“Please Don’t Keep Canaries in the Kitchen”

I was actually planning on heading to the Kaunertal in Austria today, but it is soooo cold that I probably would have suffered frost damage on various body parts and decided to stay put.

As promised, here the pan that I won at the raffle yesterday:

It conveniently allows you to just flip over the pan to brown both sides of the pancake. I am curious about this as I have gotten relatively good at flippin’ flap jacks in a normal pan.

And this is the doughnut thingy (which I may try out this weekend):

While reading the instruction booklet, I came across this gem:

“Please do not keep canaries and other birds in the kitchen. Bird’s respiratory systems are sensitive to many fumes, including the fumes from extremely overheated nonstick pans.”

How’s that for an animal friendly tip? (Not that I would keep my bird in the kitchen – there’d be no more room for me).


I had completely forgotten that there is a holiday in Germany next week, so imagine my absolute DELIGHT when I heard on the radio this morning at 6.30 that Monday is a holiday, (Re-unification Day) and I’ve a three-day-weekend coming up!

Yes, yes, yes – YES!!!!!


Now if only our local radio station would call ME. They let their computer dial random phone numbers in Bavaria, and if the person on the other end answers the phone with the phrase “Hallo Antenne Bayern” they get 10.000 €. I have been patiently waiting and have changed the announcements on all three answering machines to include that greeting. They call a number every hour and 95% of all the persons who are called fail to answer the phone properly, despite the fact that they know about this give-away. Most of them weren’t expecting to be called from the radio station. Just imagine the frustration of being called and not answering properly 🙁
I mean, it isn’t difficult when you hear on the radio that they are about to call someone and your phone rings, to just give it a shot, is it?


And why does Juanes keep singing about his black shirt? What’s the deal on that?


Still Here

It’s just that this week has proven quite gruesome in terms of work, and I will leave the subject at that.

I dashed into Munich yesterday to get a new oil filter and oil as well as new brake pads for the Kiwi only to discover, upon removing the old ones, that I had bought the wrong ones. I had looked up the correct number in the catalog but they just aren’t the ones I need, meaning, another trip to Munich soon to exchange them. Luckily, the “old” pads are still good for at least another 1000 km or more.

I took an extended lunch hour today; my father invited us to lunch at the “Do-It-Yourself” store in Landsberg. Yes, you read that properly. Lunch at the builder’s store. In honor of the Oktoberfest, they have set up a small beer tent and a carousel and advertised a “Schweinshaxen” with “Knödel” for 2,99 € and a “Maß” of beer for 2,20 €. At those prices, which are even 50% less than normal restaurant prices, my father wasn’t going to skip the opportunity to eat a “Hax”.

The food was quite good, the “Schweinshax’n” albeit being so large that we will be finishing them this evening (Tobi will surely offer his help).

Afterward we went into the store to purchase a few needed items and discovered the local humane society in cooperation with an organisation for disabled persons were holding a raffle. As I always have luck with raffles, I bought five tickets for 50 cent each and Bingo! I won a pancake pan. I will post pictures of it tomorrow. It looks quite practical and there is even a gadget included to make donuts. Hmmm.

Ok. Back to the grindstone. 🙁

Happiness Is

an entire bag of sock yarn waiting to be knit:

The only difficulty presents itself in not being able to decide which one to knit first 😉


We have been having phenomenal weather here, prompting us to take a bike tour on Saturday. We reached the the Oberjoch in the Allgäu, but as fate would have it, ended up riding through the Tannheimer Tal, once again choosing the alpine pass of the Hahntennjoch to reach Imst, continued into Dollinger for a late lunch and headed home viaTelfs and the Leutaschtal and Mittenwald. There was an enourmous traffic jam on the B2 at Oberau, so we decided to head home via Oberammergau instead, stopping in Ettal for coffee.

A wonderful trip of more than 350 km; the Kiwi and I have put 9.500 km behind us since May.


