Mammut on the run with Mr Muscle

Mammut on the run with Mr Muscle

In the sad dawn of dirty cities
full of merciless winds
flashes sometimes your face
as uncertain moment of spring.
Into the bus stop’s crumpled crowd
as if someone threw like a joke
white lilac bouquet or
only happiest cards.
/Jan Pietrzak, Hope/

My adventure with Mr Muscle, WC Duck and Kiwi bird (“which shoe will revive”) was as short as “uncertain moment of Spring” from the song of Jan Pietrzak. It looked completely different in the previous corporation – I worked there until seventeen moments (years).

Since I made a reference to the famous Soviet TV series from the seventies of the 20th century entitled “Seventeen Moments of Spring”, it behooves to write more about it and give you some jokes about the main character, who was Chuck Norris of that time (of course, behind the poorer side of the Iron Curtain).

Colonel Maksym Maksymowicz Isaev works in Berlin as a secret agent of Soviet intelligence Standartenfuhrer Max Otto von Stirlitz. He infiltrated the ranks of the SS and works in Reich Security Main Office. The theme of the movie is the realization of the task that Stirlitz receives from headquarter in Moscow – to find out which of the leaders of the Third Reich, is trying to establish negotiations with Western Allies in… Switzerland. He has to obtained evidence that such discussions are ongoing to prevent the conclusion of a separate peace between the Nazis and the Western powers. Isayev thanks to his incredible intelligence, calmness and good luck, of course, executes the task. This, however, has not been done without problems. He has to tackle with the head of the Reich Security Main Office – Kaltenbruner who having suspicions against him ordered his observation, and with the head of the Gestapo – Müller.

Stirlitz has walked through the streets of Berlin, but something betrayed him as a spy: maybe hat with ear flaps, maybe felt-boots or maybe a parachute pulling behind him?

Stirlitz sauntered approached the the place of contact. He knocked the agreed 127 times. No one answered. After some thought, he went out to the street and looked to the window. Yes, he was right. On the windowsill 63 irons were standing – a sign of a bummer.

Stirlitz’s house was surrounded by Gestapo.
- Open the door! – Müller shouted.
- Stirlitz is not at home! – Stirlitz said.
In this here’s clever way Stirlitz outsmarted Gestapo for the fifth time.

Gestapo guarded all the exits, but Stirlitz outsmarted them. He escaped through the entrance.

Stirlitz thought. He liked it, so he thought again.

End of kidding, I go back to the main topic.

Since the beginning of the recruitment process S.C. Johnson made it clear that this is a temporary work. They needed someone with experience, who quickly embrace the situation in the difficult period of change and restructuring, but unfortunately it will not be employed on a permanent basis. It was expected that the contract will last for 6 months. Finally, it turned out that I was needed a bit longer, and the contract was extended to 24 months. With regret I leave the company and the people, because it was… different than previously.

Calmer atmosphere and less deadllines result from company size and ownership structure, since SC Johnson is not listed on the stock exchange. I am not a psychologist and I did not conduct a research, so I can not say for sure, but with a simple observation I deduced that it has a soothing effect on the behavior of employees and their superiors.

The excerpts of the next paragraph have been censored by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, due to the critical significance of the issues I dealt with to the vital interests of this American family-owned company, founded in 1886, in Racine, Wisconsin.

In addition to the structured process of month end closing, █████████████████████, transparent deviations reporting, ███████████████████████████████████████████████████, regular costs monitoring of the implementation of the European CLP project (Classification, Labeling and Packaging), and █████████████ █████████████████████ ██████████████, I wanted to leave something else, but directly related to the atmosphere in the office (though perhaps more accurate is to write – out of the office).

***

Employees of companies located in the ZA La Pièce (ZA – artisanale zone) are very privileged. 20 meters from the most westerly building B1, beyond  the road Route de l’Etraz, farmland begins, stretching further to the west in the direction of Nyon and Geneva. According to the principles of crop rotation, local farmers plant there different plants: corn, sunflower, colza, beets, carrots and corn.

