… And for me, and for our boiler, it is now the Moment Of Truth.
Remembering the past issues
As you may remember from some previous posts (27.03.2017 – Pressure loss discovery in the heating system; 29.06.2017 – Heating system: technician advice) we have had multiple issues with our boiler: the water pressure was slowly but constantly decreasing, which led to the boiler stopping every now and then, or, the boiler kept running but the water/house wasn’t warm enough. Particularly the decreasing of the water pressure disturbed me as I didn’t have any clue of where the water was going: having a floor heating system, the idea of a water leak was terrifying me.
After multiple interventions of the technicians I finally discovered that the issue was related to a lack of maintenance and to my ignorance. In fact I always thought that the maintenance performed by Elco’s technicians was enough for the boiler to be in a good shape.
It is not.
The boiler has to be cleaned every year by a chimney sweeper, too. From what I understood the chimney sweeper opens the boiler and performs a chemical wash which removes the combustion residuals as well as the limescale which is generated while heating the water: further, in our specific model of boiler, the heat exchanger features many thin fins which get clogged easily, therefore I believe it is particularly sensitive and should be maintained with extra care. Indeed, after the cleaning, the boiler was working much better. But, my little quest wasn’t finished, as the loosing water pressure issue wasn’t solved yet. After further researches we discovered that, probably due to the accumulation of residuals in the past six years, the heat exchanger wasn’t waterproof anymore: we had to change ours with a new one. And, as often happens, the warranty already had expired!
How does it look like today, then?
As the technician said, after all the interventions, basically we now have a new boiler. Since the substitution I have been checking the water pressure with some apprehension, as I was afraid that it would start dropping again. From the measurements that you will see below you may notice that there is still some pressure loss, still it is slower than before: as you may observe, starting from June 2017 the pressure is decreasing way slower. I hope this is an acceptable level of pressure loss.
Here below some of the measurements that I have made during the past months. Please note that the change of the heat exchanger happened on the 29.06.2017. After that date the pressure loss is still there but happens in a time frame of over 2 months.
Date: 27.03.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 2.0
Date: 02.04.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 1.9
Date: 11.04.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 1.85
Date: 18.04.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 1.75
Date: 29.06.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 1.9 – New heat exchanger
Date: 30.06.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 1.9
Date: 17.09.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 1.8
Date: 03.10.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 1.75
Date: 19.10.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 1.75
Date: 28.10.2017 Water Pressure (bar): 1.75
How could you define what pressure loss is acceptable?
I have asked to the technicians what they expect as a normal pressure loss and apparently there is no rule and no answer I have got is the same. Therefore I believe that one way of getting a rough idea is to keep track of the changes, possibly starting immediately since the first installation of the boiler. This is very important because it would give you the starting point, when you know that everything works perfectly (in an ideal world/case, it should be like this, yes! :-))
This is one of the reasons why I’m writing about our boiler, which per se, is not at all an interesting topic: I try to keep track of the changes and of the major events, so that if something should ever happen, I have some sort of diary. And yeah, absolutely, turning on the heating is definitely a major event, or, The Moment Of Truth.
The Moment Of Truth
As the temperatures are slowly decreasing yesterday night I decided of switching on the heating for the whole house. And this is the Moment Of Truth! Will it work? Will the house heat up without too much hassle? And what will happen with the water pressure, will it increase a little, since it is going to be hot water running trough the pipes?
During one of the many diagnostic moment I had the chance to record some strange noises made by the boiler. This was after having opened again the water and I believe the noise we hear is the pump trying to get restore the correct flow. Those are my interpretations only though.
As almost every year also in 2017 we decided to spend our summer holidays in Greece, together with Mike. Possibly on a boat, maybe island hopping. Besides the airplane tickets nothing was really planned: knowing Mike, we didn’t spend too much time on planning, we agreed on defining details once arrived in Schinoussa, a tiny island belonging to the Cyclades.
But then, somewhere in July, we discovered Ema had no plans for the summer. So we told him to join us. And after a week he did buy plane tickets. Three weeks after even Marco and Maite did. Spontaneously. Which was a great start for our summer holidays. Both would stay with us for one week, more or less, enough to get them introduced to Schinoussa, the Greek food and some of the most common Greek words too.
