Monday, January 29, 2007

Element of decency - Flight safety in Germany

Home secretary Wolfgang Schäuble wants to obligate the Federal Armed Forces of Germany to shoot down planes captured by terrorists if it's necessary to prevent a even bigger catastrophy.
As your air carrier now if they have taken precaution measures! Will they provide your safety? The questionnaire will help you:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

For Harry Potter fans: Snow curse

Look out Harry Potter fans! This offer is not for muggles, but only for wizards!

This is actually a sale offer for a tractor.

Snow curse (German: Schneefluch); meant was snow-plow (German: Schneepflug)
Sweeping räll (German: Kährwalze); meant was sweeping roll (German: Kehrwalze).

Found in Nuremberg! I'm ashamed.......

Monday, January 22, 2007

Element of crime: Storm

The storm "Kyrill" has blown away a lot of things:
  • Politicians
  • Houses (see picture, translation "With a storm like this I'll stay at home")
  • Parts of the Central Station of Berlin (see comment below)
  • Remains of snow (the famous ski downhill race in Kitzbühel ("Streif") was cancelled)
  • Trees
  • Trust in weather

News from Berlin Central Station:

A little wind and already the Million Dollar building sin is shaking

But: The worst is yet to come.

February: Little Nadine drops her doll accidentally while deboarding the Intercity train. The steel bars of the station moan under the heavy load when the "bullet" penetrates the ceilings of three floors like butter and isn't stopped until hitting the concrete skull of Hartmut Mehdorn (CEO of the German Railway Company "Deutsche Bahn". The station is closed for 14 days.

March: Despite strong safety precautions and complete observation a passenger suffers a hysterical coughing fit because of the rise of fares. This time the station does not get off that lightly. Parts of the roof construction are spun around and are found later in Königs Wusterhausen. The railroad company absorbes the costs of the cleanup efforts skillfully with a new rise of fairs.

The laugh is always on the loser!

Friday, January 19, 2007

German politics: Edmund Stoiber's Swan Song

Once more Germany has been fascinated, relieved and, at the same time, a little disgusted to watch one of its most prominent political leaders dissemble and be sent, as it were, to the underworld.
I'm talking about Edmund Stoiber the prime minister of Bavaria, one of the largest regions in Germany and party leader of the conservative CSU. He caused a big riot in the pary after he announced his plans to run for prime minister once more (his third time). That would have meant a period of another five years (until 2013). Stoiber is 65 years old. That was not acceptable for the party. Not after his withdrawal from Berlin in 2005 where he was the designated minister of economic affairs. He came back to Bavaria where his succession was almost home and dry.
It was a misconception of Stoiber that he was still the sovereign leader of the party and Bavaria.As the fight for power dragged on over the past days and weeks, devoted kowtowing was the rule in Stoiber's circle.
While nearly everyone carried a dagger in his clothes, no one dared to say out loud who the knife was meant for.
Finally the attack of a small district chief executive was the last straw. Only this courageous woman Gabriele Pauli (political officeholder) in Fürth (close to Nuremberg) had the nerve to say that Stoiber's time was up.
The tabloid Bild mounted a campaign against his potential opponent Horst Seehofer (German minister of agriculture) about an affair with a member of his staff and an alleged illegitimate child.The satirical magazine Titanic counterattacked (see picture, it says: "Is this his child?").
Edmund Stoiber tried to fight but he had to resign soon. The polls for the party fell below 50%, a catastrophe for a party that holds the absolute majority in Bavaria since 1962 (!) Yesterday he declared to give up all poilitical offices in September this year. He is gone with the wind, matching the storm Kyrill yesterday.
Stoiber's departure is a lesson on the limits of power and on the decision-making process in a democracy. His party, the conservative CSU received a huge black eye. Actually it needs quite a lot of fresh blood. If this can be a candidate like Günther Beckstein with his 63 years can be doubted.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Faded myths - Winter

It's winter time. At least when I look at my calendar. I grew up in the Northern part of Bavaria and I visited my parents last weekend. Normally we had deep snow at this time of the year. We went skiing, sledge riding and played ice-hockey. The snow piled up high from November to March or April. We were freezing and freezing. What is left? Well, that's not much.

7 facts to realize it is winter:

  • Hedgehogs, badgers and squirrels have dark circles around the eyes
  • The visitors of swimming pools wear ice-skates
  • Summer sale lasts a bit too long
  • Birds with migration background are deported singly
  • Italian ice cream parlors sell Pizza Straciatella
  • The nudists in the Munich floodplains of the Isar river wear bobble caps and gloves
  • The icebears in the zoo try to commit suicide
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow..............................

Monday, January 15, 2007

My Christmas Poem: What happened 2006?

It's already 2007 but I would like to post my Christmas poem to my family and friends anyway. Here it comes:

Ein Jahr - 2006

Was ist in diesem Jahr passiert?
Die Russen sind nicht einmarschiert.
Tina, Emma und der Konrad
wussten zum Glück meistens schon Rat.

Für die Probleme, die kleinen,
die Gemeinheiten, die feinen.
Die Berge, die sich auftürmten
an denen wir vorbeistürmten.

So haben wir ein Haus gebaut,
wir haben nicht lang’ zugeschaut.
Und den Makler gleich überzeugt
beim Notar noch ganz ungebeugt.

Unterschrift mit zitternder Hand,
haben die Arbeit nicht gekannt.
Die nun daraus für uns erwuchs
daran gemahnt kein Bausparfuchs.

Den Urlaub schon auf der Baustelle,
Wochenende vergeht schnelle.
Mit dem Baumarkt auf Du und Du,
das liebe Geld zerfließt im Nu.

