Tuesday, July 27, 2010


There hasn't been too danged much going on over the last what?  week or so?  Sorry,  but if there's not much to say,  I'm not about to make you move your eyes back and forth for nothing.  Trust me,  I've tried to read some of the drivel that people put on blogs,  and most of it is just bloody awful.
I won't allude to the overwhelming amount that comes out of a particular part of the North American continent,  but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Meanwhile there have been a few emails back and forth between yours truly and upcoming visitors.

We got 'em stacked in a holding pattern.

The folks that will be arriving Thursday night are currently in Manchester,  where I understand long trousers and umbrellas are de rigueur ,  since the weather there has been pretty crappy for the last few days.  We've just had a heat wave here,  that is thankfully now over,  and in spite of a weekend of rain,  things are looking up.  This is good.  It sucks to have visitors with shitty weather.  So sorry for the people in Manchester.
Personally,  had we moved to Birmingham,  I may very well have done myself in by this point.

 Bwana Crun (me) needs sunlight.

On a side note,  now I understand why they have all those cheap flights to places like Majorca,  since the Brits have to get a dose of sun from time to time.   That might also partly explain that whole "British Empire" thing as well?  Just a thought.

In a couple weeks time,  the next set of visitors will be coming in from Slovenia.   No,  they're not in Slovenia at the moment.  They're in Canada,  but Vienna will be the final leg of their journey.
Thing is,  they'll be arriving at the Meidling train station on a Thursday evening.  Personally,  I had never been there.  A few Sundays ago,  we thought we'd venture out in the car to scope it out,  but not having done quite enough research,  we didn't really do very well.
It was a nice evening for a drive,  even though we didn't find the train station.

 Instead,  I decided today to hop on the subway and take a gander.   Hence the term, "recon".   I really needed to know if there was any chance at all of arriving there by car,  finding some place to park and fetching our travellers.


 No really doable.  They have no such things as a "kiss and ride"  or even a parking area that you have to pay for.

I'd be willing to pay,  really.
Nothing.  A few bus parking spots,  spots for taxis and that's it.  So unless our visitors know exactly which way to come out and we time it to the second,  there's no way I'll try that one with the car.
Besides,  at a certain time in the evening,  everyone who has to find a spot to park on the street has already staked their claim for the night,  so finding street parking within a reasonable distance is also out of the question. 
 It's about a twenty minute subway ride.  Part of it is above ground,  so at least that's some consolation.

I should mention though,  that just about every means of transportation is available from that particular train station.  There's a bus that goes directly to the airport,  along with subway,  streetcar and regular busses.

 It's just not overly car friendly.

 No complaints from my end.

Oh,  and by the way,  it's on "Oak" street.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I want to live on Oak street.

Or maybe Elm.   Anything with a short name.  Seriously.

Once upon a time,  back in the days before there was a computer and printer (or several) in just about every dwelling on the planet,  sending a snail mail letter involved actually having to write out ones return address over and over.
Such a chore.
Now,   my handwriting never was all that great,  and it's gotten worse over the years.  I think it had something to do with dabbling in Old German Script and messing around with Cyrillic.   That's my excuse anyway.

So I can sort of get away with writing addresses on envelopes,  but when it comes to trying to fit our return address up in that little corner there well,  that just ain't happenin'.

Especially since we seem to gravitate towards these streets with great long names.  I'm not about to divulge our current location,  but since we no longer live there,  I'm willing to let it slip that we lived on "Greekerinkskamp"  when we were in the Netherlands.
 Who would ever come up with such a name?  Don't get me started on the pronunciation.  Pretty sure my travelling companion never did get that one down pat.
That's what?  Fifteen letters?   Our current address has seventeen,  depending on how you spell it.
 The easy solution,  is to pick up a packet of those peel and stick labels from a stationary store,  write up the return address using some program such as Microsoft Word,  and there you go.  Like I said,  easy peasy.