Colza-blossom

Colza-blossom

 

Colza just before harvest

Colza just before harvest

From time to time appear also fruit orchards.

Once the child carried the water jug
Old grey-haired man met her on the road,
And said to her with a polite expression:
Let me drink, little child! -
Child willingly bends the jug,
And gave to drink the water to the old man.

Once, the child walked nearby the orchard,
She looks… the tree bends full of fruits:
How nice would be to eat a few pears!
And the gray-haired old man comes out:
He has recognised this good child
And the most beautiful pears gave.
/Stanislaw Jachowicz, The child and the old man/

Through the scenic and well-maintained fields stretch concrete paths, equal as a table, through which farmers can get to their land and take care to make them even more scenic and well-maintained.

These paths are ideal also for running and I am glad to say that I was using them for this purpose on a regular basis! I didn’t do this alone. It appeared that my colleagues from SC Johnson and neighboring companies were very sporty. Importantly, higher levels of management were also running regularly and gave blessings for the disappearance of 1 – 1.5 hours during the working day. Of course, the duties and responsibilities needed to be done with the utmost care, and length of stay in the office properly extended. Although, not always… I have already mentioned that Friday afternoons in the summer were intended for cycling for volunteers; uninterested could just went back home earlier.

***

Running out from the premises of S.C. Johnson (building B3), whether via the main exit (south) or the rear one (north), I am heading west. After about 200 meters, beyond the last building B1, I run a little up on Route de l’Etraz, turn to the right and immediately left (as indicating cycling road signs) and continue by concrete path further to the West…

Go West...

Go West…

(Go West) Life is peaceful there
(Go West) In the open air
(Go West) Baby you and me
(Go West) This is our destiny
(Go West) Sun in wintertime
(Go West) We will do just fine
(Go West) Where the skies are blue
(Go West, this is what we’re gonna do)
/Pet Shop Boys/

The path runs initially parallelly to the highway Lausanne – Geneva, under the high voltage wires. After 650 meters I run slightly up to the Route de Gilly and turn right toward the nearby hills. After 100 meters turn left, again onto a concrete agricultural road Sur la Dolle. The name probably derives from the summit of La Dolle, which can be seen straight in the not too distant Jura mountains.

Sur la Dolle

Sur la Dolle

I run as the crow flies. I pass on the left side the garden store and behind a farm for horses I turn right into Chemin du Bois de Beaulieu. Those who do not agree with Biff Tannen from Back to the Future, who hated manure (“Je deteste fumier”), may take a fertilizer for their own purposes…

Manure to take

Manure to take

After 160 meters I reach the important point on the route, because here I have to decide whether to continue the training on flat or hilly ground.

Decision point

Decision point

A flat itinerary (with several variations) is well known to all the runners from ZA La Pièce. I will describe the route less used, more difficult and wild. I hope that this will encourage my running partners from the office to the new sporting challenges in mountainous terrain…

- But why uphill?! – wailed duck Disaster.
- Because we’re in the mountains and in the mountains it is not possible all the time to go downhill. Sometimes it is needed to go uphill but later going back is downhill – with one breath breathed dog Pypeć.
/Wojciech Widłak, Mr Ball – book for children/

So I leave the bike road and I turn to the right slightly uphill. I cross the main road Route de l’Etraz and continue ascent having on the right side the narrow stream bed and the bushes of the grapes on the left. Behind the corner of the vineyard I turn left and run stright untill the street Les Truits, where I turn right, then right again, uphill, in the direction of Vincy, as shown by the road sign.

Vincy direction

Vincy direction

At the end of Route Sous-Vincy, on the left side there is a church, which I pass and crossing Route de Tartegnin, I run further up the Route de Vincy. Finally, I run into Vincy. Bend of the road turns right at a stately mansion – this is Château de Vincy. Further, at the intersection I turn left and immediately right towards the hospital. I pass fountain on the right side and then another impressive building on the left. After a while, before the stream, I leave the main road and turn left, into a steep asphalt route through the forest (Chemin des Vaux).

