Thursday, October 28, 2010

I think my feet stink.

Oh wait.  It's just that damned cheese!
 For as long as I can remember,  Travelling Companion has had this thing about this particularity very smelly and hard mozzarella cheese that you grate up and put on pasta.  Seems that no matter how well it's wrapped up,  it tends to do a number on the fridge innards.
 Actually,  it can do a bit of a number on a person's innards too,  but thankfully I'm by myself for long stretches of time.
 I've slowly learned to like this cheese,  even though I still haven't really warmed up to the smell.
Hm.  "Cheese" "warm"  and "smell"  all in relatively close proximity.
Kind of paints a picture.

I think it reminds me of the smelly feet of one of my older brothers when I was a kid.

He liked to share.
Such a kind fellow.


That wasn't really what I was going to talk about today,  it was just one of those wacky thoughts that went through my pea brain.
 I'm sure you wanted to learn all about it.

I actually had more on my mind yesterday,  but it was one of those 4:30 mornings,  and it must be some sort of "old man"  thing,  but once I'm up in the morning,  I can lie down and close my eyes,  but I can't seem to go back to sleep.   It's probably the couple cups of coffee I've had to drink to actually wake up in the first place.
Hence,  I was feeling kind of pooched for most of the day.   That's my excuse anyway.

 The reason for the "Bonn day two" label,  is that that is where Travelling Companion is today.   I do the airport runs and had to get her to the mess they call an airport here for a 7:00 a.m. flight.   Boarding time was something like 6:20.    We made it OK,  in spite of the usual very poorly laid out drop off area for departing passengers.  They've put one of the terminals on the opposite side of the drop off route,  which means that ever Tom Dick and Hans who decides to cross with his luggage has the right of way.
Very trying.

She called much later in the day to tell me among other things that they had to de-ice the plane before take off!   What the hell??  I know I had the winter tires put on the car,  but please!
The little display in the car was showing something like +3 so I guess that's too close to the danger zone.

I mistakenly thought her big presentation was yesterday afternoon,  but it was some other type of pow-wow and she was asked to do an impromptu presentation for one of the groups.  Not sure what that was all about,  but she's done that kind of thing for so many years that it's not much of a challenge.   I think the session today for the big financial cheese is the last round for this particular fall activity.  (the "Profit Plan")   At least that's my hope.   (just trying to keep with the cheese theme here)

 Now,  speaking of cheese.

(you're permitted to roll your eyes at this point)

 We took a jaunt down to Heldenplatz on Tuesday afternoon,  since somebody has been wanting to see a tank ever since we first moved to Europe.  
She also didn't want me to put her picture on the blog.  That presents a bit of a quandry,  but hey,  I dealt with it as best I know how. 
You would think that I would be the one wanting to see such a thing.  I couldn't care less.  Besides,  this one was somewhat of a let down.

Not much of a tank.

What the hell are they going to shoot with that puny little thing?
 In all fairness,  I did see a write up in the paper where they had a photo of some other vehicle that had a much larger barrel on the front,  but it looked like it was way over on the other side,  and there were just too many displays of silliness and people in the way for us to ever have thought about going too far into the exhibit.
This is an annual thing on the Austrian Independence Day,  which celebrates the founding of the modern day Austrian Constitution,  as well as the day on which the last of the Allies left on October 26th,  1955.
At least that's what they like to say.
We're not all about history lessons here,  so you can do your own research.

 I think however,  what we really thought we were going to see was something like this....

That's what I'm talking about!

No doubt there was something like that there,  but if you saw the crowd....oh my.

That's about all I have for today. 

Travelling Companion doesn't come in tonight until something like 9:40,   which will give me time to attend a little meeting at the Cafe downstairs between the tenants of the building and the a representative from the building owners.  Should be fun.

Let's hope it doesn't turn into a lynch mob,  although personally I have no qualms about "shooting the messenger",  since that quite often sends the strongest message. 
Pretty sure I won't have to say much however,  since just about everyone I meet along the way has some gripe or other about the way the place is kept. 

I'll be sure and report back on my findings.   I'm sure you care.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Off to the Circus!