 But just hang on there buckeroo.  We're in Europe.  Everything is different.  Things might "look" the same,  but don't be fooled.   See,  paper and those sheets of peel and stick labels are not quite the same size as they are in North America.
 No no....couldn't be the same.  That would be too easy.
 It would have never occurred to me in a million years to run out to Coles or some such place (back in Canada) before the movers arrived so that I could ship a packet of labels with me.   I mean,  who would ever think of such a thing? 
 Meanwhile I had bought a packet when we were in the Netherlands, and after some trial and error,  managed to print off a couple sheets of labels with our huge address on them.

 Then we moved.


 I took a stab at this task not long after we came here to Wienerland but,  the results were less than spectacular.  I was able to use a few of the labels,  but it was basically a wasted effort.
 So yesterday I got it in my pea brain that I'd give it another go.  There had to be a way.
 First I thought my problem was because I had dumped all the Microsoft products off my laptop some time last summer,  and that maybe the current program that I was using was the problem.   Not that simple.  We still have an old laptop here that has a Microsoft program on it, but that wasn't the solution.
 The real problem is,  you can't simply scroll down and click on "Avery A4" or whatever it is,  and be done with it.  It's a custom application,  since nobody bothered to come up with a European equivalent for any of the programs out there.  If there is some sort of solution on the internet,  I sure didn't find it,  and I looked....and looked....

 At one point I almost gave up,  but I wasn't about to "let it go", and there was no way I was going to be happy with the same shabby results that I ended up with the last time.
All in all,  I'd say it took me four hours to finally end up with three sheets of usable labels.  I'm pretty parsimonious when it comes to these things,  so I only really wasted about a half sheet,  but did manage to go through a half dozen or so sheets of paper trying to get the settings right.   If we move before we run out,  I just hope to hell my laptop hasn't crashed in the meantime.   I'll cry.

 I even wrote the settings down on the bottom of one of the sheets,  just to be safe.

Oohhh,   maybe I'll do address labels next!   But then again maybe not,  since I just about punched something at one point.   I've heard that's not good for the computer.

In other "news",   and to leave you with some happy thoughts,  somebody had a birthday last week!
There were flowers.

 The one on the right actually needs to be looked after.   Gah!  Big responsibility.

The little oriental dude at the flower shop said it only needed to be watered once a week.

 We'll see how that goes.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Dude! Don't jump!

Admittedly I haven't seen too much odd behaviour that can be directly attributed to our present heat wave.
Please note the use of the words, "directly attributed".
And by the way,  the only place within a thousand kilometres of here that's actually hotter than Wienerland,  is Tunisia.


When I say we're the hottest spot in Europe,  I'm not talking about the night life.  I mean,  we're the hottest spot in Europe.
They say it's going to approach 40°C today.

Wowsers.  Can't wait!

What I have noticed though is that at the end of the day,  people who are in roof top apartments do tend to need to get outdoors.  Again,  it's that whole lack of air conditioning situation.

Which brings me to this guy:

It's moments like these when I'm almost glad I don't have a better tele-photo,  since I'm pretty sure we're close enough,  thanks.

Guess he got home and the place was just boiling,  and he couldn't take it any longer.
Admittedly,  he did keep his underwear on.  Boxers might have been preferable. My first recommendation to the guy might be though,  to get a hair cut!

I'd sooner see you with shorter hair,  than see you in your underwear.

Any similarities to Theodore Geisel are purely coincidental.

I certainly have nothing against long hair.  I had shoulder length hair and a Jesus beard at one point many,  many years ago.  About mid July though,  when the sweat was trickling down my chin,  it had to come off.  All of it.
It works wonders on the cooling front.  Trust me.

Now,  speaking of things getting a tad warm,  I noticed the other day that my laptop was getting a little warm on the lap.   (it's supposed to be on your lap, right?   Hence the name?)

