How Many Members of the Bush Administration

are required to replace the proverbial light bulb?

(1) one to deny that a light bulb needs to be replaced;

(2) one to attack and question the patriotism of anyone who has questions about the light bulb;

3) one to blame the previous administration for the need of a new light bulb;

4) one to arrange the invasion of a country rumored to have a secret stockpile of light bulbs;

5) one to get together with Vice President Cheney and figure out how to pay Halliburton Industries one million dollars for a lightbulb;

(6) one to arrange a photo-op session showing Bush changing the light bulb while dressed in a flight suit and wrapped in an American flag;

(7) and finally one to explain to Bush the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.”

Can’t Remember If This Is An Ikea Piece or Not…

Well, I had been planning to post about my new fitness bike which I got at ebay for a mere 25,00 € (it hasn’t arrived here yet though – it’s somewhat of a long and difficult journey).

Or about the epileptic attack I had when I got the vet bill on Friday for 387.00 € – I mean, the cat is dead – she didn’t make it – isn’t there like a money back guarantee? Thank God we (Uwe/Hilde and I) are splitting it 50/50 because she lived in both houses, but nevertheless. Jeepers.

The real story of the day is a computer desk. Mom and Dad may remember it – they gave it to me when they were still living in Germany. It was originally put together in my third floor apartment, 10 years ago. When I moved out of there and in with Hilde and my father, it served as the computer desk in my room. When the house was finished, I carted it up the ladder into the loft where it served as my computer desk. When I finished restoring my great-grandmothers kitchen table, it also went up into the loft and there was not enough room for the entire computer desk.

So, I sawed the computer desk in half.

Served me quite well for a number of years. Until I decided to get rid of the extra bed in the loft and thus had enough room for the entire computer desk. You guessed it. I glued it back together. Lol.

Last year, when we expanded the loft, I got rid of the normal computer and started using just the laptop – on my great-grandmother’s kitchen table now downstairs in the living room. Thus, the computer desk was, at last, disassembled and deposited outside of the basement door, where it has been awaiting transport to the dump for more than a year now.

This afternoon I decided I needed to reorganize the constant clutter on my work table – the work area is small since the table contains a book case, my Epson Printer, CD-R drive, Rolodex, etc. It occurred to me that I had about 40 cm of empty space to the left of the table and that I could put something small there, maybe a small set of drawers or such to help unclutter my chaos. And I kept thinking, there has got to be something around somewhere that I can use – somewhere – maybe in the basement…..

Yes. I put half of Dad’s computer desk back together. Which wasn’t quite easy as some of the dowels had apparently pulled moisture, but it was nothing which I could not solve with the help of a mallet.

I might even head out to buy some pine wood contact paper to lighten it up next week. It’s missing one of its four wheels, but that should be no problem.

Will post a pic when I’ve straightened it all out (my chaos).

Like Squeezing Blood From a Stone

Everyone apparently wants at the money I don’t have.

The tax office was kind enough to return my receipts and supporting paperwork today, with a letter stating that they weren’t sure yet how they were going to interpret my tax return but they will let me know. Thanks. Kind of you.

My former employer received a letter from the employment office, wanting to know the outcome of the court hearing – just making sure I am eligible to continue to receive benefits.

What a world this is.

In diesem Sinne, das beste Kommentar zu Hartz IV, dass ich bis jetzt gelesen habe erschien in einem Leserbrief an den Spiegel:

“Ob bei Hartz IV im Endeffekt ein paar Euro mehr oder weniger für die Arbeitslosen herauskommen, ist nicht so entscheidend. Der Skandal besteht darin, dass Menschen, die zum Teil 30 Jahre oder mehr für diesen Staat geschuftet und fleißig Beiträge gezahlt haben, nach einem Jahr Arbeitslosigkeit das Gleiche bekommen sollen wie jemand, der sein ganzes Leben noch nie einen Hammer in die Hand genommen hat.”

Vielleicht nicht nach einem Jahr Arbeitslosigkeit, aber irgendwann.

On another note, I forgot to report on my father’s help in repairing my radio:

The vacuum tube responsible for the “magic eye” had died, and he managed to find a replacement at ebay. Was kind enough to install the new tube for me and look how this magic eye now glows!:

Lovely, isn’t it!


