Saturday, May 28, 2022


Velorex was a company that produced a three-wheeled car in Czechoslovakia from the 1950s to 1971.

After WWII, the Czechoslovak auto industry couldn't keep up with demand so there were quotas and long waiting periods.

It was like a reverse tricycle, so two wheels in the front and one in the back.  The frame was welded steel tubing with vinyl stretched over the cage and attached with turn button fasteners and the whole thing basically ran on a motorcycle engine.

It had a maximum speed of 30 km/h (18,5 MPH) and in Czechland you only needed an A license which is a motorcycle license.  Since 2000, you need a B1 license but I heard that you can drive them at 17 instead of 18.

A little over 15.000 units per produced.  I don't know how much they cost but about half of them were exported to Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and East Germany.

Veolorex has kind of a cult status and there are a few clubs throughout the country.  I've never seen one.  At least not yet.

Here's a television commercial which was filmed in 1961 but it never aired.

The 1981 Czech comedic film Vrchní, Prchni! featured the main character driving his Velorex and show how awkward the vehicle was.  Here are a few scenes that I found out on YouTube.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Lunch with the Boys

I'm so glad that things are starting to get back to normal.  At least Covid wise.  Last week I was able to meet up with Maida for lunch and today I got to catch up with Michal and Andrew.

It's been a few years but I still miss working with these guys.  It was nice to be able to hear what all has been going on.  Hopefully we can make are fortnightly lunch a regular thing again.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Ordered a New Couch

I recently ordered a new mattress and now I ordered a new couch.  My previous sofa was partially leather but after years of sunlight, and it probably doesn't help that it is next to the radiator, the leather is quickly breaking apart.  So I've been on the hunt for a new couch.

I wanted something big that is U-shaped.  Definitely not leather.  No objections if if pulls out to a bed but it would be great if it had some storage.  It took a while but I finally found something that ticked all of the boxes.  The hunt was was harder than I expected it to be.

I found it at a furniture shop called XXXLutz.  Someone is going to have to explain the name of the shop to me because in the USA anything with "XXX" usually refers to some kind of porn.  

Anyway, my couch is ordered and it needs to come from Prague so I should get contacted in around 3 weeks for delivery.  

It ended up costing me about 40.000 Kč ($1700).  Not quite as wide as my old couch, about 10 cm (4 inches) smaller but it pulls out to a bed and both sides have storage.  

Now the problem is dealing with my old couch.  The delivery company will take away my old sofa as long as it is on the street.  Maybe if I slip the delivery guys some cash and some beer then they'll take the old sofa from my flat.  

There will definitely not be any kids jumping on the new couch this year at Czechsgiving.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Lunch Date

After what seems like forever I finally got to meet up with Maida for lunch.  We used to work together in the same team and would see each other in the office two to three times a week before Covid shut down the world.  I took on a new role in a different team about a year ago and we never seemed to be in the office on the same day.  So it was great to finally catch up with her and find out everything that's been going on.

When I was lived in the USA I worked full-time from home.  When I moved to Brno I worked full-time in the office.  There are pros and cons to each but I really enjoy the flexibility of working from the office three or four days a week with one or two days at home, depending on what all I've got going on in a particular week.  Due to Covid restrictions, I usually come to the office just once a week now.  It's great getting to see some colleagues in person but most of my meetings are still remote because even if I'm in the office, most others aren't there the same day.  Hopefully this will start to change soon.

Like I said it was so much fun catching up with Maida today.  Next week I'm supposed to meet up for lunch with Michal and Andrew.    

Monday, May 16, 2022


Frontex is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.  Frontex comes from the French words frontières extérieures, which means "external borders."

Frontex is an EU agency that was established in 2004 as the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders.  Due to the migrant crisis in Europe in 2015-2016, its role expanded to became the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.  In 2021, the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps was launched which is the EU's first uniformed service.  The corps expects to have 10.000 personnel by 2027. 

Frontex is headquartered in Warsaw.  The agency reports to the European Parliament and the European Council

Here's a just over 5½-minute video about what all the agency does.


Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, almost 5,65 million refugees have fled Ukraine and arrived in EU countries, especially Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.  Moldova isn't part of the EU but has also seen many Ukrainian refugees arrive.

Frontex has deployed 520 standing corps to countries to help them with the influx of refugees.  They have also organised humanitarian flights to help non-Ukrainian citizens who were in Ukraine make it back safely to their home countries.

