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Reiseberichte, Gedanken und Alltägliches
Meine digitale Welt für die Öffentlichkeit - BILINGUAL!
Neueste Einträge 
3. Sep 2013 11:17 am - ALERTS TO THREATS - EUROPE 2013


The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya , Egypt and Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed "to "Peeved."

Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.

Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pi$$ed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniforms and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

A final thought -" Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC".

John Cleese - British writer, actor and tall person

10. Dez 2009 11:51 pm - He should have declined!!!!
I don't care if any of you think he deserved it, in my opinion he did not!
What I'm speaking about? You probably guessed: the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama. He should not have been nominated in the first place. Who the hell was so scheming, so brazen and simply ignorant to actually put him in the pot? There are loads of people out there who deserve it - he didn't do anything even as close to what they did. Or anything actually - he is on a path which will hopefully lead to something (although sending 30.000 more soldiers to Afgh. is not quite the direction it should go). But in no way is it worth such a prize - just because somebody is starting in a direction it should be encouraged with the prize of a "finished" work? It's an offence to all the other people before him who actually earned the prize for their work!
And when he was nominated he should have declined it politely citing the situation in Afghanistan and Irak and all the other places US solders are stationed for war purposes. What he did is unacceptable - not only did he take it in a very rude manner without proper honouring the hosts, but he actually made a speech degrading the prize with an opposing notion! He called it a "morally justified war"! Excuse me, but there simply is NO justified war - ever! Didn't he have ethics in school? I thought he is a lawyer? Shouldn't there be any kind of morality or shame left at least for show purposes?

Much bigger man than him willingly declined it:
Sartre has declined his Nobel Price in literature, although he shouldn't count on the grounds of declining all official honours.
Le Duc Tho, awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. They were awarded the Prize for negotiating the Vietnam peace accord. Le Doc Tho said that he was not in a position to accept the Prize, citing the situation in Vietnam as his reason. [source: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/nobelprize_facts.html]

Obama should have stepped into the foots of Le Duc Tho and declined it citing the situation in Afghanistan (and Irak) as his reason.

Am seriously annoyed (although this will have absolutely no impact on anything at all and I presume that nobody cares anyway) and also deeply disappointed. He should have stood up for conscience and admit that he has not earned it and won't take it at this point.
I heard on the radio today morning that ppl in the US have been asked. Outcome: 66% said he shouldn't take it, 34% didn't know what a Nobel Prize is .............
15. Nov 2009 08:54 pm - How to make an Apple Swan
Just made filled chicken for us. We have a rotisserie in our new oven and I wanted to try it out. So I stuffed a chicken today with chestnuts, walnuts, apples and feta, managed to stick it on the thing and had 1.5 hours later a wonderful dinner. Quite amazing actually. Works grand.

Otherwise we went around to figure out which fuses and switches work with which lights and sockets in our garden, barn, and house. Also tried to pump up some water in the well, but weren't successful with the latter. Need to soak the pump first and then create a vacuum with water. The well is approximately 7-8 metres deep.

I don't know if you've seen that video, but thought I would share it with you (and bookmarked it for myself at the same time):
Also found here: foodwishes.blogspot.com/2009/11/apple-swan-instructions.html
And this is the video on youtube:
This is priceless. As I understand Polish I find this immensely funny:
The Mystery of Ireland's Worst Driver
I presume though that the ashamed Irish Police will take it with a laughing shrug - in a few years ..... LOL
CNBC Gives Financial Advice
Honestly, watch this until the very end. It keeps getting better!

So, do you want to keep your name or not. …. We both have resolved this question a while ago and have agreed on a solution. We are going to have double-barred names. In translation that would come out as “Blessed Smith” (yes, the blessed bit comes from my name). I think the other way around it sounds nicer phonetically, but my Beloved likes this version better. I personally don’t care much so we go with this one.

The UK is pretty unique in Europe regarding the name changing. While in most continental European countries there are (loads of) rules regarding the naming you can do almost anything you want there. There are a few exceptions:

  • does not include at least one forename and one surname;
  • is impossible to pronounce;
  • includes numbers or symbols;
  • includes punctuation marks - although you can have a hyphen to link forenames or surnames (for example, if you want a double-barrelled surname) and an apostrophe in the case of surnames like O'Brien;
  • if names are considered vulgar, offensive, blasphemous or unsuitable;
  • may result in others believing you have a conferred or inherited honour, title, rank or academic award, for example, a change of first name to Sir, Lord, Laird, Lady, Prince, Princess, Baron, Baroness, General, Captain, Professor or Dr etc.