Just to plant a chronological waypoint in our resumé, the five of us met in Athens, at the Airport on Saturday, the 12th of August and we spent, more or less, a week of holidays together.
As there was no chance to get to Schinoussa on the same day we decided to sleep one night at the Holiday Inn very near to the airport and to make a quick tour of the Acropolis. Here Ema had the chance to make some experiments with his camera. I did too and here below some of the results.
As Ema sent me his pictures I may add his too in order to have richer photo gallery.
In the evening we finally met Mike who invited us for dinner in a restaurant very near the Acropolis. It was a sophisticated kind of kitchen, was good, but not really the Greek cuisine we are acquainted to.
As the next day we had to get up quite early we had just a few drink on our way back.
We got up very early in the morning as our flight to Naxos was starting early. But as we had reserved late this was the only option we got and the one we choose to go with. In 30 minutes we arrived in Naxos.
Olympic’s propeller plane
The Airport of Naxos
Five Musketeers arrive in Naxos
Soon enough we discovered that the information I was able to find on the internet regarding the ferry Skopelitzis wasn’t up to date: Skopelitzis doesn’t travel on Sunday. This was how our first adventure started.
Arriving to Schinoussa
Arrived in Naxos Mike was fortunate to meet a friend who was kind enough to take Marco’s and Maite’s luggage on his car as, he too, was travelling to Schinoussa, with another, bigger ship. We tried to find place on this particular ferry, but with our big surprise it was completely full. We still had a backup plan which involved Periklis: he was waiting for us in Schinoussa and could easily pick us up with Tovenaki as Naxos and Schinoussa are very near to each other. This was our new plan and we started to follow it: the first step required us to reach a more convenient port for Periklis to reach us. After having asked a few taxi drivers, we decided to opt for the public bus, as the requests of the drivers were outrageous and illegal. After one hour of bus we reached the new destination, beautiful beach. But. At that time we weren’t looking for a good swim, we were waiting for Periklis to pick us up. Periklis called us, while we still were on the bus, mentioning he couldn’t start Tovenaki’s engines as there was a general black out of the boat. At that point we were on a beautiful sandy beach, carrying our luggage under a burning hot sun, with no certainty of getting a pick up to Schinoussa, and there were no hotels, restaurants, or tavernas, which could smooth out the situation. Even worse, Maite and Marco’s luggage was on the car of Mike’s friend, probably travelling to Schinoussa, already: this particular detail made the option of sleeping one night in Naxos even less appealing!
In the meantime we found an abandoned hotel were we could protect ourselves from the sun and wait for the final announcement of Periklis struggling to start Tovenaki’s engine: luckily the announcement never came, instead P. managed to reach us and soon we were in Schinoussa having lunch all together at Mersini’s place.
The view from the abandoned hotel.
Waiting for our pick up
Choosing the fish…
Once arrived in Schinoussa we enjoyed very much the multiple and different beaches. The nearest to us was Tsiguri, a beach which we went to for a few consecutive days and were we also ordered some fish. As usual in Greece you are asked to got with the waiter and choose the fish (and if they don’t ask you to go, I suggest you should ask them to show you). I was acquainted with this procedure but I never ordered a fish for 6 persons… and in this case the fish was very big. And not cheap either. But it was fantastic. It was a part of a grouper grilled. Still, as we got caught a little by surprise by the price, that 200 Euros lunch grew into a symbol of our holiday!
… and cutting the rabbit!
Our culinary adventures weren’t limited to the sea and it extraordinary fish, on the contrary! Let me first introduce to you a few elements in order for you to get the whole picture right.
Mike managed to find a room for Marco and Maite at Iannis place, an old man with a big house and a lot of empty rooms which get filled by tourists during the summer months. We were lucky to find one with such a short notice as Marco and Maite decided quite late to join us for the summer holidays. Since the first day Iannis took care of Marco and Maite in a very thoughtful way and one night all of us were invited to his place to enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset on Alygaria’s beach and to have dinner with him. The main dish was based on an oven cooked rabbit. As we tried to serve the dishes we realised that we couldn’t cut it properly as we were missing the appropriate tool… Iannis slowly stood up from the chair and left us wondering where he was go, until, after a few moments, he came back with the proper tool. A bit exaggerated some may think, but it definitely did the job!