Back at Christmastime I think it was,  I purchased an el-cheapo platform thingy that the computer sits on,  that has a couple little built in fans that run off a USB port.  I guess in moving the thing around several times a day,  the plug gave up the ghost,  and it would only work if I held it in place hard enough to make my finger turn white.
Not really a viable option.

Once in a while I actually relish the idea of having some little thing or other that needs to be fixed.  Do we need to get into some discussion again about pre-historic man?  Some sort of "fix-it" gene?   I don't know.  I can't really explain it.  I just go with it.

So I managed to take the thing apart without breaking it,  ditch the offending inoperable parts,  hard wire it back together and "Bob's yer Uncle!"   (and for at least a couple of you I know that to be true)
I now once again have a somewhat cooler lap....and laptop.

Keep it between the ditches.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kind of like Puerto Rico.

Only without the pool.

I'd like to start off talking a bit about the human condition and,  by "human",  of course that would mean me.  Maybe that might be a bit of a stretch for some.  But just go with it.
Of course I'm referring to a certain zone of temperatures that we would just as soon avoid.  Freezing cold.  Insufferably hot. 
I'm sure I could go on about pre-historic man going out and bonking some poor critter over the head just to take its hide in order to keep warm in the winter,  that kind of thing,  but you know what I mean.
We've evolved into wussies.

Well,  I know I sure have.

So you're wondering where the heck I'm going with this?

There was the possibility of dining in one of Vienna's "finer" restaurants tonight,  since my travelling companion felt that some out of town visitors should be treated to a serving of boiled meat.
You think I'm making this up.  No no....this place has a speciality,  and it's some sort of boiled meat.   Quite good apparently.

Use your imagination.

I should warn you BEFORE you click on that link (it's "Plachutta",  by the way)  just be sure and turn down your speakers,  unless you want to hear some Strauss waltz played over and over.  It'll go away if you go to the link with the British flag.

If you wish,  you're certainly welcome to read some of the reviews on Tripadvisor,  since there are over 90 at this point.  I don't have one there.  I haven't been there yet.

Tonight will not be one of the nights when I'll be going out for boiled meat,  thank-you, since this place that some have raved about (and where Putin had a meal not long ago,  as you may recall)  does NOT have air conditioning!

I'm not kidding.

Now,  judging by some of the reviews,  and the average price of their entrees,  there seems to be something not quite right there.  Are they just too cheap?
I mean,  it's not like I'm going to show up in my shorts and sandals. This place is apparently somewhat posh, so my sense of propriety tells me that, I'll need to wear dress pants and....ulp,   SHOES!


See,  I was quite willing to go to the Arcotel where,  even thought the food isn't the best,  at least there's air conditioning.
I was overruled.

Now do you see where I was going with that whole "human condition" thing? 
I'll be staying home.
I would actually rather go without dinner,  than sit there and sweat like a pig.


As a matter of fact,  there are darned few places in town that are air conditioned.  Not sure what the rationale is.  Either they are too cheap,  are not prepared,  or are in denial.
The only place that I have to go to on a regular basis that is nicely air-conditioned is the Billa down the street.  They seem to have some sense.  So much easier to pick out your groceries without the sweat dripping off your nose.....onto the produce,  I might add!

OK.  Mental image.  Be extra sure and wash all produce.

So just for fun,  I thought I'd let you take a look at a couple of the pages from one of the local free newspapers that I pick up from time to time.
Seems we are in fact having a heat wave.

 "Heat paralyses Vienna"

OK,  I'm not translating all three pages,  just look at the pictures.
 Suffice to say,  a fair amount of chaos.  (computers exploding, etc.)

So,  you know how in the dead of winter,  when there hasn't been all that much snow,  and then suddenly there's like,  snow up to your waist?   You've been meaning to replace that raggedy assed old snow shovel you've been using for years?  So you make it to the local hardware store only to discover that there are no snow shovels to be had for love nor money?
Well,  on that last page there,  they're explaining how flip-flops,  bikinis and sunglasses are all sold out.  Huh? 
Mind you,  I was just out earlier this afternoon and a lot of the young chicks were wearing flip flops.  Nobody was going with the bikini program though.   Dammit.