Not aside: somebody managed to legally changed name from John Desmond Lewis to Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel.

 In Germany we would not be allowed to have double-barred names both. Only one of us could. So what to do? Luckily there is an interesting law in Germany too: if one of the partners is from another country then the German party can choose to take on the law of this country or both partners can choose German law. Obviously I have to go with the British law then. Which means I have to give a written explanation about taking on the UK law in this matter. I wonder, if Germany has forms for that. Would surprise me if not.

 In order to find out what needs to be done in the UK to change my name I found out loads of interesting stuff.
For example: a title in the UK is totally different from my understanding of “title”.

And there all these interesting things about becoming a Laird/Lady, Knight/Dame, etc. What a pretence! It’s probably a bit of fun, but there are actually people who take this seriously. Amazing!

In Scotland you can not become a Laird (=Landowner) if you own only 1 square foot of land because the officials will refuse to register it. There are auctions on ebay for it: We-sell-plots-of-Scotland-to-others-who-would-appreciate-the-benefits-of-land-ownership.-You-are-welcome-to-visit-your-land---we-give-you-the-precise-grid-reference-location-and-details-of-how-to-get-there

And here a freelance journalist from Edinburgh who tried this. His story is actually quite funny: 

Then there is this: www.lordship4u.co.uk. They claim to be genuine
However, in Scotland (and probably in the whole of the UK) it is not possible to buy a Royal title. Unless you are registered with the Lyon Court you are not, whatever your deed poll says.
Fake titles etc. www.faketitles.com/html/scottish_highland_titles.html. And another site in this matter: http://lairdoflochaber.blogspot.com

It took me quite a while to figure out how this differs in the whole subject. And that’s when I came across the differences in the understanding of the word “title”. http://www.ukdps.co.uk/AreThereAnyRestrictionsOnNames.html

 It makes it much easier for us. After I give and sign the explanation in Germany I just need to fill out a deed poll with my new name, translate it into German and then show it around here to get a new passport. This sounds reasonable and secure: http://www.thelegaldeedpollservice.org.uk/page2.htm The problem: in Germany I can do this only after the marriage. But we want to do this during the ceremony. So I have to find out from the Geman authorities if there is a way. I doubt this though.

 I was quite happy finding out about this. I called the Scottish Registry Office and my confidence got a blow: The Deed Poll only exists in England and Wales!!! In Scotland you can call yourself anything you want and there is no written form.
However, I can get a Statuary Declaration made in front of a witness (Justice of peace) which states my old name and the name I will be hereby known by from now on. It has an official stamp and everything. I gave this information to the German officer and now waiting for the result. So far my understanding: I get married, make this statuary declaration afterwards, translate both pieces of paper by a legally appointed translator, go to the German office, sign a declaration that I will take on the British naming law, give them the translated bits with the original to show, and - if I'm lucky - get my name changed ..... How complicated!

Now I wonder: should I keep the old nobility name/title of my family or should I get rid of it? It would go after my new double-barred surname.

And should I keep my middle name which is in one passport but not in the other as it’s a Russian custom and not a German one?

5. Feb 2009 10:38 pm - Musical Stock Market
And another video I couldn't resist showing you. Something to enjoy out of the financial downbreaks.
Take the economic development over the past months and years and turn them into .....
3. Feb 2009 12:01 pm - The Corries humourous
And since I'm at it, I was going to post this one ages ago. The Corries (very famous band in Scotland ages ago) sing their - slightly changed - version of Scotland, the Brave. Those of you who have grown up in Scotland will understand all the underlying political stabs - the other ones might enjoy the amusing performance of the artists. They reveal finally and truefull what (real!) Scots wear underneath their kilts and end in the never-ending dream of independence.
3. Feb 2009 11:50 am - Scotland the Brave
I thought I give you something funny I found a while ago - not in Scotland though, but Americans. However, great anyway:
African Drums, Bagpipes (Americans in kilts) and a Tribal Bellydancer.
Scotland the Brave performed by members of the Twin Cities Metro Pipe Band with drummers and dancers at the 2006 Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Recorded 9/24/06.
30. Jan 2009 12:06 am - Missing Wedding Stress
DaisypathWedding Ticker

7 months, 3 weeks, 3 days to go ...