As promised, we also managed to take some pictures of the beautiful view during the sunset.
I thought it was a good idea to take my friends on a tour and see something else besides Schinoussa and experience a little bit more the life on board. Periklis was kind enough to take us in a very nice bay, protected from the wind and where, under the sea, lies a World War II plane. Once there we dropped the anchor and had a beautiful swim. While the rest of the group was still swimming I realised that Periklis was struggling to have electricity: no pumps, no engines were working on the boat. We were stuck. As he tried to restart the engines, we had a few drinks, some more swimming. But the engines wouldn’t start. The boat had to be tucked back to Schinoussa. Periklis suggested that the best option was to get on Anemos a tourist ship, which similar to sightseeing buses, takes visitors on different islands and ships. This we did and joined the group of current tourists, all Italians, and we spent a nice afternoon on a beautiful beach. Although, we weren’t organised for that kind of visit, and we didn’t have any umbrella protecting us heat of the sun. Marco and Ema weren’t impressed by the situation at all and as soon as we touched ground, they started mounting the nearest mountain: from there they could take some beautiful pictures.
At a given point, on the horizon, we saw Anemos tucking Tovenaki away. Although it wasn’t anything particularly worrying I took some pictures of the scene as it had something of melancholic. Tovenaki is most probably one of the most loved boats we have ever sailed with and in my imagination is related to going fast, splashing water left and right, beautiful and streamlined waves on the back. Not at all the scene that was playing before my eyes in that particular moment. Have a look yourself, doesn’t the boat have an unhappy attitude?
Isn’t she looking sad, somehow? 😉
In the background Tovenaki is being tucked. We enjoy the beautiful water and the beach…
The beach with properly organised tourists.
For the whole holiday I have been talking to my friends about Life is Feudal: Your Own a new video game that I have recently bought and that I have started playing just before leaving for Greece. Quite quickly Marco and Ema felt so involved by my reports and stories that we all had to start some simulation about the game itself. The sand of Lioliou beach was the perfect way to let some of our building phantasies go!
But this wasn’t enough as Marco needed to build the tallest sand mountain ever seen on Livadi beach.
All of this little adventures were accompanied by a lot of eating, drinking, laughing and sleeping following the motto “No stress”!
Soon it was time to pack our baggages, say goodbye to Iannis and to the beautiful Schinoussa. Some had to leave earlier, some later, we all had to, but with beautiful memories!
Some left later in the night…
The ship loading passengers…
Skopelitis Express unloads the new arrival and prepares to leave…
Skopelitis Express leaving Schinoussa for Iraklia and Naxos
It was a mistake. There was no reason to open up the throttle that way and at the same time I didn’t expect the wind to be that strong. But there it was, as I was turning the little rib as to go back, I mismanaged the throttle, the turn was too sharp, the balance was lost: as in other situations, I was able to understand what was going to happen, but I couldn’t do nothing to change the course of things, as it was too quick: I could only hold myself and watch the opposite border of the boat getting higher and higher, over my horizon: then I was in the water. The small 4 HP outboard quickly stuttered off.
Luckily, turning the small rib and emptying it from the water was done quicker and easier than what I expected. But my thinking was somewhere else: I didn’t expect the engine to start again after that unwanted splash in the water. And I didn’t having anything else to keep myself moving. Either it would start again or I would have been left at the mercy of the wind, which was pushing me away from the shore, and of the waves, which were still small: with the strong wind it was only a question of time before the protection of island behind me would cease and conditions of the sea worsen.
The engine wouldn’t start. I wasn’t surprised, it was a confirmation of what I had already anticipated. Still I had to try again. In my head I was anxiously looking for other solutions, but I couldn’t find any, beside keeping trying. I knew I still had the chance of calling help per mobile phone, as I wasn’t that far from the island yet. Still I wouldn’t know what to say in order for someone find me. Every other second I was looking at the coast getting more and more distant, loosing details. Better concentrate on the engine, try again. But still the thoughts would run to my destiny: in front of me just different shades of light blue, either it was the sky or the sea. The infinite sky, the not so infinite, but still infinite sea…. no symbols of freedom or peace, this time!