And it's not what you think.   I just came back from the garage.  Good Lord.

 This is the place where we keep our tires,  and I typically stop by for fuel when needed since it's just down the street from the parking garage on Zieglergasse.  AND it's full service.  I know!  Full service gas stations are pretty rare,  and I have no problems whatsoever letting some dude pump my diesel.

 Since the car was due for an oil change,  I had called on Monday to make sure they could do that as well,  and was assured it was no problem.   I'd just have to wait a little longer.  No biggie.   What I really was trying to avoid was having to go to the dealership here in Wienerland,  since the last time I was there,  I pretty much decided I never would set foot in the place again.   That's a whole other story.  We won't go there.

This place is basically wall to wall tires,  since it's virtually all they do.  

So they balance the winter tires and put them on, move the car out and I'm beginning to wonder if there had been a miscommunication about the oil change but no, that was next.
 Now,   I've done my share of oil changes and observed just as many,  since I've had some sort of vehicle with an internal combustion engine since 1977 or there abouts,  but what I saw next was something I had never seen before.  
Rather than put the car on the hoist and drain the (hot) oil,   they simply sucked it out.

Alrighty then!

That camera angle is a pretty good indication as to just where I like to be when somebody has their noggin under the hood.  I don't really care whether the car belongs to me or to Lease Plan,  I want to see the oil going in.   I want to see the guy check it,  and I want to see him put the cap back on.

I think you get the idea.

At one point there,  this place was so busy it was like a mini traffic jam.  Cars trying to get fuel.  Others waiting for tires.  All of this is going on in what amounts to a courtyard in amongst the buildings.

At one point,  I happened to notice a lady pull away from the pumps after having paid for her fuel and her gas cap hadn't be replaced.  I literally bolted out in front of her to tell her to just hold on a second while I put it back and closed the little door.   She probably thought at first I was some nut job,  but had that look of quiet thankfulness on her face when she realised what was going on.

I think it was at that moment that I muttered something under my breath along the lines of a "circus".
I'd also like to repeat what I said above about seeing the clown put the oil cap back on.

Always a good idea to keep an eye on the clowns.


 I do realise that I sometimes neglect to pass on every little detail of our lives here in Wienerland,  but if I could use the smoking analogy I mentioned a few entries ago,  there were times when I would smoke my brains out,  and other times when I didn't really feel like it all that much.
 This is kind of the same.   Some days I just don't have much to say,  and I'd rather not bore you any worse than I already am....

 Here's a brief run-down:

Due to the "THERE IS NO POSSIBLE"  of last week,  confidence was not too terribly high when it came to simply going down to Karlskirche and hoping there would be some decent seats for the Four Seasons.

We didn't go.

Remember what I said about "once in a life time"?   I'm not going to sit or stand at the back,  when with just a little bit of planning I can have decent seats at a performance.    If these people had actually taken our money and said we'd need to pick up the tickets at the "box office",  that would have been fine.   We've had to do that before at that particular venue when an ensemble came in from Salzburg to do Mozart's Requiem back in August.
I have no problems with that arrangement,  even though I'd prefer to have the tickets in my hot little hands ahead of time.
Saturday I got sucked into doing some shopping,  which is going to be the rather annoying theme for the next several Saturdays  until we blow on outta here on the tenth of December.
 Happens every year.
Travelling Companion has nobody else to shop with.  Sometimes she'll head out on her own,  but not too often.
I could mention where we went,  but that would be just a tad too much information.   This is a public forum after all.  Not much of a surprise when you can read on a blog what you're getting for your birthday. 
 Suffice to say,   muggins here had to make a trip to the post office on Monday.

And yes,  there were Christmas presents too,  but they don't get shipped home in a box.  We have suitcases for that purpose.

I guess I can say we stopped for lunch at Café Diglas.

It's on Wollzeile,  just down the street from Figlmüller.