So,  is there some flip-flop company we should be investing in? I can't seem to find anything on the stock exchange.

Or should we just bring in a few trailer loads of air conditioners?


Monday, July 12, 2010

My poor Dutch friends.

So close,  but yet so far.
As Jerry Seinfeld once said,  "coming in second is like being the first of the losers"

And no sorry,  but he wasn't off-side.  The jury has been out for a while on that one.  There has been some deliberation,  some internet snippets.  The goal stands.

The only other comment I'll make is that there were WAY too many players getting carded.  Hopefully FIFA will wake up over the next three and a half years and reconsider their choice of officials,  since I saw a few things over the last several weeks that made me scratch my head a little.  In the case of this final game, once the players know that the cards are flowing,  then the Oscar winning performances get even more ridiculous.   There has been some other talk about poor officiating,  but I'll leave that to the proper sports authorities.

Meanwhile it's another hot day here in Wienerland.   Was also pretty danged warm yesterday too.  Didn't even bother to step outside,  with the exception of taking the recycling to the containers stationed a half block or so from our front door.   That was enough.  No huge desire for any bike rides.
On the other hand,  my charming travelling companion had to go to Switzerland this morning,  where only the office is warm.   She just called from outside,  since there's no air-conditioning,  and it's actually more comfortable out doors.

That seems logical.

Now,  the last time she was in Switzerland was when we had driven down from the Netherlands,  and this time around there was no way we were simply going to drive,  even though the distance is more or less the same,  since I had no desire to sit around for three days twiddling my thumbs.  What that meant was she had to take a train from the Geneva airport to Morges,  where the company that cannot be named has an office.  I'd get into the reasons why they have an office there if I understood it myself.   Suffice to say it has to do with having a presence in Switzerland to get some tax advantage. 
Oh,  and notice how I said "take the train from the airport"?.   Funny thing that.  Can't seem to do that in too many places in North America.   Just thought I'd point that out.
Not sure when Canada is going to "get finished".  Probably not in my life time.

Speaking of the Swiss.  They just happen to be in the news today.  They kill me.  You really have to go there to fulling grasp the "independent mindedness"  of the Swiss.   By that I mean,  the way they sometimes choose to thumb their noses at the rest of the world.  I think it has something to do with all that money they're hanging onto for everybody.
If you'd like,  you can  read the article here
On Edit:  Apparently that article that was presented by msn has been taken down.  Maybe they expire?  Not sure.  Can't say that surprises me,  msn is right up there with Flox News when it comes to credibility I find.

If you're still remotely interested,  I've stuck in the google search page...

Suffice to say,  The Yanks weren't entirely forthcoming with all the info that the Swiss asked for plus,  what they did offer didn't make too much sense,  so Roman Polanski is once again a free man.
Now personally,  I think he's a bit of a scum bag.  He was due to be "voluntarily deported" from the States back in 1977 at the end of his 90 day psychiatric evaluation,  but his mistake was to think that by being "released", that meant he was actually free to go.  Something to do with the judge up for re-election and reneging on his own ruling.
And, I might add,  the fact that they elect their District Attorneys and Judges is a real head scratcher all by itself, but let's not go there.

The American Judicial System doesn't take kindly to being second guessed.  So they put out a warrant.

Hey,  I've heard of Americans getting stopped for a minor traffic violation and being taken away in handcuffs because they failed to pay a fine,  and a warrant had been issued for their arrest,  so apparently they can spit out a warrant at the drop of a hat.

Anyway the deal was,  he "did his time",  even though it was a pitifully short amount,  (they have this whole "plea bargain thing" in the States)  and then decided to bugger off.  It was as the result of a documentary a few years back that a few feathers got ruffled,  and they thought they'd ask the Swiss to extradite him.  

There you have it.