And then this voice, damn, did it scare me. I was so concentrated on my engine, on desperately pulling that starting cord, that I didn’t see the white boat and the greek fisherman. He shouted something at me. I couldn’t understand, but a few words and gestures were enough for him to understand that I was in serious trouble.
He didn’t say anything else. He just took the rope I was passing to him, fixed it on his boat and… I woke up!
Unbelievably sweated, shocked and relieved at the same time, with a lot of thoughts in my head, I realised how many maritime or better said, safety rules I didn’t respect in my dream. Oh, and by the way, if I know those safety rules (which are mostly common sense, actually) it is because once it happened to me to be alone in a small rib boat, going out for a quick engine test without any kind of backup (paddles?). The engine stopped. Differently from tonight’s dream, that time, I was in small bay, therefore the situation wasn’t dangerous, as I could easily reach the coast by swimming. Still, as the dream shows, it sure did leave an important track in my memories!
While still half asleep I analysed my actions in the dream and I was surprised by how much emotions can impair your ability of thinking clearly and, by how much little precautions can avoid really bad situations. For example: in the dream I didn’t think of the GPS integrated in my mobile phone, I could have used it to ask for help. There was no mention if I had or if I didn’t have a mobile with me and if it survived the capsizing. Still it astonished me how concentrated I was in unsuccessfully trying not to think about the infinite sea in front of me, instead of looking for real solutions!
Therefore here below the common sense, safety rules I broke:
What kind of trip are you going to undertake? If it is long than you should organise accordingly. If you don’t know where you want to go, if you feel like Colombo, than prepare as if you were going for a longer trip.
Stay close to the coast
We are thinking small here! This suggestions are thought for small boats (< 3 meters in length) with small engines. Therefore it is better to stay close to the coast! Of course without exaggerating, as you don’t want to disturb swimmers.
Avoid doing longer passages bringing you afar from the coast just because “going straight” takes less time instead of following the coast line. If you want to go fast choose another way of transportation.
Staying close to the coast also means that you always have mobile phone coverage. Which in day by day life could be seen as negative thing, while if something goes wrong, it makes a huge difference!
Is there enough fuel for the trip?
Should the engine stop, what then? Equip your boat with at least a paddle. Better to have a pair and also test if you find a comfortable position allowing you to efficiently row.
Also having an anchor on board is a good idea.
Bring some drinking water with you. Sea water is salty, didn’t you know?
Mobile phone or VHF, if you know how to use it. Just make sure that they are water proof. For mobile phones I remember we used waterproof pouches made by Aquapac. As per today there are probably much better solutions, still we used those pouches for a very long time. The neck band is also very useful as it allows you to fasten the phone either to you or to the boat. In case of capsizing, in fact, it doesn’t help to have a waterproof phone on the seabed. 🙂 This is also valid for any other object which is useful, as the bailer or the anchor. ALWAYS tighten the anchor to your boat (I have already lost one, that way!).
The advantage of today’s smart phones is the fact that you can use GPS to know your position. Should you be interested in having even more information you may use the application made by Navionics in order to have your position visualised directly on a map.
In other words, before leaving for a trip on the sea, please consider what kind of trip you are going to do and organise yourself accordingly! 🙂
It surprised me to discover that this company, although its manufacturing site calls for new machinery, has implemented a mechanism in the supply chain allowing them to organise the work much better, reducing transportation lead times, and in general the time required to have the finished product available on the market. With selected costumers and suppliers they have implemented a system of what I would describe as active feedback, which informs continuously about the sales to the customer. In this manner they can activate their warehouse to prepare the load and the ship and eventually ship the goods to Europe.