To the left and up the hill

To the left and up the hill

Now, just me and the way up… Silence… interrupted by the sound of cowbells in the meadow on the right… Peace… (during 9 months of regular running, passed me on the way up only 5 cars of locals). Me and the way up… Steadily I climb higher and higher. On the right side murmurs the brook Gillière. Do not deviate into the paths departing from the main road to the right and left (although they are possible route options for the curious). After about 600 meters from the beginning of this road I pass on the left side the water supply station (Service des Eaux).

Fresh water good for health

Fresh water good for health

Behind the building from 1980 I continue straight ahead, up to the point at the first kilometer from the beginning of the climb (approximately 4 km from the start).

Changing of the surface from asphalt to gravel

Changing of the surface from asphalt to gravel

From here, it is possible to run further up on the asphalt (what I was doing sometimes) but today I have chosen path to the right. I cross the brook and on gravel path (gravel – finely crushed stones used, inter alia, to pour pavement), swinging by a gentle curve to the right, I climb. All the time it is needed to regularly climb higher and higher. The path winds its way through the wooded slopes once to the north, once to the south.

Once due north, once due south, but still uphill…

Once due north, once due south, but still uphill…

Finally, after about a kilometer from crossing the stream (5 km from the start in ZA La Pièce), I reach the highest point of the route (760 m). It offers a wonderful view to the east. In the foreground seen the opposite slope and the path on which runs some guy in green Mammut Kento DRY Tech Premium jacket, MTR 201 3/4 Tights pants, Stollen beanie and MTR 201 Pro Low shoes.

We are waving to each other! Strange, this guy reminded me someone…

Strange, guy reminded me of someone...

Strange, guy reminded me of someone…

Further seen Lake Geneva and finally alpine mountain peaks from Rochers de Naye to Dent d’Oche.

Perspective

Perspective

I run a few meters down and turn right, more down (the path straight up leading finally to some farm). Running down I approach to the wooden barrier… Sudden vortex of space-time continuum shifts me to its other side and dents to the ground. I quickly get up, swallow saliva to unclog ears after a sudden jump in pressure and move on down. I look to the right and see some guy in green Mammut Kento DRY Tech Premium jacket, MTR 201 3/4 Tights pants, Stollen beanie and MTR 201 Pro Low shoes, apperaring on the highest point of the route, on which I ran up a moment ago.

We are waving to each other! Strange, this guy reminded me someone…

Strange, guy reminded me of someone...

Strange, guy reminded me of someone…

The path this time steadily decreases towards the east-south-east. After the rain needs to be careful, because can be very slippery. After some time, at wooden benches covered by the roof, the road turns 180° to the right, toward the west-north-west.

180 degrees to the right

180 degrees to the right

Behind a wooden barrier path turns again to the east-southeast and it appears that this fragment was once asphalt. Running in the autumn and winter, below on the right seen the roof of Hôpital de Gilly. In the end, the path runs out of the woods. Running to the right I would get to the hospital. No thanks. I do not recommend either option to the left, back to the forest. I checked. Have to wade through the raspberry bushes, hurting calf, climb a steep ravine and then go through the barbed-wire fence and across a pasture finally get to Route de Châtel leading down to Tartegnin. Therefore, I run straight down alongside the vineyard to the road La Bossenaz and turn left. The path leads steeply down and therefore is carpeted with corrugated concrete slabs so that cars do not slip in the rain or in winter.

Traction control system

Traction control system

Behind the bend to the right, I pass on the left side the garbage dump (déchetterie). A dozen or so meters below, I turn right into the Route de Beauregard and after further 200 meters to the left, heading to Rolle.

Direction - Rolle

Direction – Rolle

Rue des Pressoirs leads all the way down through Tartegnin (called Pays du bon vin) and then through the vineyards to the main road Route de l’Etraz. I reach the building B3 after about 8.2 kilometers. Running this route takes me approximately 50 minutes, then yet shower and full of energy I sit at the computer again. I mean… I was sitting.