You know,  instead of wasting all that taxpayers money on legal fees and such,  I'm sure they could have just kidnapped him and been done with it.  Once again,  this makes one think that the whole thing had more to do with political grandstanding than anything else.  Hm?

This is all making me very tired.  That'll have to do for now.
Probably has something to do with getting up at 4:30 a.m. to go to the airport.
Not sure.

Keep it between the ditches.


Friday, July 9, 2010

The Great Spy Caper.

Seems like there's not a day goes by,  when we read about or hear about something happening in town.
Seriously.   If it isn't a visit from the Russian President,  or visiting opera stars,  there's always a spy exchange to fill any news voids.
Of course,  we're most often blissfully unaware until after the fact.

To wit:

'New spirit' approval as Vienna hosts US-Russian spies exchange

Political experts praised the "new spirit" between Washington and Russia as one of the most spectacular espionage cases came to an end in Vienna today (Fri).

US officials arrived with ten suspected spies – 10 men and one women – to Vienna International Airport (VIA) around midday, while a plane from Moscow carried four suspected male American spies.

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the US foreign affairs ministry, defended the controversial exchange with Russia. Speaking about the arrests of the alleged agents two weeks ago, he said: "Keeping them arrested would not have meant higher interior safety."

Rudolf Gollia, a spokesman for the Austrian interior ministry, said he could not comment on the agreement between the former enemies. Gollia explained neither the Austrian government nor the country’s interior security authorities got involved.

International relations analysts meanwhile lauded today’s 90-minute exchange as a confirmation that the relation between the United States and Russia were better than ever before.


So happens, it ain't exactly Hooterville.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More junk in our lives.

So I'm thinking today I'm going to go with more or less a "pictorial" version of a post,  and hope you don't mind too much.

There has been some "talk" of getting some more furniture,  and while I admit that I wouldn't mind some cute little locally made end table or dresser,  I haven't really found much that I'd be willing to purchase.   (or that's "local",  or could be considered "made")

There was this one place that I came across the other day when I was out on New and Shiny,  and I should have taken note of the address,  since I'll be darned if I can find it again.  There were some pretty neat pieces that I could see from the street,  but it happened to be Monday,  so the place was closed.


Of course,  there were no obvious prices to be seen.  That's never a good sign.

Meanwhile,  since we never seem to have enough places to put things,  I figured we could just as well do with a stop gap solution.

Off to Ikea!

See,  most places sell crap,   and if I'm going to get crap,  then I certainly don't want to pay for delivery,  but then that means I have to put it together.  
The "putting together" part does get easier.

The crap curio behind me.  The crap table I'm working on,  and the crap I'm putting together.   All from the same place...

Just thought I'd mention that.

All you really need is a Philips screwdriver....

....and a hammer....

The thing is,  there seems to be a few items that need to be put away,  and the coffee table/DVD storage boxes idea next to the bed isn't working.

This is what I'm talking about:

oooo... tidy.

And it's made in Poland,  if you want to consider that "local".

Next we have to work on my side.   It ain't all that tidy....

But really,  why buy something when I have a perfectly functional moving box?  

And there's just enough space for my morning cup of coffee. 

What more could I need?


Sunday, July 4, 2010

A hot day in Carnuntum.

You didn't read that wrong.  I didn't mean to say something like,  "A hot conundrum".
No,  Carnuntum is a town just to the east of us here in Wienerland,  that was once a Roman settlement.
Since we absolutely did not want to sit here in the apartment all day,  even though it was nicely air conditioned,  we thought we'd head out and find Carnuntum.

Sort of sounds like some sort of quest.  "Well dear,  I'm off to find Carnuntum!"


Don't hurt yourself.

One thing that I do tend to appreciate about being in Europe (and yes,  I do appreciate living in Europe)  is the depth of history that one can discover.  I'm sure it's going to spoil me for the rest of my life,  since I'll be poo-pooing everything in North America that's anything less than 300 years old.

Maybe older.