Я за Україну. Я за Україною. Слава Україні  Stojím za Ukrajinou!  I stand with Ukraine. 🇺🇦

Sunday, May 15, 2022

2022 International Family Day

Today is the International Day of Families.  It takes place every 15 May and it was first proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993.  The goal is to promote awareness of the issues which families face and to increase the social, economic and demographic processes that affect families.  There's a different theme each year.

This year's theme is Families and Urbanisation.  The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable, family-friendly urban policies.  Cities and settlements should be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Family homelessness is increasing.  Germany and Slovakia have the largest homeless population per 10.000 people.  Sweden, Luxembourg, and Latvia also have a significant homeless population.  Many people think that is in large part due to the increasing number of homeless refugees and migrants.

2022 Eurovision Finals

Last night were the grand finals of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Italy.  This year's competition had 40 countries enter and compete in two semi-final rounds with 25 in the grand finale.  Again, Russia was not allowed to compete due to its invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

Kalush Orchestra, who won the first semi-final, won this year's contest.  They won with 631 points which is incredible.  Their song "Stefania" is the first song sung entirely in Ukrainian.  It's also the first song to ever win with hip-hop elements.  Here's their winning performance.

©Eurovision Song Contest

The UK came in second place.  Sam Ryder's song "Space Man" received 466 points.  This sets a record for the UK with 16 second place finishes.

©Eurovision Song Contest

The winner of the second semi-final, Sweden, finished in fourth place behind Spain.

Czechland didn't do so well.  We Are Domi earned just 38 points and ended up in 22nd place.  But at least we made the grand finale and beat Iceland, France, and Germany.

©Eurovision Song Contest

If anyone's interested in watching the full grand finale then here's the complete 4,25 hour show that's available on YouTube.

©Eurovision Song Contest

Well done Ukraine!  I hope that this isn't the only thing that they win this year.  Я за Україну. Я за Україною. Слава Україні  Stojím za Ukrajinou!  I stand with Ukraine. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

New Old Man Glasses

Back in 2017, the optometrist diagnosed me with "old man eyes."  I only needed them for reading but now I find myself needing them more and more.  So a couple of weeks ago I went and had my eyes checked.  Yep, my vision has gotten a little worse so I got a new prescription and ordered some new frames.

Aside from my vision having gotten worse, two things were different this time.  
  1. In order to squeeze me in sooner, the clinic scheduled me a visit with an optometrist who doesn't speak English.  I did the entire visit in Czech.  I was kind of proud of myself for that one.
  2. There used to be a 150 Kč discount towards new frames but apparently that doesn't exist anymore.

This week I picked up my two new pairs.  I tend to keep one pair for work and another pair for home.  What do you think?

Friday, May 13, 2022

2022 Eurovision Semi-Final 2

Last night was the second semi-final round of the this year's Eurovision Song Contest.  The first semi-final on Tuesday was won by Ukraine.  Eighteen countries participated in last night's competition.

Sweden came in first place.  Cornelia Jakobs sang her song "Hold Me Closer" in English.  Here's the video of her performance from YouTube.

©Eurovision Song Contest

Czechland placed fourth in the last night's competition so they qualified for Saturday night's final.  This year the Czech entry is the group We Are Domi which is a Czech-Norwegian electro pop group that started in the UK in 2016.  

Dominika Hašková is the lead vocalist.  She's actually Czech-American as she was born in the USA to Czech parents.  Her father is Dominik Hašek who used to play hockey for the Buffalo Sabres.  In 2010, she made the final of season one of Česko Slovensko má talent

Casper Hatlestad and Benjamin Rekstad are Norwegian musicians.  Since 2020, they are both music teachers at the International School of Music and Fine Arts in Prague.

Their song, "Lights Off" is sung in English.  Here's their performance from last night.  Let's see how they do in the finals.

©Eurovision Song Contest

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

2022 Eurovision Semi-Final 1

Last night was the first semi-final for this year's Eurovision Song Contest.  Seventeen countries took part in the first semi-final held in Italy.  Russia was originally supposed to compete in the first semi-final but they were excluded from this year's competition due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.   

Ukraine came in first place.  Kalush Orchestra actually performed their song "Stefania" (Стефанія) in Ukrainian.

Here's the video that I found out on YouTube.

©Eurovision Song Contest

The Czech entry competes tomorrow night in the second semi-final.  The grand final is on Saturday night.