We've gone here before,  last year some time.  More than once I think,  since the food is half decent.   Here's the thing though.   If you go in there as a tourist,  you're probably going to find the attitude of the wait staff to be somewhat "off putting"?  shall we say?   First of all,  we were offered a seat right by the front door.  What?  Is the food free?   I doubt it.   That wasn't going to happen.   "Nicht sehr gemütlich"
I'm working on this technique of being diplomatically forceful.   So fine,  we were ushered to a very much nicer area in the back.  We sat in that very same spot the last time we didn't want to sit right next to the door,  now that I think of it.
So,  our service was OK,  and as I mentioned the food was fine.   One of the customers right next to us however,  had the unpleasant experience of having the dipshit waiter spill water on her.   (see,  they bring you a glass of water with your coffee,  'cause it's kinda strong)
 Now,  in my brief experience in a full service restaurant,  if any of my wait staff spilled anything on a customer,  they got to eat for free.   Couldn't give away the booze,  since we have laws against that in Canada,  but the meal was on the house.
So sorry,  we'll try not to do that again,  and to show that we mean it,  here you go...

 Not only does that not happen here in Wienerland,  but the waiter was trying to make as if it was no big deal,  since it was "only water".  (ya,  and that's only my knee in your groin....)  Needless to say the lady was not happy that he had spilled water on her suede coat,   and I kept a pretty close eye on this clown when he brought our drinks.

There we go with the clowns again!!

On Sunday we decided to go to the Albertina  since there's an exhibit of the drawings of some Italian dude.

OK fine,  it was Michelangelo

I didn't think I had a photo of the Albertina from this angle,  so I took one.

(If I don't upload any of these pictures I take,  I'm not sure what else I'd do with them...)

You may recall that we went to the Albertina back in January to check out another exhibit (it was Impressionism,  but whatever)  and I had had some minor issues with the way that things are put on display?
We're kind of keeping with the circus theme here I've noticed.

Again,  poorly displayed.

   There were some neat ideas,  like showing the interior of the Sistine Chapel along with a lot of the drawings that had been made by Michelangelo ahead of time, on big flat screen TVs.

It's fine to put the exhibits at "eye level",   (unless of course you're in a wheel chair and then you're screwed) with tiny little cards next to them that are barely legible,  but not the TVs.    Ever see a TV directly behind the bar at a sports bar?  No,  it's way up high where all the patrons can watch what's going on.   The folks who work at the museum obviously don't get that idea.
I need to get myself on one of these committees.   Seriously!   Then I'm going to jump up on the table in the middle of the room and ask,  "OK,  can everyone see me?   Why is that?  Put your hand up if you know".   The "put your hand up"  thing is what you do with little kids by the way.
I'm sure the place looks just wonderful after hours when it's completely empty,  but when it's crowded well,   it just doesn't work.
 So after about an hour and a half of shuffling around looking at the backs of people's heads,  we had had enough.

I think that's all I have for now,  since the time is slipping by.

 Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.


Friday, October 22, 2010




 And this,   Ladies and Gentlemen,  is the calliper of English spoken in this fair land.   Actually,   to give credit where credit is due,  the boys in the Cafe downstairs can do better,  and they're (or should it be their,  or there?)  not really even trained to deal with the English speaking public.  Oh,  and their first language is Turkish!

This was in a email from some very fine folks at a ticket office here in Wienerland for a concert we want to go to tonight.  I've put in a call.  Not sure if I'll hear back.
 I know I've had these thoughts of giving English lessons,  but I'm not even sure if there's anyone willing to learn.  They seem to be quite happy to be graduates of the Ralph Wiggum school of English.

Don't bother too much with the first link,  but *you're welcome to click on the second one to get a summation of that of which I speak.

*Or is it "your"?

OK,  I'll stop now.

I can sort of cut them some slack when it comes to homonyms,  because we have a whack of them in English,  and it can be confusing,  but those two "sentences"  don't even translate back into German.

 Makes for a good laugh I suppose,  but sometimes I just shake my head.   It's always good sport when I simply choose to only speak English.  Such an arrogant bastard.  I know.

So back to the concerts.