Yesterday I decided, in spite of the wonderful weather, to spend the day knitting and widening my horizons. Here are some of the things the history channel imparted upon me:

  • That Cleopatra had three children from two fathers and it was less her beauty than her intelligence that got her through life.
  • That an american spy ship (Liberty) was torpedoed and shot at by Israel in 1967 (though they claimed it was an accident).
  • That Amundsen was much better prepared for the trip to the South Pole than Scott, even though Scott had been to the region once before and Amundsen had not.
  • That in Britain’s civil war between the royalists and parliamentarians, Newark was brutally besieged a total of three times.
  • What a Bundeslade is. A professor was traveling all over Ethiopia, trying to track down the Bundeslade which is supposedly kept in one of the many churches there. 3/4 through the show, still not knowing what on earth he was looking for (Bundeslade sounds to me like some sort of spare part for a truck or such), I decided to check the online dictionary.Bundeslade = ark of the covenant. Aaahhh. Yes. Ok.

The Water Kettle that Wasn’t

To clear up the confusion on my previous post about warming up milk, this is my water boiler.

So you see, it is more of an electrical appliance than those lovely old-fashioned kettles which whistle so nicely. I’ve no idea what this thing might be called in proper english, so I’ve posted pictures.

I am not a fan of appliances – there are some which I find completely superfluous – such as an egg-cooker for example. However, this 8 € bargain from the local discounter brings water to a boil quicker than you can say “whistle”.

In the future, however, I will get out a normal pot if I want warm milk 😉


I had a wonderful laugh yesterday when I read a thread in one of the many motorcycle forums. The person who started the thread had a small problem – and yes, he was serious:

“My torque wrench only goes up to 100Nm.

If I am supposed to tighten the wheel nut with 117Nm, kann I tighten it with 100 Nm and then afterward tighten it with 17 Nm?”

The ensuing thread is six pages long and at some point I was almost rolling on the floor from laughing so hard.


Making hot chocolate yesterday, I figured why not warm up the milk in the water cooker?

Note: This is a very bad idea. The milk won’t even be boiling yet but burnt bits of it will be stuck to the heating coils. Don’t repeat.


I seriously need some time off. Seriously. I have decided that as soon as I have solved a current major crisis with a client, I am taking a week off. Completely.
But only if the weather is nice 😉




Many thanks to all of you who crossed not only your fingers but everything imaginable, especially to Seitherin, Katya and Ms. Mac!

I had taken the time during the day to vacuum the car again and give it a good and proper wash and to put headlamps back in it. You see, my aunt Gisi visited me on Saturday and was a bit piqued when she arrived as her headlamps were not working. After checking the fuses, which were fine, we declared the bulbs as defective. She was not happy about having to return to Munich in the evening without headlights, so I took the bulbs from my Twingo and installed them in hers “and then there was light”, so to speak.

Anyhow, Mr. & Mrs. G came shortly before 8.00, inspected the car, did a test drive, drove the price down another 200 € and signed the purchase contract. They will be picking her up on Friday and then, for the first time in 11 years, I will be without a Twingo (this was my second one).

Am noticing that I am starting to get sentimental about my car.

Conversations in the Nude

I was enjoying the pleasures of a hot bath yesterday evening while watching the election returns on TV when the phone rang. Not wanting to leave the warm, wet and bubbly, I decided to ignore it. When it wouldn’t stop, after about 20 rings, I dashed out of the tub to grab it, deciding it might be an emergency (as no one I know lets a phone ring that long normally).

So I stood there, butt naked and dripping apricot scented bath foam on the floor and the caller announced that his name was Mr. G. and that he was calling about the car. I asked him to excuse me for a moment, on the pretense of having to turn down the volume on the television set (which I did have to do) in order to be at least able to slip into my bathrobe and not continue this conversation completely naked, dripping and cold.

He’ll be by tonight at 8 to have a look at the car. Cross your fingers for me, would you?

Ain’t Liftin’ A Finger

None. Thank goodness its Sunday. I’ve earned myself a lazy day.