I wonder: is it time to panic yet?
I met a woman in a bridal store in Glasgow, Scotland, UK a few weeks ago who made a comment to me: "Soooo stressful, isn't it? There is just not enough much time!"
She looked harrassed and I - feeling sorry for her - asked her when her wedding is.
Her answer astonished me no end: "In 18 months."
So, should I fall into stress and panic? I'm not quite certain if I should feel guilty or not for not stressing and for putting a lot of things before the wedding (-> have to!) The wedding preparations are kind of an afterthought and done next to the huge heap of other things-to-do.
I was perplexed and contemplated about telling her (when she asked), that we have started organizing about 3 days ago, our wedding is in half the time and we were mostly done with the decisions and the organizing! I decided against it and made a non-commital remark.

The only problem I see now for the next month is the wedding dress, which not only needs to be ordered 6 months before but also be found and chosen ... I have found one I adore and which suits me very well, but it's expensive. So much for my taste: exquisite, good - and expensive ... Should I be happy or sad about it?

Interesting thing (all approximations as of today):
cost in Scotland 900 BP = 1000 € = $1300
cost in the US (where it's made) = about $ 700 =530 € (which is about half!!!)
The latter doesn't include changes needing to be made. But I don't know if the one in the UK includes it (it's from a bridal store).

The prizes are fairly normal but I hesitate to spend that much on a single dress which I'm going to "trash" according to this: www.trashthedress.com. And it's only one day .... We could spend a few more nights and days somewhere else for it. I'll have to have a look around here in Berlin or go to Poland. Should be maybe cheaper. And I might find something else.

And onto my icons: which should I use for further references to the wedding?
Opinions are welcome .....

Further "chapters" will include the place of the occation, the type and the adapting of the ceremony, the cake (huge issue here with my future mother-in-law, which I hope has resolved since I compromised), the budget, the guests, colours, invitations, wedding gift list, gifts for guests, the wine, the food, homepage for the wedding and infos, music, treasure hunt for kids, poetry, traditions, etc, etc.
The guests will come from 3 different countries (so far) and 2 different continents, will speak 4 different languages as native language and everything is probably going to result in a chaos. Ah well, it's gonna be interesting.
So stay tuned if you are interested. I will update from time to time.

The Travel writer...Bill Bryson's thoughts...

"And so I went to Edinburgh. Can there anywhere be a more beautiful and beguiling city to arrive at by train on a crisp, dark Novembery evening? To emerge from the bustling, subterranean bowels of Waverley Station and find yourself in the very heart of such a glorious city is a happy experience indeed. I hadn't been to edinburgh for years and had forgotten just how captivating it can be. Every monument was lit with golden floodlights-The castle and the Bank of Scotland headquarters on the hill, the Balmoral Hotel and the Scott Memorial down below-which gave them a certain eerie grandeur. The city was abustle with end-of-day activity. Buses swept thru Princes Street and shop and office workers hastened home to have their haggis and cock-a-leekie soup and indulge in a few skirls or whatever it is Scots do when the sun goes down."
"To a surprising extent, and far more than in Wales, Edinburgh felt like a different country. The buildings were thin and tall in an un-English fashion, the money was different, even the air and light felt different in some ineffable northern way. Every bookshop window was full of books about Scotland or by Scottish authors. And of course the voices were different. I walked along, feeling as if I had left England far behind."
"Let me say right there, flat out, that I have the greatest fondness and admiration for Scotland and her clever cheery-cheeked people. Did you know that Scotland produces more university students per capita than any other nation in Europe? And it has churned out a rollcall of worthies far out of proportion to its modest size, RL Stevenson, Watt, Lyell, Lister, Burns, Scott, Conan Dolyle, J.M. Barrie, Adam Smith, Alexander Graham Bell, Lord Kelvin, to name a few. Among much else we owe the Scots are whiskey, raincoats, wellies, the bicycle pedal, the telephone, tarmac, penicillin and an understanding of the active elements of cannabis, and think how insupportable life would be without those...
So thank you Scotland, and never mind that you seem quite unable to qualify for the World Cup these days..."

[Bill Bryson, Notes from a Small Island]
6. Dez 2008 09:25 pm - Resonant Chamber by animusic.com
A cookie for all of you who don't know this yet. I think it's great (and I'll be offline for a while yet again - will be travelling for about a month. Sorry):

5. Nov 2008 10:21 am - Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson
Yesterday I met Neal Stephenson. Yes, the famous author.
However, I have never, ever, in my whole life met anyone who looks so much like my brother. It was totally weird. I could see into the future - how my brother will look in 10 or 15 years. And I could see Neal S. looking like my brother a decade ago. Even the gestures and the wrinkles on the forehead matched! And he seemed to have similarities in his character too - at least from what he showed during those 2 hours. Sooo strange! Couldn't believe it.
And my brother has the same type of goatie, the same head type, the same ... ah well. I bet, my sibling has never heard of this author. Have to tell him and send him a picture.