It so happens they're playing The Four Seasons at Karlskirche.  Now,  this has nothing to do with Frankie Valli, even though I guess that could be considered "old" music.
No,  I'm referring to le quattro stagioni , written by some Italian dude back in 1723.  We're going for the really old stuff here, and it's not Mozart.  We do get enough of that.
  You will notice that there is an Italian connection there.   Just thought I'd mention it.  Somehow though I doubt that Valli was listening to Vivaldi as a young lad,  but it's not 'unpossible'.  (spell check doesn't like my Ralph Wiggum spelling)

The primary goal of my ticket ordering session last night on line was to try and get tickets to an upcoming performance of Tosca at the Staatsoper.   I think I've wanted to go see Tosca ever since the "Three Tenors"  did their little stint back in the nineties.
I'm putting all these links in for anyone who may have just crawled out from under a rock.
 Sorry,  being a bit of a snot again.

 I invite you to go and have a look at the website for opera tickets,  and you may notice that it can get just a tad pricey.  I have no interest in standing up at the back,  but we instead look on these types of events as "once in a life time",  which means I'd prefer to either have good seats or stay home.

I suppose that if we had had a couple bucks at the time,  It would have been exciting to go and see someone like Pavarotti back in his prime.

If you do go to that first link and are not quite familiar with that particular opera,  let me fill in a couple blanks.  "Vesti La Guibba"  literally means "put on the suit",  in this case referring to the clown suit worn by the main character, Canio, who plays the part of a clown,  hence the term "Pagliacci".
Even though the show must go on,  he's heartbroken since he just found out his wife Nedda, has been fooling around on him.
Racy stuff I know.  You may need a tissue.

Even as late as 1994 he wasn't too shabby.
Unfortunately the timing wasn't right,  and I was never willing to pony up the gobs of money required to see him long after he should have retired.  

I guess that's all I have for today.   Except for the fact that I miss our dryer,   but I'm getting really good at ironing shirts.
And just about everything else.

Today's number is 49.
(49 sleeps and a "wakie")

Have a fine weekend.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Winter Approacheth.

I love the fall.  Don't get me wrong.  However,  it's what comes after it that makes me turn up my nose just a tad.  I've never been a big fan of winter.  Maybe because as kids we never had the resources to say,  play hockey or do much else that wasn't directly related to farming?
Hey,  I could drive a friggin' tractor at the age of six (in my case this was the age at which I was old enough to reach the clutch)  but I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was in grade six,  not that that has anything to do with winter, but I also never did properly learn how to skate.
I mean,  I can sort of shuffle my way around an ice rink until my ankles are on fire,  but I wouldn't call it skating.
Then of course,  there's skiing.


I do recall "throwing myself down a hill on two sticks"  once with a young lady I was dating at the time.  Bless her heart,  she thought she'd teach me how to ski.  Never did get past the "snowploughing"  stage of the development.  I just kept having these visions of crashing into one of the many,  many trees that were on either side of the bunny hill.
And what kind of sense does that make?  Let's put trees on either side of the bunny hill.  That'll build confidence!

I can do the cross country thing,  but I need a place to go!   Why are we doing this again?
Is there some outpost I need to get to?  Are they running low on supplies??  My feet are cold.  Let's go in.

Couldn't see the point of any of those activities to be honest.

So then,  what does winter really mean?   Shivering.  Shovelling.  Scraping.  Salting. Sniffling. Sulking.

 OK,  maybe not the last one,  and you'll notice I left out "skidding"  since these days we have ABS and traction control.

I've been lucky enough to avoid the "sneezing" end of things for a couple years.  I think I might have had a cold last year.  Can't really remember,  so it mustn't have been that bad.  No longer working in a germ infested elementary school doesn't hurt either.

Not only that,  but I tend to wash my hands each and every time I come in the door.  There are a lot of snotty people out there.  I was just out.  I'm not kidding.

In spite of some minor gripes about living in Puerto Rico,  (getting good food can be a challenge) being cold was not one of them.  Nope. Nope. Nope.

Sub tropical.
Most days I was sweating buckets.
I think I wore socks and long pants (gah!)  maybe three whole times we were there.

Unfortunately,  this slightly elevated ambient temperature did lead to a higher consumption of beer,  the results of which are still evident around my middle. 
Maybe I need to take up jogging.  But then we're right back to,  "where are we going?"  "Why are we doing this again?"  Not to mention all the Tylenol I'd have to take.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes,  and don't slip and fall on any wet leaves.

