Tuesday, July 29, 2008

South Bohemia

Did another bike tour on the weekend. This time, we went to Prague and had Ivana's best friend and her boyfriend come along with us.

We had a car this time. More mobility. :-)

We started off in god-knows-where and was quickly told about the controversial nuclear power plant: here

It's a Soviet station with American technology...weird mix.

Anyway, we got to our B&B and biked around for a day. We started off in Hluboka nad Vltavou, a small town with a nice castle.

Then we went to Holašavice where there was a street festival going on. 

The bike ride along the countryside was really relaxing and quite what I needed.

The next day, we went to český Krumlov, another UNSECO city and, I might add, quite a nice city.

After that, we went back to Prague for the trip home.

This weekend, the girlfriend is off to be a tour guide in Scotland. That means I can rest for a couple weekend. I need it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Chat...

Monday, July 21, 2008

45 Miles, Saddle Sore, and Knees Hurting...

...is how I came to Ivana's birthday celebration on Saturday. It was at her Grandparent's garden in the middle of nowhere. (Everyone in Europe seems to have a garden area somewhere near where they live and they often celebrate parties there)

Anyway...it's no fun going to a family party when you don't speak the language. At all. None. I mean, I can say: "my name is...", "give me please...", and other survival phrases, but that quickly becomes obsolete when trying to enter into a political conversation.

And this is what I find funny: these wonderful language learning books have so many "useful" phrases such as "the cat is on the mat" or "the monkey is on the branch" and it's really hard to use them in any conversation.*

Them: "Bob, when going into a store in America, do you have to pay with a credit card?"

Me: "Uh, the cat is on the mat?"

So, I felt kinda like a piece of furniture they lug around during a family visit. 

But the good thing was that I spoke to her grandparents in German (80 years ago this area was a part of Germany so most people that age can speak it) and that was ok...all 5 minutes of it.

The garden was quite beautiful and I was able to take some nice pics, and tried to get a picture of a bee in flight but it turned out to be much harder than I thought. Those wily bees!

* This is Eddie Izzard. I cannot claim originality to this situation, but I can relate!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not Getting Any Better...

I'm being mocked:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Baiting the Gods

Murphy's Law took a big, stinky dump on me.

So...a week ago I bought an air conditioner to combat the oppressive heat here in my apartment.

Well...take a look at the forecast:

So, I may have to try to bait the gods for it to get hot.

Anyone got any ideas??

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


We have recommenced the bowling tradition here in Dresden.


First, it's "Wayne" and not "Wagno", but other than that, I RULED!!!! 

Monday, July 07, 2008


It's a happy goodbye.

Karen with Vera trying to get her to look at me.

All of us on the balcony.

I went to Pete and Karen's yesterday to have one last coffee with a co-worker, her husband and their daughter. It was bittersweet for me. This life here exposes me to many transient people and sometimes the really good ones have to go, too.

Gary, Sarah, and Vera are off to Canada to begin the next chapter of their lives.

I am sad to see them go but happy that they have a great future ahead of them.

Good luck, and you will be missed!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I Give Up

This article pushed me over the edge.

Along with all the others: bio diesel is driving food prices up; Hummer clubs are suffering* because gas prices are so high; honey bees are becoming extinct...

We seem to be trying to compensate for our cushy lifestyles. But it's not working.

And science is partially to blame. But I have to give scientists credit: they are at least trying. Do you have energy saving lights (probably carcinogenic we'll find out in a few years) in your house? When was the last time you carpooled? 

But come on...gas prices are not going to fall back to "normal". It's clear to the politicians and the oil companies that people will simply pay for the gas they need. They collect record profits and we have to take bicycles.

And that could be a blessing in disguise. People would at least be more active.

But I am just plain tired of being told that the consumer choice I make it the correct one or the "better" one and then being told a year later that it was wrong. Seriously, do scientist not have the foresight for this? What is the cause?

Simply: why??!

We as humans are an easily manipulated lot. Just look at the few headlines I can recall from childhood to now: Eggs are healthy/Eggs are not healthy, Butter is bad/Butter is better than margarine, There are definitely WMDs/there are not WMDs, Smoking doesn't kill/smoking kills...I'm sure I could search the internet for more but I think the point is made. We need to become more informed. Myself included. Critical thinking needs to be promoted and used in daily life. I believe that the media relies on the general lack of subject specific education and critical thinking to, perhaps, manipulate the masses.

*I think that Hummers are the most unnecessary vehicles in the history of vehicles. The fact that someone bought this monstrosity and now cannot afford to "feed" it is, to me, poetic justice. Fuck Hummers!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The 'Ol Carbon Footprint Just Got a Bit Bigger...

Say hello to my little friend:

That's right. Fuck the 85 degree room I have to sleep in. I am contributing to Global Warming that much more but I need to sleep.*

After 2 hours, it's now 77 in here...we're getting better...

*Side note: I don't have a car and I use energy saving lights. So I think I am still way behind the average when it comes to energy consumption.