And yet I leave behind me this fateful power,
Useless while I live… it just graces my temples;
But when I die, it will, unseen, press you ever,
Till it remakes you, bread eaters – into angels.
/Juliusz Słowacki, My testament/

Pożegnanie jesieni

Farewell to Autumn

A fall was beautiful this year… and very intense when it comes to running. You already know about the Swiss Iron Trail (42.7 km) and the Trail Dents du Midi (57 km).

I have not mentioned yet about Morat-Fribourg (17.7km). This run has been organized since 1933 to commemorate the victory of Swiss Army over the Burgunds in 1476. The legend says that after winning the battle, one of the soldiers, like his famous predecessor from Marathon, traveled very fast the section from Morat to Fribourg (approximately 17 km). Upon reaching the city, he could only shout the words: Victory, victory!, then fell dead to the ground. Thanks to this triumph Swiss were closer to the end of the war with Burgundy, and they alone, due to the excellent infantry became a major military power in Europe. Big spoils gained in the enemies’ camp can be seen now in the Historical Museum in Bern.

Mist covered (LITERALLY!) was my run from Thyon to Grande Dixence dam (16.35 km). It began to operate in 1957 and still is the highest gravity dam in the world (285 meters). It collects water from 35 glaciers in the canton of Valais, from Mattertal (Zermatt region) to the Val d’Hérens.

Lac de Dix

Lac de Dix

Depending on the demand for the electricity, water accumulated by the dam can supply three underground power stations (in Nendaz, Fionnay and Bieudron) with a total capacity of 2,000 MW and a maximum annual production of over 2 billion kWh. After passing through the turbines, the water flows into the Rhône.

The dam can be visited inside, from mid June to late September. Together with a guide, visitors traverse a small part of 32 km long network of tunnels and control shafts. Trip takes about an hour.

One of the control tunnels inside the dam

One of the control tunnels inside the dam

Itinerary led by western slopes of Val d’Hérémence, at the foot of the peaks rising to over 3000 meters, untill the crown of the dam, where finish line was placed. From the beginning to the end of the race it was pouring with rain! Streams of water flooded the peaks, valleys and route. Luckily, I had my running jacket Mammut Kento DRYtech Premium. Thus, although the upper part of my body remains dry. DRYtech Premium membrane proved to be completely waterproof (according to specifications may retain 20,000 mm water column) and windproof. On the other hand, my body working at top speed, can easily get rid of the excess water vapor, that is to say prosaically - sweat (water vapor permeability of the material DRYtech Premium is 20,000 g / m2 / 24 hours). I must also add that the jacket is very light (365 grams), and when folded occupies little space.

The summer passed, autumn and winter,

The summer passed, autumn and winter,
And spring, and some other summer,
and again the autumn in the mist like fumes.
/Konstatnty Ildefons Gałczyński/

I participated also in organized for the first time this year, Semi-marathon de la Côte (21.1 km), which guided from Allaman (where sports outlets and IKEA store are located) to Nyon (which is the seat of UEFA). The route led through Rolle, where my current company, SC Johnson has its premises. Therefore, I ran in furiously orange shirt with a logo of Mr Muscle on the back.

Since the white lab coat you may seem inconsistent with the “muscle” name of the product, I hasten to explain that Mr Muscle is a super scientist having a gift of combining power with… intelligence.

Strength and... intelligence (photo: Mauro Ferrari)

Power and… intelligence (photo: Mauro Ferrari)

One day, three men were locked in an elevator. A Boxer, a karateka and… a financial analyst.
Boxer said with confidence:
- Stand back, with one blow of my fist I will break down the elevator’s door and will save us.
With all his strenght he hit the door. Nothing has happened, he just broke his fingers.
Karateka then said:
- With one kick I will knock out this door and get us out. With shout on his mouth he performed mae-geri kick and… ended with a broken foot.
Then thin and hunched financial analyst, wearing on his nose the glasses like bottoms of the bottles, saying nothing hit with his head the door of the elevator which flew with a bang outside. He turned up to two broken fibroids and said:
- You need to have the power in the head, not in the muscles.