8. Sep 2008 10:16 pm - EGG 2008+
That's where I am at the moment:

19. Apr 2008 08:18 pm - house and Patchwork-Shop
We were visiting a house today. But I think it's too far out to buy - and there is not enough land.
>crossposting to quilting and calicocats as comment/link<
However, went to the patchwork shop in Falkensee (www.patch-it.de) near Berlin afterwards - were were fairly close anyway. I wanted to have a look if they had fabric going with my Autumn Leaf Quilt I want to make. Something like the one in the icon. I needed the light background fabric. Found something absolutely perfect and got it. Also made a few pictures of it. It's pretty small but cute nonetheless. They have free tea and coffee, biscuits, friendly owner (I know she looks grim in the picture but she was actually all smiling, chatty, and laughing) ... all very family-like and funny. And the tea was nice - I choose strawberry-rhubarb ... Of course the store is not cheap - but these kinds of stores here in Germany never are .....

Now, this is interesting and educational in regards to the current economic situation all over the world. And I checked a few references ... all true.
It's not terrorism which seems to be foe of the US - the sliding economy around the oil and the strong influence of the Euro as a currency have a huge impact. Well, have a look: http://css1971.wikispaces.com/Economy.oil (Oil, ... or ... How America lost the cold war, the House of Saudi won it for them and defeated the Red Menace)The author has humour if you look at the title. :) It's very short but gives an idea. Although I have to admit that the author could have gone a bit more into detail or at least explanation - at least for people not so familiar with the subject. But I think he didn't want to - you could of course ask .....
16. Apr 2008 02:42 pm - EQ
I'm soo excited and thought to share this with you: my Electric Quilt software has arrived!!!
Problem: my birthday is on the 2nd of May, and this is still more than 2 weeks away! This is a birthday present which I wished for. EQ has just arrived from the US. What should I do? Should I wait? Or should I open it? I sooo want to have a look at it and install it. Should I feel guilty if I do? I have to admit that I don't really have time for it right now, but still ... You guys will understand me, don't you?

So, what should I do in your opinion?

crossposted to quilting and calicocats

9. Apr 2008 11:01 am - Hyperion 1 von Dan Simmons

Von Dan Simmons hatte ich vorher noch nicht so viel gehört. Um genau zu sein, dies ist meine erste Bekanntschaft seiner Bücher im Audio-Format.
Im Prinzip passiert nicht viel in der Hauptgeschichte, außer daß den 7 Protagonisten ihre Lebensgeschichte in autobiografischer Form hinzugefügt wird. Die Hauptpersonen erzählen sich ihr Leben und die Gründe für die Pilgerreise. Dadurch wird dem Hörer/Leser die Möglichkeit gegeben, sich in die Welt von verschiedenen Ausgangspunkten und Umständen hineinzuversetzen. Und die Geschichten hören sich mehr oder weniger wie einzelne Bücher im Buch an.
Leider ist die Teilung von audible so angelegt, daß wir nur die ersten 3 Geschichten hören - die eines Geistlichen, der dem aussterbenden Christentum anhängt, eines Kriegers und Kämpfers und eines Dichters, der die letzten Jahre der Erde miterlebte und Russell, Twain und Platon zitiert. Recht große Unterschiede in den Handlungssträngen.
Das ganze 1. Buch ist eine Art Einleitung in diese fictive Welt von Simmons. Aber eine etwas ungewöhnliche Art, die Umgebung der eigentlichen Handlung auferstehen zu lassen. Nach dem Genuß dieses Hörbuches bin ich nun wesentlich schlauer, was die Umgebung der Hauptgeschichte angeht. Dan Simmons schafft es, Geschichten zu verknüpfen und auch Details hineinzuflechten, die das innere Auge sich vorstellen kann. Seine Beschreibungen sind detailliert und 'farbenfroh'.
Warte schon auf die nächste Folge.
Was den Sprecher Detlef Bierstedt angeht (wenn man darüber hinweg ist, nicht ständig Commander Riker vor Augen zu haben ;) ...): einfach großartig! Er liest alle Rollen selbst mit gekonnter schauspielerischer Qualität. Auch Stunden später lauscht man einfach nur hingerissen seiner Stimme, die ein der wenigen ist, die einem auch nach Tagen nicht auf die Nerven geht. Einfach wundervoll!
Fazit: empfehlenswert, aber nur, wenn man darauf gefaßt ist, den nächsten Teil auch zu hören. Macht Spannung nach mehr.