Yesterday, it was quite gray and rainy. So, I pulled myself together and decided to attack the closet.

Started at 10 in the morning and finished at 7 at night. Sorted out everything.

Can you believe I drove three lawn size bags of old clothes to the recycling place? And that I still have a wonderful wardrobe?

Plus, I washed most blouses (white) which had been hanging in the closet for a longer period of time, and ironed them. And, I washed my two best suits, and quite a bit of other stuff (which is waiting for me to iron them).

I am sooooo relieved to finally have tackled that. When I started, I caught myself thinking, “haven’t worn that in a while” (seven years) “perhaps I should save it, wait for the proper occasion”.

I was tough. Everything that I haven’t worn for two years went. Aren’t you proud of me? I am.

Parting with old clothes is difficult for me.

I still have quite a bit of clothing that I bought over ten years ago, in Chicago. Mostly suits. Good suits, for them to have lasted that long. Plus, it’s a good thing I am a “conservative” dresser – I usually have clothes that do not go out of style, thus being able to wear them 10+ years later without looking ridiculous.

Shoes is another story – I manage to kill shoes within a few months (dress shoes that is). Don’t know why.

Out of the “100 Things I’ll bet you didn’t know about me…”

#65. Up until the last presidential election, I voted republican.

Not Speaking Bavarian

Bavarian is such a lovely dialect. It just really does not resemble german at all. I wish I could speak it, but when I do, it just does sound like a bubble-gum chewing Ami – ridiculous. So I don’t. But here a lovely example of this wonderful language.

These trout we’ve been catching – the first day we caught them with a small spinner. By the next day, they weren’t going for that routine anymore – you see, fish are not stupid. So, we switched to “trout bait”, a dough like substance that can be purchased in a wide range of colors – yellow, hot pink, green, etc.

One of the more senior members of our fishing club, Ferdl, is a classic angler. He spends much time at the river – really knows how to fish and is never reluctant to give anyone tips – recently, he saw the grayling were rising to the surface, so he got into his waterproof trousers and began fly fishing right in the middle of the river. Successfully, of course.

Ferdl is a conservative fisherman. I don’t think he ever goes into any angler shop to browse the newest products. He catches his own bait fish. Sometimes he just sits by the side of the river and contemplates if he wants to fish or not. Ferdl is the epitome of tranquility and always cool as a cucumber.

So, when I went over to him after having caught some trout – told him I was leaving and that he should take my spot on the river, since they had been biting quite well there, he came up the river bank with his rod, baited with green dough, a doubtful expression on his face, and said

“Hoab no nia mit’m greanen toag g’fischt.”

German translation: “Ich habe noch nie mit einem grünen Teig gefischt”.

English translation: “I have never fished with green dough”.

I have never seen anyone so skeptical about anything – it was a wonderful sight. Can’t wait till the next time I see him to find out what he caught.

The Joys of Laundry

Ugh. Yesterday, I managed to wash all of the laundry which has piling up and then some. About the bottom half of my hamper had “permanent laundry” – which has just been in there for some time – sweaters which need hand washing, stuff like that. On Saturday, I decided to bite the bullet and empty that baby – and I did.

It kinda suprised me – lololol – I found twenty-five pairs of pantyhose in there. Guess they have been accumulating since the good old days of the Clinton Administration. Checked them all for runs and such, discarded five and washed the other 20. Washed everything in that hamper – and ironed it this evening.

My father came back from fishing this morning telling me the trout were biting. So, I went out and caught three in less than an hour. Will be bringing one to Friedl tomorrow – nothing more wonderful than catch-fresh trout. Hmmm.

Oh – and get this – my bugs are now adults, according to the british entomologist, have a look:

Pretty, isn’t he! Amazing what you can do with an HP 318 Photosmart and a magnifying glass.

In english they are called “Birch Catkin Bugs”. I will be letting them go tomorrow. Keep waiting for them to get a bit bigger – this one is 5 mm long now, but I don’t think they get much bigger than that.While in the bug department, have you ever accidentally ironed a spider? Ugh. Was ironing a turtleneck today which had been out hanging to dry when there was suddenly a bump. Kinda like when there is a button sewed into the seam. When I checked, I found a huge spider. Regrettably, she was dead – probably due to the steam.

