:

Happy New Year!

I wish all visitors to this site a prosperous 2008 with lots of fun.

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