Tuesday 8 August 2017

Post trauma growing up

I feel I should end this blog with one last entry. I left Berlin in May in order to make it back to Sweden in time for the qigong summer course I always attend. This year the course was the best ever, as always. But it was weird. Because at the end I gave up, I thought I wouldn't be able to get any further during the last few days. (Usually a lot happens at end so this was indeed a strange thought.) When I came home I crashed. I spent two weeks doing nothing. I had no energy, not even to practise qi gong! (I did finish two 1000 pieces puzzles, a practise I had forgotten the joy of.)

But then I woke up, slowly returning to life. After a while it became clear to me why I had this huge dip. I was finally realising I am just a man. I will not become a buddha in this life. I have flaws just like we all do. Damn. But it sure is nice to be a man.

Thursday 19 January 2017

Being a monk in Berlin

So, I ended up in Berlin. At a friend's place, a friend with plenty of space but no time. So the deal is to basically be an au pair. I go grocery shopping, cook and make the dishes, some times bring her kids to school, or from school.

As I first got to Berlin I was still on my way south, just having a pause, improving my equipment and planning what to do next. Every day I would have a cappuccino while exploring the city on a bike. Then I realised I was running out of money and besides I could fix the equipment later. So I stopped shopping and just looked for the best coffee in Berlin

I couldn't quite understand how my money disappeared, but it did, so I was making all kinds of ambitious plans for work. Look for people to work with, look for ideas, look for companies etc. But... it didn't feel right. (Read more about feelings and energies in my short story about how I got to Berlin.)

I met beautiful women who in the end ran away. I met potential friends who ended up silent. I found companies, ideas and people that ended up in nothing. All the time I was very kind to myself, doing a lot of qi gong, sleeping as much as I needed and just enjoying life. To be. So why did nothing work out?

I know from the wisdom gotten through qi gong that when doing right, everything just flows. It all comes to you. But I didn't get shit.

I tried to get to the core by peeling the onion, layer by layer. Well, being on a bike trip most layers were already gone! I had very few material things to worry about. Housing and food paid for. No friends, yet, but looking. Having a coffee every day... Ok, so I skipped having the daily coffee. I stopped looking for friends or potential partners. Stopped thinking about money, gave up all job plans.

So now I am practically a monk. I shop food. I cook. I do the dishes. I sit by the fireplace. I play with the kids if they care to, or bring them to or from school if need be. I practise qi gong. I sleep a lot.

I am at peace.

Ha! What utter crap! I am not in peace, by any means, but now my life is as peaceful as it can be. My body is softer than it has ever been. I have no desires. I am calm and sense my inner self, the energies of the universe better than ever before. I am becoming more gentle, peaceful and loving.

Saturday 12 November 2016

The Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp demanding Black Diamond batteries

I have a Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp which is nice with its night vision red light, light intensity variation and USB charging. Now, after 2,5 years of usage the LED:s started to blink red and orange which apparently means the batteries are screwed. The manual says you have to use Black Diamond batteries which is obvious marketing bullshit, so I got some Varta 1000 mAH, 1,2 V rechargable batteries from the closest store.

But as I got home and replaced the batteries the LED:s started to flash red, which means the batteries are not Black Diamond batteries. WTF I though in disbelief, what could be the difference between two types of NiMH 1,2 V, 1000mAH rechargeable batteries? Looking closer at the headlamp I noticed contacts at the - side of the battery holders. In the picture below one of those contacts can be seen to the right (the - side) in the empty slot.

I always wondered why the Black Diamond batteries didn't have that coloured cover along all the length. At first I thought the headlamp checks if there is a connection between the - pole and those weird extra contacts. So I took a knife and cut off the cover at the - end of the batteries (this has been done to the batteries in the picture) and I got the LED:s to blink green (as in charging). Why, Black Diamond, have you done this stupid thing? To sell more batteries?

Ordering new active carbon for my Katadyn Vario water filter at MontK in Berlin I also talked about headlamps. It turns out Black Diamond has had a lot of trouble with their headlamps so my verdict is clear: Screw it.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

The end of the beginning

All my life I have had the feeling of wanting forward, of never to stagnate, of wanting constant progress in search of something. For a long time it was unclear to me what that something was and I didn't know where to go, what to do. But during the last 15 years it has become clear to me it is love I have been looking for.
It has been hell! I have fought, I have destroyed, I have cried, I have twisted my brain, I have hurt people, I have acted like an asshole but always trying to do the right thing, to take yet another step in the right direction, no matter how tough it has been. I knew I was fighting for something much greater than me, so what did my little life matter. I had to continue.