Carnuntum was at its hayday in something like 300 A.D.   Um...that's more or less 1700 years ago.
So as much as I respect and appreciate a place like Louisbourg, it's really rather "new" in the european scheme of things.
Admittedly,  checking out some dinosaurs in Alberta might do it for me,  but somehow I'm not so sure I'll feel all that engaged.   The Roman empire seems to have had more of a lasting effect in so many more ways.

And yes I realise the diesel fuel I put in the car to get me around is thanks to the dinosaurs,  so fine, I guess they had some sort of "lasting effect",  but you know what I mean.

I still haven't been able to determine just exactly where the original idea came from to start digging where they did.   It seems as well that the more they dig,  the more they find,  even though they have a pretty good idea as to the scope of the settlement.  The process is ongoing.

Carnuntum comes up in the documentation from the time,  but if you saw the "map" they used,  I'm not sure how the heck you'd ever find it again.

 Apparently the archaeologists don't work on the weekends.

Much in a similar fashion to other historical sights most anywhere else in the world,  there's a scheme in place to try and recreate as much of the settlement as practical.

They've gone so far as to use replicas of original tools,  as well as firing the bricks in a kiln that would have been the same as in Roman times.

Sounds like a lot of work.

They even have guys standing around in original costume.  

Those are Roman sandals by the way.


I'm just going to let you read that bit above,  and you can figure out for yourself why I had to put it in here.  (you need to be the guy at the end with the nuts...)

Now,  since Carnuntum was not only a military encampment but also a civilian village,  it's kind of spread out.
Did I mention it was a hot day?

By the time we had seen the "Open Air Museum",  and read all the information plaques,  and been bitten by a couple mosquitoes,  there was no way in hell we were going to drive on down the road to see much else.

Thankfully,  the tickets that we bought are good for the entire summer.   You'll be seeing more pictures of Carnuntum.   Aren't you excited??

In other "news",  I decided that it was time for a "summer cut" when I went to the hair place on Friday morning.   I'd call it a barber shop,  but that's not true,  it's actually a salon of sorts,  but they do both men and women.  That usually means it's more expensive,  but she charges €14,50 for a haircut.

That's actually not bad for these parts.

Speaking of parts...

Since I don't have the skill level to do what this guy had accomplished (he was sitting in front of us in Church this morning)

....I figured I'd just go with the "Sommer kurz"  cut.

Thankfully for you I don't have a picture of my own ugly mug,  unless you look at the one taken of me at Carnuntum,  but suffice to say I've retired my comb for the summer.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Things that make you say, "what the ...??"

Once in a while I have one of those moments when I do a double take,  or I wonder just what the thought process might be.  It may have a lot to do with living in a big city, not sure.  Maybe anyone who has lived in say Toronto or Calgary has those moments?
Mostly it has to do with the way people dress,  or the way they drive.  It depends.

Today I'd like to share a couple with you.   Mostly because they both came to my attention on the same day,  and we need a couple brand new categories for these two.

Our neighbours up here on the top of the building seem to take great delight in lugging all manner of plant life up the stair case and plonking it on their terrace.  Um,  we have the elevator,  but half the shit they have up there won't fit in the elevator.  Hence the lugging  and spilling of dirt outside our doorway,  but let's not go there.

They've got quite the garden going on over there.

We got nothin'.

Like I care.

Anyway,  today as I'm putting out a couple things on my temporary clothes line,  as I do most Fridays,  I hear something going on up above,  and it looked at first as though they actually had a couple gardeners up there rooting around.

At which time I said,"what the ...?"

So now you need some help looking after all the plant life you dragged up here?

Well no,  turns out it wasn't exactly gardeners,  but a couple sprinkler installation dudes, setting up some sort of watering system for the "green thumb people".  *snort*

Right.  It's more like,  now you've discovered that watering everything is too much of a chore.   (rolling my eyes here...)

Hey,  what ever floats yer boat.  Good for the economy I suppose.  You also have to realise that these people haven't really been here all that much longer than we have,  and they've got this whole landscape program going on.