Before I forget (let’s get off those cribble critter topics – watched Animal Planet this afternoon and the “Deadly Insect” show kinda really gave me the heeby jeebys), webcam – audio/video coming soon.

Trout By Coincidence

I just caught two nice trout. No, not at the market.

I wanted to go for a long walk with Tobi this evening, as this morning it rained quite heavily so we skipped it. My father wanted to come too, but didn’t want to walk the big round – he wanted to go down the river. See if there are any fish. Ha.

He actually insisted upon seeing some. Upon closer examination, there were trout. So, though we did not have all our gear in the car, we did manage to catch two each. They will be consumed within the hour. Hilde is making fried potatoes to go along with them. Hmmm.

Bug update: As can be read on the thread, an additional person helped with the bugs. He suggests they may be Birch Stinkbug nymphs. (Birkenwanze). Anyhow, I am raising a few of them in a plastic bowl according to the instructions provided by Harry, the british entomologist, and we will see what they are when they are grown. It’s quite interesting – they grow quickly.

Because of the rain, which we desperately needed, I finally tacked my three feet high ironing pile this morning. Started some laundry too (I haven’t wanted to add to my ironing pile, so I just let the laundry pile up, not good). It is supposed to rain tomorrow too, so I might get around to sorting out the closet – which I have been putting off because the weather has been too nice for such long indoor projects 😉

Visited Friedl today and brought her a few groceries she wanted. BIG points for her for not telling me that I have “gotten fuller in the face”. She tends toward brutal honesty, lol. The hip operation seems to have made some difference in her life. She went to the hairdresser the other day, and said that she has been in the garden every day. I know this is at the urging of her kind neighbor, because he told me so. Either way, living on the third floor when you are 88 is a bitch. I am glad she is somewhat mobile again and at least able to leave the apartment.

Oh, yes, the brain test – I will be sure to include this in my resume:

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (24%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.

Left Brain (72%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain

Are You Right or Left Brained?

personality tests by



I need to stop staying up so late watching TV and knitting. I think it was 1:30 a.m. or so that I got into bed. Was eel fishing down by the river and got in about 10:30, but I didn’t feel tired so I decided to watch some TV.

There was an interesting show on Discovery late last night from the “Mundane” series, this one covered the Vienna Opera Ball and the various Balls held within the high society of Vienna. It offered an interesting glimpse behind the scenes, debutantes practicing their dance, and really managed to convey the mundaneness of it all – as the name does say.

I was so busy with my bugs yesterday – found a british Entomologist in a birds and insects forum who, after I supplied him with much better photos, may have identified them as Shieldbug (Stinkbug) nymphs, though the triangular head shape is not usual. Here a link to the thread, for anyone interested in seeing my bug pictures and reading his opinion:

Because of the bugs, I forgot to post the finished silk wool socks:

This is wonderful yarn – it knits wonderfully and the socks feel like heaven. It would be good yarn to do a sweater, since it does not “fuzz”.

Yawn. Feel an afternoon nap coming on here…..

Cranky and Bugged

The day started out quite nicely, actually. Slept in a bit – till 8. Read the newspapers and took a shower, went to the recycling place and got rid of my assorted plastics, paper and cans.

After reasserting the bug situation (which is unchanged) I decided to keep the front door and the windows on that side of the house closed, and instead open the kitchen and upstairs window, which both face east.

Wonderful idea. Yeah. If the farmer who works the field adjacent to the house hadn’t decided to spread manure. In wonderful sunshine weather. With winds coming from the east.

I couldn’t close the windows fast enough – the house smelled awful – I smelled awful. And the few drops of rain we did get this afternoon certainly aren’t enough to get that stuff into the ground. Yuck. Phew. Igitt.

If I ever identify those weird bugs or get someone else to, will let you all know what they are. It is becoming a downright plague. I can hardly sit in the living room without itching everywhere, and I am really not a bug phobic by any means.

Here a picture of a real Stinkbug I found today, D.baccarum. He is easier to photograph, having a length of about 14 mm. The little critters which are “bugging” me are 2-3 mm and I just cannot get a clear enough picture with my digital camera.