Noch mehr Hörbuchrezensionen von mir sind hier.
14. Mär 2008 10:28 am - Geocaching Prayers
LOL ... Therapie gegen die Geocaching-Sucht:

Wenn schon alles verloren geglaubt scheint -
hier zwei Stoßgebete (Originallink):

Satellit unser
Der Du bist im Himmel.
Geheiligt werde Dein Name.
Deine Frequenz komme.
Dein Signal geschehe,
Wie im Himmel so auf Erden.

Unseren täglichen Found gib uns heute.
Und vergib uns unsere Leitplanken-Micros,
Wie auch wir vergeben unseren Muggles.
Und führe uns nicht in Versuchung.
Sondern erlöse uns von der Statistikcacherei.

Denn dein sind die Tradis
Und die Multis
Und die Events
In Ewigkeit.

Geocaching Unser,
Geheiligt werde dein Kaesch,
Dein Fund komme,
Dein Trade geschehe,
wie im Wald,
so auch in der Heide,

Unsere taegliche Jagd gib uns heute.
Und vergib uns das Zertrampeln,
wie auch wir vergeben
das knifflige Versteck.

Und fuehre uns nicht in die Irre,
sondern erloese uns von Frust.
Denn dein ist der Travelbug
und der Geocoin
und das Logbuch
in Ewigkeit.

12. Mär 2008 07:56 am - Body Control
THIS little show is worth watching!! Absolutely stunning - not only the strength but especially the body control they are capable of. Amazing! (unfortunately the quality has gone down a bit while uploading, but you are still seeing more or less clearly). These guys are either Russian or Polish. I don't really know where this video originated as it was sent to me. But I'm happy to provide a note if anybody tells me who holds the copyright to this ....

12. Mär 2008 12:31 am - Spanish Lessons
1. Mär 2008 11:45 am - Das Rätsel von John Katzenbach

Das war mein 1. Katzenbach-Roman - und wird mein letzter bleiben.
Meine Neugier auf den Bestseller-Autor wurde leider bitter enttäuscht.

Hier mußte ich mich erstmal hineinhören, bis ich in der Gewaltorgie eine Welt in der Zukunft identifizierte. Danach war ich für eine Weile gefesselt bis neugierig. Aber das ließ immer mehr nach. Die langatmigen Beschreibungen sind nervend und tragen zu einem Hörerlebnis überhaupt nicht bei.
Nach der 3. Stunde glaubte ich meinen Ohren nicht zu trauen. Ich beziehe mich auf die Angelszene. Die ist derartig miserabel und unglaubwürdig, daß ich einfach nur noch fassungslos zuhörte und hoffte, daß dies ein Versehen war. Es scheint, als ob der Autor nur eine Art Drehbuch für eine einfache Verfilmung schreibt (was also auf der Leinwand nett aussieht) und von seinem Editor die Mitteilung erhielt, ein wenig Nackheit hineinzubringen. 'Meinen nächsten Fisch fange ich nackt.' Sorry, aber so ein Quatsch! Mir ist zwar
klar, daß das evtl. die männliche Fantasie (des Autors) anregt, aber hat er sich mal überlegt, daß keine 'vollbusige' Frau das je machen würde? Viel zu unbequem bis schmerzhaft!
Aber ich versuchte mich weiter ... Nach weiteren 2 Stunden - also nach über 5 Stunden - platzte mir jedoch der Kragen. Das Buch ist furchtbar! Und damit meine ich nicht unbedingt die Handlung - die scheint ja recht interessant zu sein, sondern seine Art zu schreiben, die unangebrachten und überlangen Beschreibungen von Details die keinen interessieren und komplett irrelevant für Handlung (und Leser) sind. Natürlich ist das andere grafischer, aber nicht die ganze Zeit über. Langweilig und unausstehlich nach einer Weile.

Warum trotzdem 2 Sterne? Der Vorleser ist gut - trotz des bereits bei Fitzeks 'Das Kind' von mir kritisierten Mangels an Pausen zwischen Kapiteln, das einen merkwürdigen Sprung in der Orientierung verursacht. Das Hörbuch hätte ansonsten von mir nur 1 Stern bekommen.

Fazit: nicht zu Ende gehört.

Noch mehr Hörbuchrezensionen von mir sind hier.
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