We spent all day Friday almost finishing the “garage”. It took us all morning to get the double doors in and adjusted properly, and in the afternoon we got the window in and the facing boards on the roof. The only thing left to do is to add the roofing fabric.

Yesterday, as I was expecting company, I cleaned the house and decided (I guess I was not quite in my right mind at the moment) that if I was cleaning anyway, I might as well do a thorough job and do the windows, wash the curtains, etc. Trying to get up from my sitting position after lunch, I realized that my back wasn’t going to put up with my activities much longer. Four straight days of hard physical work are making me notice my age 😉

After I was finished and showered and waiting for my visitors, I sat down at the computer (gosh it felt good to sit!) and rediscovered the joys of playing bookworm (click here for the english version and here for the german version). I ended up playing well into the night, getting to bed shortly before 1 a.m. I should have been dead tired, but somehow, I guess I was just too wound up. Looked forward to sleeping in this morning, but I dreamt that I had returned to working at my former job and I awoke at 7.30 a.m., probably not wanting to continue to dream that dream.

In my cleaning frenzy yesterday, I hand-washed that sweater coat I knitted two years ago and have almost decided to frog it and re-knit it (but not quite yet), as I think I knitted it much too loosely and thus, am unhappy with it and not wearing it. Call me crazy.

On another front, the Oktoberfest started again yesterday, 6+ million visitors will probably consume as many litres of beer. Fest or not, I do not see the sense in paying 7.25€ for a litre of beer. I can buy a whole case of beer for 12,00 €. Do I look stupid? 😉

The only productive thing I will be doing today is to go vote for Gerhard Schröder and then watch the returns this evening. Since the election is so close and because there is a voting district in Dresden which cannot vote before October (because a candidate died and they need to redo the ballots and such), the outcome might not be known for some time.

And now, I am going to go spend the day knitting or reading or just being plain old lazy. Yeah!

Tired Bones

It probably would not be quite so bad if we hadn’t spend Wednesday afternoon re-doing my porch. You see, in the eight years the house has been standing, the ground continued to settle and the paving stones no longer resembled any sense of being level. As my father had ordered two cubic meters of gravel in preparation for the garage, we tackled the porch on Wednesday and re-layed almost every single stone. Just to give you an idea of how crooked and sunk it all was – at least five full wheelbarrows of gravel fit under those paving stones. The muscles in my back and wrist remember each one individually 😉

Yesterday, the garden house (garage) was delivered. We ended up not purchasing the one that we went to see on Saturday, as we would have had to disassemble it there, load it up and reassemble it here. After close scrutiny, the construction revealed many, many nails and we weren’t sure about getting it all apart without ruining half of the boards. Thus, we bought a new one.

Here, a view of the yard yesterday, as we were getting started. Notice the double door and window of the house leaning up against the swing set.
My father preparing the groundwork, ensuring that the “base” was level in all possible directions.
Myself, with help of the packing list and the tape measure, determining which beams go where.
Men women at work.
By 8.00 p.m., we had managed to assemble it, affix the roof boards and install the flooring. Doors and the window are on today’s program.
And the bikes got to spend their first night “indoors”.

A Tiny Harvest and Some Statistical Data

I forgot to post about the first of my (three) cantelopes that I harvested last week. Despite the very rainy summer which robbed them of the sunshine that they need, the cantelope tasted quite good.

And now for some statistics.

I am more than 15.000 days old.

I am currently having to pay 6.50 $ for a gallon of gas.

My Kawasaki Kiwi gets 58 miles to the gallon.

Since purchasing her in May, I have ridden my Kiwi a total of 8.800 km, or a total of 5.400 miles.

For these miles, I have required 351 liters (or 93 gallons) of gasoline.

With these 351 liters, I would have been able to drive 5.850 km (or 3.635 miles) in my Renault Twingo. And had not nearly the fun I have had thus far.

Now that I have bored you all to death, I will return to doing something more productive. 😉
And go look for a side job to be able to pay for gas.