Cretan Blog – February 2012

Greetings once again.

It was really good to see so many of you at the Christmas Bash and a few reprobates later at the Robin Hood. While at the RH, I first saw my first ‘demonstration’, if that’s the right word, of Twitter. Marc took a picture of the assembled masses and within seconds had it uploaded to wherever it goes and a few minutes later John, DJI, was able to view it (after a bit of fiddling). Of course, both had these all-singing, all-dancing phones which probably helped. In contrast, my good old Nokia has been around for over 8 years now so does not contain any of this modern malarkey. In fact, you can no longer see any of the letters on any of the buttons or even the name of the phone maker as all have been worn off.

Being a bit of an old fuddy-duddy, I do not see me getting into any of this new stuff, like Twitter or eBay. It was while in the UK the other week that someone was talking about eBay and I had to admit to never having seen it. I have seen links to it from various sites of course, but have never clicked on ‘em so would not know what it looked like. I have heard so many bad stories about eBay and people ripping you off, which is why I have avoided it.

Pay-Pal is another thing that I have never used. This is probably because I keep getting email messages from ‘them’ saying there is a problem with my account – which I don’t have!

However, we did bow to some of this modern technology stuff at Christmas when I bought the XYL a Kindle thing. Please don’t ask me how you use it or get books on it as I don’t know, but she can download stuff and read to her hearts content, so she is quite happy, thank you . . .

You will recall that I did not receive my December RadComic and so wrote to them thar people in Bedford. I received a reply from the Mrs Editor person which, to be honest, was a fudge from beginning to end. First, she said my address was correct. I know that as I received the January edition – she also said that they had received other complaints from non-UK members about non delivery and because of this they were using trying different carriers each month for overseas mail. OK, fine, but why then do I always get mine via the same courier, TNT, and have done for the past two years?

I was sent another copy by Royal Mail and it reached me within 5 days. I know it cost 65p to send it but why not do this every month? Total cost for the year is only £7.80 which is not a lot out of my 40-odd quid subs, is it?

She also failed to comment on my saying that G7DIEs operation was illegal. Maybe she should have checked the story first before printing it or maybe she was too embarrassed to admit that she had printed something that condoned illegal activity?

How about this for a T-shirt? Received it as a gift from Serge, UA9CSA, and has my call emblazoned on the back. Neat

Local Stuff:
January 6th out here is like another Christmas Day. Children receive presents and all that sort of thing. It is however John the Baptist’s Day and is celebrated more than ‘our’ Christmas.

The day prior to 6th, the local Priest goes round the village and blesses all the houses. This can take him the best part of a day in our village but down in Elounda, it takes the poor chap well over a week.

On the 6th itself, in Elounda, after the morning Church service, the Priest goes to the harbour where five or six young men are waiting. After some words of encouragement, he stands on the quay and throws a large gold cross into the sea where the young men dive in and try to retrieve it. After a couple of attempts one young chap surfaces and holds it aloft. They return it to the Priest who parades it back to the Church.

The young men dry themselves and, after putting on warm clothing, all rush off for a coffee!

Local Speed Limits:
Like the UK we have speed limits.  In villages this can vary from 40, to 30, or even 20 kph.
Anyway, down the hill is the village of Plaka and should you drive into the village from Elounda you will see a 40 kph speed sign. All well and good. However, should you enter from Plaka from our village, the speed limit shows 30 kph on the same road.

This has been pointed out but no one seems too worried . . . Only on Crete!

I received a mail giving details of the callsign changes you can apply for during the Olympics and Queens Jubilee.

Hmmm. While it may be OK for prefix hunters, it does not help if I work GO3AAA in a contest as I will not know if he is in G, GM, or GI etc.

It seems that this is always the same each time Ofcom and the RSGB get together to try and issue special calls for something or another. We are told that these meetings have been going on since just after the Olympics were awarded to London – but if this is all they can come up with, adding an ‘O’, the meetings would seem to have been a waste of time. But hey, I guess it was a few days out in London for the Boys in Bedford . . .

The special calls in the 2O12a – 2O12z series I can understand and make some form of sense, but to apply for an NOV just to add O or Q for a few weeks, which will confuse all and sundry, no thanks. When you think about it, even the usual ‘special event calls’ are confusing. I mean, you run a station from Abridge Village Fete and use the call, GB2AVF, no problem. If, however, I work GB2AFM, (Aberdeen Fish Market), who just happens to be north of the Border, how do I tell which country I worked from just the prefix? It will be the same with the GB2012xxx series as well.

Talking of things north of the Border, should the Scots get independence, I wonder what ITU Prefix they will be issued with for Amateur, Shipping and Aircraft? Of course there may well be letters about this in RadComic but thanks to the RSGB mailing service, I will probably not see my copies until (a) after the Games are over or (b) after Scotland have left the UK . . .

Good to see that the ‘Powers That Be’ found in favour of the RSGB and said that the old General Manager must pay up pretty damn quick. However, don’t hold your breath as I can see this running on and on and on . . .

Time for a glass or two I think . . . Deez tells me that the local wine I drink costs the equivalent of £1.33 a litre. This is cheaper than petrol out here and so all I need to do now is modify the car . . .

. . . anyone seen my spanner?


Dick. ‘XBN.

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