Doch nun ist die Fron gemeistert,
vom Ergebnis auch begeistert.
Feiern wir den Tag zum zweiten
Mal als Emma begann zu schreiten.

In das Leben mit Sauseschritt
läuft die Zeit, wir laufen mit.
Die Frau gestresste Lehrerin,
der Mann mit kaufmännischem Sinn.

Zu rechnen eins und eins gleich zwei
zu schön wär’s, käm’ der Storch vorbei.
Das wird ein Wunsch fürs neue Jahr
das alte ist nun auch bald gar.

Wir sagen danke und viel Glück,
an Freunde, Familie und ein Stück
vom Kuchen werden wir bekommen
ob süß, ob bitter: unbenommen.

A year - 2006

What happened this year?
The Russians didn't appear.
Tina, Emma and Konrad
usually knew what to do.

For the problems small
the meannesses tall.
The piling up hills
which we passed with skills.

So we built our house,
me and my spouse.
The agent persuaded
the sorrows they faded.

Signature with trembling hands
didn't know the working plans.
What can happen in this time
doesn't fit in a single rhyme.

Holidays on building site
weekends passing in a flight.
DIY center knew me well,
started earning money like hell.

But now we did the job
our hearts still throb.
And we celebrated two
years of Emma, how she grew.

Into life with a quick pace
time is running like a chase.
Wife a stressed teacher
husband a math creature.

To calculate one and one is two
wasn't that a stork which flew?
That's a wish for the new year
the old one will now disappear.

We say thank you and good luck,
to friends, family and a tuck
will be there for all of us
sweet or bitter - no great fuss.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The rebel of the family

Little Emma is getting more and more rebellious. Especially in the evenings she is answering "No" to almost any kind of question. When she is sleepy it's best not to tangle with her.

When I ask her: "Do you want to drink?", she replies "I have already drunk."
When I tell her: "Let's wash your hands", she replies "I have already washed my hands."
No matter if this is true or not.

Some days ago when she started to go wild I asked her: "What kind of manners are these?"
She replied like a shot: "Baby manners!"
I was speechless for some seconds then I started laughing. Just to remind you she has turned two in December.

Monday, January 08, 2007

From Ziggy Stardust to an icon of style - David Bowie turns 60

David Bowie, the chameleon of pop business turns 60 today. Hard to believe he was the spearhead of a youth movement. But that is what remains in my head.
I will always remember the movie "Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" with the music and the presence of David Bowie.

After some unsuccessful singles David Bowie had his first top 10 appearance in the American charts in 1969 (I was born in that year!) - with his album "Space Oddity".
It was a breakthrough for him who attracted attention with ongoing spectacular appearances - as extraterrestrial hermaphrodite Ziggy Stardust, as pale-faced Thin White Duke or as Young American with Frank Sinatra look.
His early years are under the influence of drugs. In the late seventies Bowie spends some years in Berlin to get rid of the scourge Heroin. In Berlin he records his probably best album "Heroes" on which he sings abouts his drug experiences. The title song is recorded in German and French as well and is the title song of "Christiane F." (see above).

In the Eighties his fame fades somehow, critics want to have discovered that Bowie is burned out.
Nevertheless he has his greatest commercial success in this time, with the titles "China Girl" and "Let's Dance".
In the meantime David Bowie gets into the Internet, the medium that is suitable for the play with virtual identities like hardly any other. In autumn 1999 he publishes his new album "hours" first in the internet and also appears as Internet provider.

He remains wild at heart with his albums "Heathen" and "Reality". He lives mainly in New York at the moment.

The Frankfurte Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) titles today "The wise peacock - David Bowie turns 60" and writes:
"Bowie's most memorable musical and acting gestures evoke an cunning vain, haggard bone-dry eros and reject with all determination the virile Rock'n Roll vitalism, which worships unique specimens with back hair and liquor in the beard."

Couldn't say it better.

Happy Birthday David Bowie!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Lost in time and lost in space......

and meaning.

Hello to everybody out there! A Happy New Year 2007 to all of you my fellow readers.

I hope I haven't annoyed you because of my absence in the last let's say three month. Or have it been more?
It seems like we have gone through a black hole in time. Everything culminated in December, I have written about some things that have happened.
Well we moved into our house eventually. You could say this took place on December 15th. That was when we slept there first. Exhausted on one hand but lucky on the other hand.
We have no garden (at least what could count as European or even English garden) but will have enough space to create one.
Our garage is close to decay, the door is hanging on one hinge.
Our entrance is still like it has been before. Beautiful but leaky.
Our fence is rotten.
But our house shines and looks like being (almost) new. I will post a picture soon and you can compare it with the original look.
I will never forget the renovation time. Many sorrows and some regrets but also I have learned a lot of things and words I have never heard before.
Like Fasche, Abziehklinge, Exzenterschleifer, Beitel, Donaukies, französischer Balkon, Bitumen. Don't ask me about the English names.
I haven't become sick in all this stress, no wonder I didn't have the time. But even afterwards I'm still fine, knock on wood!
Tina was sick on the day of our removal, but she managed to get through the day. My brave wife!
Emma didn't want to move into the building site (that was her name for our house) first but that lasted only two days or so.
She can still visit our old appartment because her day mother has moved in there. It would be funny to know what she thinks about this.
We also enjoyed the absence on christmas when we visited our parents. But there is still a lot to do in our house of course.
I'm back to work since Tuesday. We have a new organisational structure. But this is another story and will be told another time.

Which leads us to the starting point of my post again.

I hope I will find the time to blog a lot more during the next months. I think there will be something on my mind.

For Dirk Fans like me