Advantages of an integrated supply chain
The advantages are that the customer is better served, as they don’t have too high stocks of slow moving products and no out of stocks, while the manufacturer itself is less subject to the volatility of the market. In fact working like this you avoid the subjectivity of the human judgment, which often exaggerates the meaning of increasing/decreasing sales figures, creating erratic behaviours and confusion in the company. With this system it is possible to attenuate this issues by setting limits to the inventory, which, when reached, are triggering replenishment actions by the warehouse. In case those limits are reached too fast or too often, it might be the case to reconsider them. In order to implement this the company needed to involve their suppliers and customers in order to have an integrated supply chain: in order to do that they had to convince their suppliers to work based on this scheme, and this wasn’t an easy task, as many of them preferred the idea of selling one big batch and closing the operation until the next purchase. This might be theoretically true, but on the long run, it is more efficient as it enables you to lock in the customer while adding value for him.
Theory of Constraints
I’m thankful to the general manager for the presentation as it was really well explained and you could feel that who was explaining it, had to live it through, solving many issues. For example I have asked how they managed to convince their personnel that there still was room for improvement in a manufacturing process that has been executed and has delivered good results for so many years. The company, helped by a consultant, used the Theory of Constraints to analyse their current process and, by playing a game simulating the building of trucks, they were able to show how some principles of the theory could be implemented and to motivate their personnel.
As the Chinese workforce is getting more and more expensive the company is facing difficulties in keeping the current customers happy: some have already moved the manufacturing back to Europe, others have moved to other countries, like Vietnam, were the workforce is cheaper. Winnington Metal & Plastic Manufacturing is going to make good use of the industry 4.0 in order to regain competitiveness while keeping their uniqueness of having smaller batches but diversified products.
During the morning we visited an important OEM manufacturer of shoes: Huajian.
During our visit we were told that as the manufacturing costs are increasing in China, the company has chosen to move a big part of its production in Ethiopia, Africa, as wages are lower and there are no taxes for exporting to Europe.
Huajian is building a huge project in Ethiopia, basically a city built around the manufacturing site comprehensive of hospital as well as a symbolic Chinese wall, with the aim of covering all possible needs of their workers. Which, by the way, will be Ethiopians!
During our short visit, we also had the chance to assist to a singing performance of Ethiopians employees, who are currently learning the job in the main production site in Shenzhen: once finished the training program they will go back to Ethiopia and teach what they have learned to their colleagues.
While talking about this company we also pointed out how strong is the sense of community in China and how families still share common room and life, while in our countries we are living more and more as singular individuals. As a joke we said that one could define the current state of “development” of a country by the number of clinics dedicated to the elderly: therefore if you look at Switzerland society, which struggles to keep elderly integrated, has a lot of rest homes, whereas China doesn’t have any. In my understanding though, also in China it is getting more difficult to be a large family, since in order to find work long distances need to be covered and people from rural areas simply can’t commute everyday as the journey is too long. Companies like Huajian, which had almost 20’000 employees, have built dormitories directly behind the company, in order to have workers coming from rural territories which are distant and poorly connected.
Other, consequent, topic of discussion was what is being done in Ticino for its development beside the opening of new rest homes. And there was no positive feeling… and no propositive ideas either.
We had quick lunch in a noodle store. Not easy eating noodles with the sticks, but I managed!
In the afternoon we met Huawei, the company that we all know because of mobile phones. We learned that the company has many other branches, the base of it being hardware and software for networking. In Switzerland for example Huawei has collaborations with Swisscom and Sunrise in order to develop the internet connectivity for fixed lines in the first case and mobile for the second. I don’t know if it is true but our speaker implied that the recent overtake of Sunrise on Swisscom regarding the best mobile network in Switzerland was related to their collaboration.
One of the hallways
Waiting room? 🙂
Explaining connectivity in high speed trains
The expansion of Huawei in the US is of course limited, because of US protectionism, but also because being a Chinese company a strong involvement of the government is taken into account and of course data networks, datacenters, security systems are sensitive matters that an independent state struggles to share with another one.
As we weren’t satisfied yet in the evening we went to an event organised by Swissnex China, Venture Leaders: China – Swiss innovation night, where Swiss startups looking for partners were presenting their ideas and products. There were 10 startups presenting their idea in a short presentation during 2 minutes each: here the list.
After a few months I have finally decided to do something about our heating system which is still showing some pressure loss as I was mentioning already in this previous post.