Weather for Vienna, Austria

8°C | °F
Current: Mostly Cloudy
Wind: W at 26 km/h
Humidity: 76%
Chance of Rain
9°C | 3°C
Chance of Rain
7°C | 0°C
11°C | 1°C
Mostly Sunny
10°C | 2°C


Monday, October 18, 2010

Not much of a weekend.

Which is why I haven't had too danged much to say.

 Saturday was OK weather wise,  but Sunday kind of sucked.

Travelling Companion had to work both days.   I volunteered to chauffeur,   since there's not too much else I can do to lessen the burden.  Turns out I had to turn right around and head back out to her office with our printer,  since none of the printers there were working.
 See,  she's way more tolerant of this kind of thing than I would be,  since I'd want to know who it is that's responsible for the printers,  and how they could be reached on the weekend.  If I'm working,  and your equipment doesn't work,  then you're working.  Simple.

 Oh,  I did save a whole heap of money on air fare.   Forgot to mention.
OK,  that's really a stretch,  but let me explain.

Since I really didn't feel like going out much after my little excursion to the dentist on Friday morning,  that meant that I had to bolster my courage and go to the Naschmarkt on Saturday.  I really didn't want to,  since the place is just a zoo on a Saturday,  but I  wanted to pick up some salmon,  and it's always fresher at the market.
 Since parking was absolutely out of the question,  (I swung by after I dropped off Travelling Companion)  and it was even too nuts out to take the bike,  I figured I'd get there by subway.  It's can be done,  but means taking three different trains.  Well,  there could be a certain amount of walking in there, if I decided not to take the third one,  but I always figure that once I've ponied up the dough for the trip,  I'll take as many modes of public transit I can to get me as close as possible.
So fine,  I can more or less handle the usual hoards of shoppers and tourists,  and got my fish and a few select vegetable type things,  but then had this sudden impulse to walk through the fleamarket and go down to the subway at the far entrance.  I really should have just thought about that impulse for a couple seconds,  since there's really nothing in the flea market that would remotely be of any interest to me.

I've never been to Calcutta,  but I'm pretty sure that scene came close. It was kind of like some sort of "virtual slum"  computer game.  Only I was actually there.
  I had the small camera with me,  but I think I was actually so overwhelmed that it just never occurred to me to take pictures.     There were beggars with crazy backwards ostrich legs,  there were beggars with NO legs.   There were heaps of old clothes that the people at the Goodwill wouldn't want.   Thankfully it was a cool breezy day.
I've actually pitched out better looking crap.

I've heard of towns in places like the Yukon or Alaska that have town dumps where people can go and browse through the stuff others have thrown away.   It was kind of like that.
It was....amazing in a very underwhelming sort of way.
So...if I ever in my wildest dreams thought I wanted to go to some place like Calcutta well,  now I don't have to.
See the savings?
I'm good.

 Sunday was pretty much a repeat on the chauffeuring end of things with a bit of an exception.
 The parking garage where we keep the car is a public garage that can be really crowded at certain times in the week.  Sunday morning is not one of those times,  and there are usually no more than a half dozen or so of the cars there from those who park long term.  So we were a little surprised to see a young lad run up to us as we approached our car blathering away about something or other (hadn't tuned my ear trumpet to German yet that morning)  and come to find out,  their car wouldn't start,  and by the looks of things,  they had been there for a while.  My guess was that from the arm bands,  the three of them (two guys and a girl) had come into the big city for some late night revelry,  and when they got back to the car,  there wasn't enough juice in the battery to get the car started.

 Hm.  What to do?  We don't carry cables,  and they had none.

 Well first of all,  let me tell you a little story.   "Been there...done that".   And that's about all I need to say,  except I do recall on one particular occasion many,  many years ago asking someone for a boost (and I had the cables in my hand!)  and that person said something to the effect that she had been told never to give anyone a boost with her car.  Huh?  Because it's what?  Special?  Didn't look too damned special to me.   Of course,  it was broad daylight,  we were out doors in a very public place,  but there's no arguing with "stupid",  so I didn't bother.   However,  I made a little mental note to never turn into that person.
Since virtually all cars here in Yurp are standards,  we made an attempt at a running start,  but since the thing was a diesel (also very common in Yurp)  that wasn't going to work,  and I really needed to take Travelling Companion to her office.
I had to leave.
I promised to come back.
Not sure they believed me.