Once again,  I'd like to point out that,  we got nothin'.  It works for me.

Now,  item number two:

We do get our fair share of junk mail.  It comes both at the door and in the mailbox.  I don't get too bent out of shape over it,  since I look on it as some sort of language learning exercise,  and leave it at that.

There's the usual stuff involving the local stores and the specials they have on offer,  as well as any pizza joints that might want to deliver to your door.  That kind of thing.

Then there was this one....

Go ahead.  Click on it.

I've photo shopped out some of the information,  since I'm not about to promote their business,  and none of the photos remaining are too salacious (unless you turn over to the other side....Once again,  we won't go there)

I see no need for any translations....
...except that a "Landkarte"  is a driving map...(so you won't get lost)

Now really,  I'm not that much of a prude,  but I'm pretty sure my mouth flopped open when I went through today's junk mail.  I guess I just hadn't seen a door to door flyer of this nature.  I mean,  there are those guys on Las Vegas Boulevard handing out little cards to the Chicken Ranch,  but well,  you just kind of walk around them...

My very first impression when driving into the Czech Republic was the number of hookers at the side of the road waving at me,  but now there are flyers??


I'm done.   Got nothing else.

Talk amongst yourselves.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day.

Trying to think of what I'd be doing if I were over there with the rest of the Canucks.
Um....pretty much the same I guess.


I always made sure I booked at least a weeks worth of vacation during the last week of school which would then typically straddle Canada Day.  Experience,  and most of it bad,  has shown that from the point of view of a Caretaker,  the last week of school can be just about the worst week of the year.  It's hot,  the kids are nuts and the teachers are either fed up or completely pooched.
Of course,  there was always a good chance I'd manage to show up for the year end staff party,  and that's certainly something I miss.  As for the rest of it,  not so much.

Not much going on here in Wienerland,  where it's another hot one.

By that I mean,  didn't even have my "German lesson" today.   About fifteen minutes before I expected the doorbell to ring (or whatever you call that thing visitors buzz downstairs and scare the crap outta me)  the phone rang,  and it was German teacher Dude,  sheepishly asking if we could cancel,  as he had been in a minor fender bender on the way over.


Seems he was changing lanes and well,  somebody else was too.

He admitted he was a little shook up,  although unscathed,  and was more annoyed that in 45 years of driving,  he had finally collided with another car.  I think I know that "pissed off" kind of feeling.
As it happened,  he had mentioned a little while back that he had a new car on order,  and fortunately it had not yet arrived.

As an aside,  I feel I have to mention two things.   First of all,  here in Yurp it's pretty rare to buy a car off the lot.  This is the underlying reason why the car manufacturers over here were not as heavily affected by the "economic crisis"  of a while back.  Just take a look at the acres upon acres of new cars sitting outside of dealerships all over North America,  and you'll get it.  Here, you pays your money,  and they'll build you a car.
I actually think I like that system,  since then at least I know the company will be around to actually look after the thing if need be.
There's room for a whole philosophical discussion on that one,  and we're not going there.

Secondly,  I just realized that I have a slight issue with some arithmetic.   He said he had been driving for 45 years.   I know he is 69.   Now,  I've been driving for 38 of my soon to be 54 years,  since I got my license just as soon as humanly possible after turning 16.
What this tells me is,  this guy didn't start driving until he was 24?
Holy moly!  And he didn't have an accident until today?   I guess that's not too shabby.  I always thought that folks who started driving at a later age were at a disadvantage.
Again,  another subject for a long discussion.

Really,  I started driving some sort of vehicle when I was old enough to reach the clutch,  which on a Massey Ferguson tractor puts you right around the age of six,  and was driving a pick-up truck on the back roads way before I was supposed to,  so maybe this fellow was really driving at an earlier age,  but didn't bother to get the license until much later.


Since I started this late,  I'm now done,  since dinner is calling.