Tag Archives: Rants


We are being subjected to a heatwave of some length at the moment, and as our summer temps don’t usually get up to the high 80s and low 90s, normal homes do not have A/C. As a result, when the high temperatures are sustained for more than a few days, it’s a bit uncomfortable – especially the sleeping part.

I knew this weather was coming, and as I contemplated how to best deal with it, I had a brilliant idea.

I’m one of those mean adults who always envies the little kids that get to splash in their little pools in the summer. So, I went online to look and see if there isn’t something affordable and doable that is available for adults. I found something for under 40 €, and ordered it.

The discussion (or objections) by the folks surrounding this little pool, as it was on its merry way to being delivered, were exhausting.

“It’s a silly idea.”

“You’re going to ruin the lawn.”

“You’ll need 2 cubic meters of water just to fill it.” (In Germany, cubic meters is a common measure of volume – 1 cbm is 1000 liters)

“It will take the water three days to warm up enough for anyone to go in it.”

“Where on earth will you put it?”

“No one is going to use it.”

“Leaves and dirt will soil it.”

“Stop being a child.”

It got here yesterday. The’ve all shut up now and think it’s great.

*rolls eyes*

Uncoordinated Innovation

About a year ago, I discovered that my health insurance company had an app – a useful one. When you get an invoice from a doctor, you take a picture of it with your phone and then send the bill on it’s merry way. A few hours after you dispatch the invoice, the app notifies you that the documents have, in fact, been received. A few days later, the app notifies you that everything has been processed and you will receive a detailed settlement statement via snail mail.

So, last week, when I received the invoice for all of that dental work, I immediately scanned both pages of the invoice with the phone and sent it on it’s way. I was informed about the receipt and processing with the usual app notifications and looking forward to receiving the settlement info, as my dentist would like for me to pay him.

They sent me a settlement statement of two pages, the first of which said 0 €, and the second of which had a footnote stating that they cannot process the settlement unless I include the attachment to the invoice which details the laboratory materials and labor breakdown.

O.k., maybe I’m just fussy – but maybe a notification through the app or a good old phone call to tell me that might have saved two pages of paper and a postage stamp? On the one hand, the company is being pretty savy with it’s app – on the other hand, not contacting me via the most economical way with, say a short call – is to me a FAIL.

Knitting Weather

….is what we’ve been having, so yes, I finished the white lace sweater:


By the time I got to working the front half, I’d gotten used to the pattern and only had to frog a few rows once.

We are supposed to get summer weather (just the next two days) which pleases me, as I decided to try out a new recipe for indian tandoori chicken on Sunday, the spicyness of which will fit perfectly with our summery temps.

Yes, I know I moan about the weather a lot. But thanks to its absolute abhorrent nature this year , it’s almost June and I’ve hardly been out with the camera, haven’t even sat on the motorcycle, and have barely enjoyed being outside – all of those things that I enjoy doing. I feel like I’m being slowly robbed of my favorite time of the year.

O.k., that’s it

(warning, contains explicit language)

…now I’m angry.

You know what I got in the mail yesterday? A magazine which I am not familiar with. Across the title there is a sentence that says “The Lust for Life is Timeless”.

According to the front page, it contains articles such as “Us Women around 50”. The woman on the cover of the magazine is an attractive one, apparently mid-50s to 60 years of age.

But you know what really got me? What really rattled my chain, what really pissed me off (no pun intended)? It included samples of a sanitary product for bladder leakage. Yes, you read that correctly.

Thank you. I feel really good now. Aaaaaaarrrrgggghhhh. On the other hand, yes I do feel good. I am not in need of such a product.

Looking at the editorial page, it turns out this is the first issue of a publication issued by Procter & Gamble, “made especially for you”.

P&G, I am never going to buy another one of your products ever again. Even if that proves difficult. How dare you be so presumtous as to assume that because of my age I want to read a magazine that contains bladder leak products and articles about how to prevent hair loss? Fuck you P & G. And how did you get my adress anyhow? And how come you know my age? Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

I am so relieved

I’m not sure why or on what basis, but the word in the media the past couple of days has been that Angela Merkel was being considered a possible winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. I wondered yesterday where I might have left to go in a world that would do that, and pondered moving to the moon.

Yes, Merkel’s actions with the refugees have been grand, but that is about where her grandeur ends.