Therefore, as a rapid training of intelligence, I suggest a puzzle:

How to build a square by moving only one match?

How to build a square by moving only one match?

Answer at the end of the article.

The route of the half marathon I run in 1 hour and 54 minutes, setting my new record.

For the next course in the autumn calendar, namely Lausanne Marathon (42.195 km), I could not beat my previous result, when I ran my first marathon from Nice to Cannes in 2010. Never mind!

Even after a bad harvest there must be sowing.
/Seneca/

After October 26, 2014, when I ran into the finish line at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne after 4 hours and 30 minutes, finally time has come to rest. What on earth it would be a pleasure if I would rest motionless.

Run, jump, fly, swim,
Rest in a dance and in a motion.
/Jan Brzechwa, Mr. Blot’s Academy/

Thus, already 3 days later I went on the road…

On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
/Willie Nelson, On The Road Again/

I ran to Ouchy to contemplate Lake Geneva and the “rows of rocks” on the opposite shore. By the way, not only Italian Sardinia wants to join the Swiss Confederation, whereof I wrote in the post Taormina glitters even higher… but also bordering by the Lac Leman, French department Haute-Savoie. In total there are many candidates who want to get into one of the best countries in the world. In the rankings of quality of life, carried out by various institutions, Switzerland always takes place in the elite.

Regions that wish to separate from the current homeland and join the Swiss Confederation:

  • Sardinia (Italy)
  • Lombardia (Italy)
  • South Tyrol (Italy)
  • Haute-Savoie (France)
  • Franche-Comté (France)
  • Vorarlberg (Austria)
  • Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Residents of Switzerland, take advantage of fantastic transport infrastructure, lower taxes; enjoy the nature, purity and order. Number of playgrounds and sports facilities in one district is so large that it could be shared among large Polish city. There is a playground in every village, tennis court and a sport hall.

Above all, however, people feel here SAFELY!

From the harbor I ran boulevards to the east. In the vicinity of the Olympic Museum I have overtook two Muslim women in niqabs, which ran along with a fitness instructor. Teacher, unlike her clients, had the sport outfit which unveiled more than hide

Clothes do not make the runner (cartoon enclosed thanks to courtesy of Malcolm Evans)

Clothes do not make the runner (cartoon enclosed thanks to courtesy of Malcolm Evans)

When I was passing them, I heard that the instructor explained how hands should work during the run. I wonder if they could run so easily in Saudi Arabia, Iran or Afghanistan…

My visit to Davos due to the aforementioned Swiss Iron Trail, brought evidence how friendly and safe country Switzerland is also for the followers of the Law of Moses. At the same time as the trail, the meeting of Orthodox Jews was held in the resort and on the streets there were more of them than locals and tourists together. With black costumes and big round hats on their heads (resemble Swiss cheese circles) walked safely in the main street Promenade Strasse and not have to hide under the “Iron Dome(missile defense system of Israel).

With reference to military digression in this strongly peaceful article, I recommend another exercise of the brain - how to place 10 soldiers in 5 rows of 4? As previously, the answer at the end of the article.

Swiss want to see their country remained quiet, safe and clean. This is very healthy and natural reaction. Everyone wants to protect the precious things. And this small, alpine paradise and quality of life in it are very valuable for its residents.

When Switzerland entered Schengen area, people from all over Europe and even from all over the world began to come and the quality of life began to slowly but steadily decline. You can not leave your bike in front of of the house because it will be stolen immediately and several years ago Swiss did not close their homes and cars! You can no longer, get across the street, being sure that the driver will stop before pedestrian crossing. You should also look at your feet, not to step in the dog’s poop. And at every corner there are litter bins with bags for dog droppings - adequate infrastructure exists throughout the country. It takes just a few seconds to take the bag, bend down and throw away what our pupil did. This, however, is not dependent on the infrastructure, nor the animals - it depends on upbringing and culture of the country of origin.