Past week I asked the plumber company Gino Lepori & figlio SA to pass by and have a look at our expansion vessel (not too sure this is the correct English name) and check it thoroughly. I wasn’t at home to check if he really did it, I’m pretty sure he didn’t like the idea of troubleshooting the whole heating installation as it is pretty big. Still, he told me has checked that expansion vessel and that in his opinion it is still working properly. Therefore he called Elco on my behalf. On Wednesday current week their technician passed by.
Apparently, my burner, belongs to the first ones that were installed and are known for a faulty heater exchanger: if this is the case it is not possible to spot the water spilling out of the burner or leaving tracks somewhere, because the water would go from the heater exchanger where the condensed water therefore there won’t be any chance of noticing it.
What to do?
The plan is following: we will try to separate the water circuit of the burner from the circuit of the floor heating. By doing this we hope to see if the burner looses water pressure. And it should happen quite quickly, as the volume of water contained in the burner is a lot less from that one in the whole heating circuit.
Claudio showed me the steps that I should perform in order to separate the burner circuit from the rest.
Step by step guide: how to isolate the burner water circuit
Turning off the burner
On the right of the burner there is an On/Off switch. Just press it
Closing the pipes bringing water to the burner
There are 4 valves which are very hard to turn. I used some hard surface to protect my fingers while trying to move them in the right direction.
The valve in middle in yellow color, is the one bringing the gas and doesn’t need to be closed.
Once the water cannot reach the burner, in order to avoid the water pump of the burner to run while empty, it is a good idea to disconnect it.
Disconnecting the water pump
In the burner itself there is the pump which is connected to the power: it is sufficient to remove the cable in order to interrupt the power supply.
Once those operations are completed it is possible to start the burner again and check how the water pressure behaves. Shouldn’t there be any issue it should remain unchanged.
This morning: the first test
I decided to perform the first test this morning before leaving for work, around 08:15. As I entered the room I realized that the burner was running: I checked on the display and apparently it was heating. Also the valve for the heating was on. I mean we are in June, the heating is turned off, why did it start? It is true that in these days it is raining a lot, temperature have dropped, but outside there still are like 15°C while inside we still have a lot of warmth, still from the passed days, which were really hot. Anyhow, this will be next issue to be checked. I decided to do what I was told, therefore I executed each step as described above.
… and the first results
Which I don’t believe too much. The burner acted strangely, maybe because it had been heating until that moment. Anyhow, as soon as I had separated it from the rest of the heating circuit, the pressure dropped reaching very quickly 0.
The burner didn’t act like that when I tried together with Claudio, the Elco technician: in that case the pressure was stable at 1.6 bar. I guess that this happened because at the time it wasn’t heating.
I’m going to set the burner back to normality and try again. Meanwhile I’ll notify Claudio and see what he thinks about it. I believe that already the first, sudden pressure drop is already something which is showing a problem.
We have been playing it, discussing about it, dreaming about it. And then it stopped. Age of Empires III has been one of our favourite games and I, together with my friends, we have spent literally nights playing it, dinners discussing about the heroic strategies and laughing about the tricks we managed to pull on each other in order to win.
0 A.D. is not Age of Empires. But it is indeed very similar to it. I have played just one game until now as I didn’t have much time, but it was great. The first difference which I discovered is the fact that in the Town center both male and female workers may be produced and although both are capable of gathering food, chopping wood and mining they differ in their productivity: females are more efficient in gathering and collecting food while males workers are more efficient in drinking beers… err… they are more efficient in mining. Also male workers efficiency is increased by having female workers working with them.
The soldiers are also capable of mining and this is a major difference to Age of empires were you would have had to send troops to protect your workers mining in the middle of the map. In 0 A.D. you may very well send your soldiers to mine, therefore knowing that they won’t fall as easily as mere civilians.
Oh… and I didn’t even mention the best part. The game is free to download as it is an opensource project. Which, from one side is great, on the other one the game is not considered finished and always in development and may still have some bugs or missing feature which may decrease the whole gaming experience. While I was playing though I didn’t notice anything major beside the fact that I was getting owned even by the computer player. 🙂
This the trailer of the current release:
The other very interesting part of the game is the fact that you are not allowed to build everywhere on the map: you may build only in those territories which are within your city’s borders, which get wider as you get more powerful.