Her government exports weapons to Saudi Arabia (so that they can bomb civilians in Yemen), sells submarines to Israel and lots of other weapons to lots of third-world countries. She practically kneels before the United States and allows her citizens be surveillanced by the NSA and the BND. She permits the United States to use Ramstein Airbase in Germany to carry out Obama’s drone attacks (which could not be carried out without the aid of Ramstein), even though drone attacks are legally defined as nothing less than state-sanctioned murder, at least in this country.

Thankfully, one of my news apps just buzzed me and let me know if went to someone else. Thank you, Nobel Prize Committee.

Yeah, I know. If the NSA hasn’t had me on their radar yet, they do now. Well, FYNSA.

All work and no play…

makes Karen a dull gal.

That’s what began happening with this blog in 2006, culminating in almost total neglect in 2009 when I was pushing 80-hour work weeks.

I’ll not let that happen again. It occurred to me last night that I even forgot to send Dackelprincess the two recipes I’ve promised to dispatch last weekend. (I’ll get that done today).

It really has been all work and no play. I have an app on the iPhone that counts my daily steps, and I always try to keep them at the recommended 10,000 per day, “filling up” at the end of the day with a fitness walker when I’ve been sitting too much. I haven’t gotten around to doing that the past week or so, and all my stats are very, very red. Very, very, unhealthy, all of this sitting.

Oh, and my toothbrush tried to commit suicide by jumping off the shelf and into the bathtub. I managed to rescue it.

Really, VW?

I’m flabbergasted about VW. I mean, as if it isn’t bad enough that most of the free world is being reigned by banks and corporations, permitted to do so by governments that represent the interests of said banks and corporations instead of those of the general public.

Now, a once very reputable major german manufacturer has knowingly (and with knowledge of the german government, according to “The Welt”) practiced large scale deception and fraud.

Instead of using engineering technology to improve emissions, let’s just continue to screw the planet and just make sure we sell cars.

Bravo. Money makes the world go round. What a joy.

Rainy Days and Mondays

It’s a rainy back-to-school Monday here in Bavaria, and I’ve just had the honor of meeting one of the snidest and snottiest persons in a local customs office.

I recently ordered an orthopedic harness for Tobi from the United States, and despite the Labor Day holiday weekend, it managed to get to Frankfurt quite quickly (on Tuesday of last week in fact). The customs office there kept it for a few days and then decided to forward it to the local customs office in whose jurisdiction I fall, they sent me a notice in the mail on Saturday that there was a problem with my package and that I needed to come there.

So that’s what I did this morning. After taking a number and waiting, I was called to the counter for processing. I asked him if there was a problem with the package and he said, yes, there wasn’t an invoice. I replied that I am sure there is an invoice, which prompted him to go get the package. He handed me a knife, and I opened the plastic pouch containing the customs declaration. I showed him where it listed the item along with its price in US $.

He stated that, well, that’s a form of the USPS, anyone can write what they want on there. I looked at him incredulously. “Do you expect the american postal service to use european custom forms? Are you serious?” “Well, no”, he replied, “but that isn’t a substitute for a normal invoice, a copy of which belongs in the pouch on the outside of the package. Any worldly company would do that.”

I wanted to tell him that I’d been filling out customs paperwork in all variations while he’d still been in diapers, but I thought better of it.

I replied “Well, I suppose there might also be small companies that aren’t up to your worldly standards.” He glared. “I’m sure there’s an invoice inside”, I said and opened the package. “No, I’m sure there isn’t”, he replied.

Of course there was an invoice inside. He was chagrinned, but then began to gloat as the total on the invoice (124 $) didn’t match with the (122 $) on my PayPal printout. “Ah,” he said, “look, the invoice is incorrect”, again gloating. I pointed out that the invoice listed $ 85 for the item and $ 37 for shipping and that the incorrect total (124) was a mistake but that 85 + 37 = 122, matching my PayPal slip. Finally, he backed down.

“Well, you do realize you’ll have to pay a 19% import tax on the invoice total of $ 122?” “What?” By this time I was practically beginning to shriek. “The item only cost $85 – the rest is shipping”. He replied “Yes, but according to EU law…..blah….blah….blah”.

He left me standing at the counter for almost 10 minutes waiting for him to complete the paperwork. Then, he placed it on the counter and said the cashier would be with me in short time and walked away. After a few minutes of more waiting, another customs person finally came to the counter, slapped a rubber stamp on the paperwork without barely looking at it and took the money that I’d laid out five minutes earlier.

Yes. It’s been that kind of morning.