Some people arrived, who do not want to cultivate all these positive elements occurring naturally in the landscape of Switzerland but bring here this “trash”, from which, after all, they fled from their countries. They are of course a minority in the whole group of immigrants, but as it happens with this type of “black sheep”, they are very visible. And because of those “black sheep” Swiss begin to fear

Election poster of the Swiss People's Party

Election poster of the Swiss People’s Party

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Angers leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.
/Master Yoda to young Anakin/

I left behind perfectly maintained Olympic Park, where you can enjoy a quite large collection of sculptures, including the statues of recently deceased (October 6, 2014) Polish artist Igor Mitoraj.

Porta Italica in Olympic Park in Lausanne

Porta Italica in Olympic Park in Lausanne

His works, often gigantic dimensions, stand in representative sections of many cities - including Paris, Rome, Milan, London, and also on the Market Square in Cracow.

Eros Bendato on Market Square in Cracow

Eros Bendato on Market Square in Cracow

Farther, behind the tower La Tour Haldimand I crossed La Vuachère. Fantastic path Sentier des Rives, suspended on platforms and breakwaters between the lake and the exclusive villas led me ultimately to Pully. The best is to run here early in the morning or late in the evening because during the day it gets crowded by walkers and runners.

In the port of Pully is a large playground with slides, swings, ladders and a climbing walls. The main attraction, however, is a “mini train”. Miniature trains pass 420 meters of narrow railroad around the hill on which the playground is located. Passengers embark and disembark on a miniature train station and on the route they travel through four miniature railway crossings and miniature tunnel. Next to the mini station booth with food and ice cream are located. Not a miniature for once.

Heading further to the east I passed the restaurant Le Restaurant du Port de Pully. From there, you can run in two ways. In summer, when the pool and payable beach are open, you have to run down the street Chemin des Bains. In winter, you can run at the shore of the lake. Both roads meet at the mouth of the river La Paudèze.

The route continues along the waterfront and just before Lutry turns left onto Rue CantonaleSeveral dozen meters you need to run down the sidewalk near the street and after a while, turn right to the port. After the harbor - you will not believe - sport fields, tennis courts, playgrounds and cafe under the chestnut tree.

I ran further to the right by the Quai Gustave Doret, until the public beach at the end of the village, which is located at Chemin des Bains. At that place, more wild part of the route began and for me the most beautiful one.

After about 750 meters, behind sewage treatment plant, the path on the shores of the lake ends and the road turns to the left and by stairs leading up to the Rue Cantonal. Left direction – to Lausanne, right – to Vevey and Montreux.

In front of me there is a magnificent view to the vineyards located on the steep slopes of Lavaux, the area entered in 2007 to World Heritage List. First vine stocks were planted here by the Romans, probably the inhabitants of the nearby village Lousonna. Cultivation on a larger scale and construction of terraces began in the XI century, when in these areas appeared Benedictines and Cistercians. Abbeys managed these fertile lands and shaped the landscape by building terraces and expanding the network of roads, most of which run as it was set out in the Middle Ages. Lavaux currently produces three appeals: Calamin AOC, Dézaley AOC and Lavaux AOC. This last appeal is divided into eight growing regions (Lutry, Villette, Epesses, St. Saphorin, Chardonne, Vevey, Dezaley and Calamine).

Lavaux, Lake Geneva and "rows of rocks"

Lavaux, Lake Geneva and “rows of rocks”

Landform, combined with the picturesque landscape give a possibility of intense running or biking workout with a view of the lake, opposite shore and mentioned many times Mickiewicz’s “rows of rocks”. But that’s another story and another route, which I cant wait

On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
/Willie Nelson, On The Road Again/

____________________________________________________________

Answers:

Aanswer to the question: how to build a square by moving only one match?

Answer to the question: how to build a square by moving only one match?

Answer to the question: how to place 10 soldiers in 5 rows of 4?

Answer to the question: how to place 10 soldiers in 5 rows of 4?