Cretan Blog-October 2015

Hi again. This is being started on 7th September prior to a quick three-day visit to the UK where we hope to find things a little cooler. For the past three weeks, each day the temperature at the house has been over 34°C with the night-time thermometer readings being no lower than 25°C. Whilst this is all very nice, we could do with a slight cooler period once in a while.

Now, I know we will miss this when January and February come round but if there was a way of saving this heat for a few months . . .

Virgin Non-Media:
For a few weeks I have been unable to get into my virgin e-mail account that I have had since the days of dial-up. No idea why, but I could not even get into the virgin email site on t’internet.

I sought advice from Deez who put John, G1DJI, on the case. It seems that as I do not have a virgin account for broadband or TV or whatever, I am ‘undesirable’ and so my email account has been closed.

The bearded one is now off my Christmas card list.


Return to SV9:
The 3-day visit to the UK seemed to go very quickly. With the object of the visit to see our daughter, there was no time to see other friends or visit various radio emporia.

I mentioned last time about putting new frequencies in the little Wouxun so as to get into the Hastings repeater. Whatamistakatomaka! It seems I got the RX and TX frequencies the wrong way round and despite my best endeavours I could not get them to change. The first two evenings were spent on the phone to a local but no matter what was suggested, nothing worked. A complete reset was then done so that when turned back on the little lady inside the rig spoke to me in Chinese.

We followed the destructions to the letter but no matter what was tried, we could not get the shift to go the right way or the CTCSS to work.

Since returning I looked at loading frequencies through some software but this was so utterly incomprehensible that, like the Nikon camera that I said I would not mention again, the Wouxun is now added to the rest of the technical stuff we cannot get to work properly or do not understand.

This pile of techno-junk in the cupboard is getting larger!

More Americanation comes to the UK:
It is bad enough that you cannot get a normal cup of coffee without asking for some weird name that means absolutely nothing, but what is this new thing where you go for a meal and are greeted with ‘Hi Guys!’ or you are sitting at a table and someone comes to take your order and says ‘Hi Guys! What can I get you?’’

Seeing that for most of the time there were two women and only one man in attendance, why should my wife and daughter be referred to as ‘Guys’?

I found this quite offensive.

As for the coffee thing: When I say I want a normal cup of coffee like you would make at home, I get told that ‘What you want is an Americano with milk’.

No I don’t, I want a normal coffee. Having tried this ‘Americano with milk’ in most of the Costalot places or Star*ucks, I can affirm that it is so awful that I tried the tea instead. All I wanted was a cup of tea and what do I get? – A huge T-bag about the size of a packet of fags with a piece of rope attached, floating in a cereal bowl.

Over the past few years the gullible British public must have been really brainwashed into accepting this rubbish . . .

Ankle-biting fellow PAX:
I don’t mind flying although I would rather sit in the jump-seat behind the Captain, but in the back you are subject to those stupid people who want to travel with kids. With three kids in various parts of the plane all screaming from the moment they got on until the moment they got off, this just confirmed my thought that anyone under the age of 18, who wants to fly, should be put in the hold, along with their parents.

Greek Life.
The Election:
As you may have heard, after getting loads of cash from various people, the then Prime Minister out here called an election. Oh joy, the third election since January and by the time this hits your screens the result will be known as to who won, or who didn’t or which party is helping another try and rule the country for the next few days or weeks.

In the UK, an election debate between the main parties is a very rare event, while out here it happens almost daily.

This evening (14th) there are only two channels (out of 20) on the TV that are not covering the debate between the Syriza party and the other main contender, New Democracy. These channels are MyTV, similar to MTV, and Epsilon which is showing an old black and white film.

One person from each of the main TV stations gets 30 seconds to ask a question and the two rivals get 30 seconds each to answer so normal programming has been put on hold.

Then there are the adverts. There are a lot of adverts on Greek TV anyway but when you add the ones for the political parties, and there are 19 of ‘em, you can see why the adverts after the news, for example, can last for 17 minutes! You know they are coming because a caption is put on the screen and then the adverts start: Syriza is usually first with New Democracy next and then all the other small parties. Not all of them put out adverts as they are expensive but there are still enough to take up 17 minutes . . .

Tax Evasion:
This week it was reported that Greece loses around 22 billion Euros a year in tax evasion by the self employed. This figure also includes self employed prostitutes who do not issue receipts. [How does he know this? – Ed]

However, it is not just the self employed who duck paying tax, many businesses also ‘work for cash’ and thus avoid paying tax. The four most tax-avoiding industries, or so we are told are: medicine, engineering, education and the media. Not far behind is tourism followed by accounting finance, which altogether makes up about 80% of the missing tax revenue.

It would seem that, as most of the people in Parliament come from one of the above tax-avoiding business, they are very reluctant to pressure companies to get the tax into the Government coffers.

As for the ‘medicine’ business, a doctor over in Heraklion was checked out recently by the authorities and found that over the past few years he earned around 650.000 Euros ‘on the quiet’.

The Magazines:
Both RadComic and PW arrived just prior to sending this to Deez and were of little interest except that on the front cover of RadComic I see that this so-called ‘DXpedition’ to teach yoofs how to operate up in the Welsh hills instructed them to always have the 2nd receiver in your rig tuned out of an Amateur Band i.e. 20.701 mc/s and to stop RF getting into the audio, put a huge ferrite block in the Mic lead and wrap the cable round it.

The RSGB claim that Peter Dodds is: “…one of the leading experts on antennas in the world…” in their adverts for his books. How come then that on page 30 of the latest edition of RadComic he admits that “…I had no experience of multi-banding using traps…” He is an expert who has never, ever used traps? This is astounding! As an expert I would have thought he would have at least tried ‘em, even if he didn’t much like the way they worked or the results they gave . . . So much for being an ‘expert’.

I also see the RSGB made a loss in the first 6 months of the year partly due to a specific campaign to attract new Members. This would have been the using of the Ofcom database to send junk mail to people who are licensed but not Members – like to me under my G3 call.

Money well spent then if the increase in numbers did not pay for the campaign.

I see W&S are advertising again in PW. Bet their missed month scarred the **** out of the PW accountants. However, I still think my forecast for the magazine, made last time, will come to fruition as this month I see that the Editor has had to write three of the main articles.

Greek Life – Part the Second:
Well, once again the pollsters and soothsayers got it totally wrong.

We have been told for weeks that the election outcome would be ‘too close to call’ and even three days before the election it was suggested that New Democracy were in the lead. How come these pollster people get it so wrong each time?

Still, we now have some form of Government for the next few weeks or until the next financial crisis comes along. Now, you would think that with all the austerity and financial jiggery-pokery going on that the ‘man or woman in the street’ would have grasped some of the reasons behind it all.

Not so. A lady interviewed on the TV reckoned that now Syriza had got back into power, they could re-instate the extra months’ money paid in the Summer and the Christmas bonus. Err, does the old bat realise that this was part of the problem in the first place, paying 14 months money for 12 months work?

Everyday things out here will not change much but the Government must act quickly to honour the pledges that it made to get the bail-out cash. If it doesn’t, or it takes too long in doing things, the country will be in the ‘ka-ka’ again.

Yesterday (21st) we had rain. Some serious rain accompanied by a wondrous lightning display and thunder. This was the first proper rain since early June and was most welcomed.

The temperature also dropped 10 degrees in as many minutes.

Time to get the jumpers out!


Dick. SV9RPE.

This entry was posted in Cretan News from SV9RPE. Bookmark the permalink.