I haven’t tested multiplayer games yet: I have seen that there are the required options to connect to each other and I believe that some networking skill may be required in order to connect to others (opening ports probably) but, as I said, I didn’t test it. Any candidate who is available? 😉
The last three weeks I have been busy preparing for my exams and configuring the new Swiss Folding Team homepage therefore I wasn’t reporting about the evolutions of my bee home. In fact there was no evolution, sadly a devolution related to the cold temperatures: yes, my bees suddenly stopped working and there was no more buzz coming and going.
On Saturday I checked once more if there was something moving, I opened the small observatory drawer and met a sleepy and weak bee which was slowly moving. On one hand it was a nice surprise to meet one as I expected the drawer to be empty, on the other hand seeing that the bee was struggling I felt sorry and was unhappy as it confirmed my suspects regarding the effects of the low temperatures.
Today I received an email from the company, wildbiene und partners (I have just checked the homepage and they do have a wonderful film as introduction), were they were recognizing the challenge posed by the weather and proposing to send a second starting colony in order to reinforce the current one and take advantage of next weeks of hopefully nice weather. Needless to say that I immediately subscribed for the free proposal… I should receive the new bees around next week. Let’s hope for the best! 🙂
I have managed to create the homepage for the team, which still is far from perfect, but at least it offers the required information for new users. The homepage features support for multiple languages (translation still need to be made though) and a very simple forum, which we may use to exchange information between us and with new team members of course!
The hosting company couldn’t decrease the prices on the long term but still, they offered us the free registration of our domain for one year which is a nice gesture from their part.
I have been able to configure the site as it is also thanks to Roberto who is always a valuable source of information.
And here we go… nothing stands us in between now! We may very well start spreading the word about the team and the whole project! Put the link on Facebook, in your mail signature… get it going and let’s make The Swiss Folding Team the best performing team in Switzerland!
I’m so excited! Since weeks I have been thinking and/or dreaming of the best ways of promoting our Swiss Folding Team. Of course we are going to need a homepage to do that and this automatically implies having a hosting service. I have done a quick research on what is available on the Swiss market now and the cheapest (at least on paper) seems to be ServerTown. I have asked my hosting service if they can do something similar and this is why I’m so excited right now.
On a first thought it would have been definitely better to go directly with Server Town without wasting energy/time in formulating an appropriate request to my current hosting company since the kind of leverage I have is very small: it is not that I don’t have any kind of leverage as I’m a customer having new ideas and plans for the future which may evolve and create a bigger business for them too and, let’s don’t forget, satisfied customers promote by word of mouth: I already have sent to my friends a message on what’s app announcing my request… if it goes well, for sure I will be happy, not only because I have received something that costs less, but also because, it would mean that somehow I have managed to move someone else to support our Swiss Folding Team! In fact, since I was writing to have a better offer, I took the chance of explaining what it was all about: just a few lines to explain about the Team, put it in the link to Stanford University… maybe if I don’t get the rebate we may get a new Team Member, which would also be great!
I have been thinking that should my provider not be able to directly reduce the prices maybe they could offer me some kind of sponsorship in exchange of some advertisement on the homepage: I could do that by publishing the name and logo of the hosting company. Although this is would probably the only one advertisement I would allow, as I don’t like having flashing banners everywhere…!
I really hope they don’t come with answer like: “I’m really sorry but our packages are already configured and we may not modify them”. Which basically is what I think I will receive as answer as it is very common (also they couldn’t do an exception for every crazy guy asking for rebates, do they!?!), but… do you imagine how cool this would be if they would offer me something? For me it would be great, not only because the Swiss Folding Team would have a cheaper hosting service, but because in order to achieve an objective, human beings were able to do an effort and come together.
Am I exaggerating things right now? Maybe. But I feel this way and it feels great to have such expectations, even though it is for a very, very small thing! 🙂
I’ll let you know how it goes, for sure. And… I also decided that, no matter how things will proceed, I will send the link to this post to whoever from the hosting company answers my request (hopefully it won’t be an automated answer 😀 ).
BTW before I go: I used Hostingliste to get a comparison among the best Webhosting services in Switzerland.