First I reached out. I have had more relationships than I can remember. I have tried writing, I have hundreds of emails where I have discussed life with loads of people, most of them now unknown to me. I continued the intellectual search with classic Freudian therapy and CBT which made me more aware, intellectually, but it didn't really help. Then I found Zhineng Qigong which has proven to be an absolutely brilliant tool to reach within oneself.

Because within yourself, that is where the key to love is. There is no lack of love, there is no such thing as lack of love. But it is your ability to love that fails. Love is a universal power! It is there for everybody. We can all access it. But you have to clean up whatever mess it is in you that makes it impossible for you to feel it, sense it, be filled with it, become a part of it. To love.

All this trip I have had the feeling of being guided. The realisation I was now strong enough to leave came in January. So I applied for a year off. Then came the idea of an e-bike tour. So I got all the gear, left my apartment and then Sweden. The trip has also been hell! I have cursed, I have frozen, I have yelled, I have suffered but all the time I have had a strong feeling of being on the right track. Being on my way to discover love.

I got there this weekend. I am filled with love. My eyes shine. I expire love! I now understand what it is all about. But there is no point for me to tell you about it because you have to get there yourself. Sure, there are tools that can help you but you have to find out your own truth. YOU have to learn how to love. No one can do that for you. So come on! Get out there, look for your path to love! It is so worth it. The best thing is it will save the world, and how we need that now!

Tuesday 25 October 2016

The solar system - in action up north

This fall was beautiful as I started this trip and the charging battery was kept full. I also stayed at friends' places and charged the bike battery (I know, not solar and I'm not sure why I cheated). But then the sun went and never came back.

The cooler was fine for quite many days as it uses so little energy but eventually the charging battery was empty. This should not happen as I had set the solar charger to cut power to the consumers when the voltage dropped below a low level. But it still did. I need to check the limits once the system is up again.

The problem now is my solar system has a battery that cuts its power when the voltage drops below 10 V and a solar charger that needs power to charge. (The power coming from the solar cells do no good.) I am stuck.

Of course there is the solution of having a 230 V charger charging the battery. This solution would not work where there is no 230 V, however, so I feel I need a better solution. Is there one?

There could be an extra battery but the lithium 12 V battery I have cannot be coupled in series nor parallell. The option of keeping an extra battery just to use it to power a 230V charger through the 12/230 V converter seems so... brutal. What should I do?

Monday 17 October 2016

Ending the first leg

The first leg of this trip is to Berlin, which I want to reach before my birthday on 1 November, and it all looked very well in the beginning. The speed was a bit slow but I compensated that by taking the ferry from Trelleborg to Sassnitz instead of going through Denmark.

Other problems were becoming increasingly annoying, though. First of all the 400 Wh bike battery is not enough with this heavy load. Second, when charging it with the charging battery it was drained. And once drained I could never fill it up again.

The solar system just does not do. At least not in northern Europe at this time of the year. Not if the weather is as shite as it has been, at least. I haven't seen the sun in a week!

So, the conclusion of this first leg is to not depend on solar energy at this time of the year this far north, not if the anount of solar panels is limited, at least.

There is no point continuing but I will now take the train to Berlin. I will simply use other eco-friendly tools to make up for the time I've lost. Hopefully the system will prove to be adequate further south.

The solar system

Going on a bike tour one might think the bike itself would be my primary focus. But with a master's in electrical engineering and being environmentally concerned, I have been very focused on the electrical, ie solar, system.

The bike has a 250 W, 36 V Bosch engine with a 400 Wh battery.

The bike trailer can nicely fit two 50 W solar panels from SunBeam. They are connected through a Peak Power EP MPPT, 10 A solar controller to the system.

Just beacuse there would be electricity on the trip a cooler sounded like that piece of equipment that you just never can bring along but now could. So the Waeco beauty CoolFreeze CF-11 was tajen onboard. It is a very efficient piece of machinery and consumes only about 6-7 Ah a day, meaning about 80 Wh.

So, there are the outer boundaries - a cooler consuming about 80Wh a day and a bike wasting 400Wh and to our disposal are 100W solar panels. It sounds doable, with only half the day sunny, even with a phone and laptop and what not also to be charged.

A battery big enough to feed the cooler and fill up the bike battery would imply 400 + 80 Wh = 480 Wh that in a 12 V system would mean a 40 Ah battery. Lithium, of course, or LiFePO4 to be exact, which I found at Batteriexpressen.

Note that there is a 10% loss in the 12/230 V converter needed to charge the bike battery and the solar panels will not be able to deliver 100W. But not sure about what exactly the needs were and the fact already the 40Ah battery is bloody heavy, I leave the system as this for now.