 When I left I really had no clue what I was going to do, but I noticed that the garage where we keep our winter/summer tires was open,  and thought I'd stop by on the way back and see if they'd lend me some cables.  Of course,  they barely know me,  so I made sure to mention that I'd leave behind a card of some sort as collateral.
That worked.

 To start with,  the kids were pretty darned happy that I showed up in the first place,  but then I think they pooed just a little when I hauled the cables out of the back seat.
 The only mystery after that was where to hook up the cables on the BMW.   I knew that the battery was in the back,  but it was under cover and I wasn't the one who got the debriefing when the car was delivered.
Just the same,  with a little hunting around we found the positive and negative posts under the hood.   At first it was mostly a guess,  but after confirming it in the manual we were good to go.  Never a good idea to be wrong in these situations.
 And that was pretty much it.   Their car started up right away.  I did offer a couple words about battery life and how a car battery isn't much good after about five years,  (the car was an 04 and had the original battery...)  and there was a promise to go and buy a set of cables....
and then they were sent on their way back home to Wiener Neustadt

Pretty sure I'm not going to rush out and buy a set of cables.  If the BMW won't start,  we just call somebody.   Besides,  I already have two sets hanging in the shed back home.

Other than calling that very same garage this morning to set up a time to have the tires changed,  there's not much else going on.

 Travelling Companion will be working late again tonight.

 Today makes it 53.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Back from the Dentist.

And BOY was that fun!   Whoohoo!
 Yup,  sure love going to the dentist.  Yessiree.

 Um...In case you just surfed in I'm kidding.

  Going to the dentist for me is right up there with getting a Barium Enema.
At least with the Barium Enema I could do a rendition of "Burnin' ring of fire".

Actually,  the otherwise rather stern technician did start to chuckle at that point,  but I'm getting off topic here.   Hey,  someone is shoving a hose up yer ass,  you may as well use a little levity.
I think she said something like,  "Oh God,  you're worse than my husband".
 I'm guessing that if one's job consists of shoving a hose up someone ass all day long,  you're bound to get a little ribbing at home.
 I think there's a pun in there somewhere,  but I'm not going to elaborate.

 Anyway,  where was I?

  This guy knew his stuff,  and had this really awesome ex-ray machine that went right around your head to take an all in one panorama of one's teeth.  I thought that was pretty cool.   Considerably better than what I'm used to,  which is to bite down on the film and then wait while the technician runs into the next room,  all the while trying not to gag and toss my cookies.
 His English was pretty good,  although his assistant didn't venture to try.  No biggie,  I figured I was getting a break as it was.
 Turns out the tooth is still living,  since he did the cold air test to verify that one.  That's always good for kicks and giggles.
 There was the usual drilling,  sucking,  spitting.
Oh,  that's the other thing,  you don't ever need to get out of the chair,  since there's a portable sink right there next to your mug.

The other thing was,  his "assistant" actually did the filling after he had done the initial removal of all the nasty bits.  I thought she was getting the whole area ready while he went into the next room (another patient had come in by then)  but when he came back in,  we were done.
She was also the "receptionist".  
Hey,  whatever works I guess.

 In spite of this being a temporary kind of deal,  they did a very nice job,  and I'm not really sure that any further work needs to be done.  (he says confidently) The thing looks way better than it ever did before.
Just the same,  I got an estimate for a proper crown.  We'll see what the very smart insurance people have to say about that.   Considering today's visit came in at €275 and the estimate for the crown is in the neighbourhood of €750,  I'm not going to hold my breath.
 By the way,  the other crown that I have came in at around $1200,  so I don't see those prices as being that much out of line on the "world wide dental payment scheme",  if there is such a thing.  Keeping teeth in one's head can be an expensive proposition.

The dentist's office is actually behind the Votivkirche.   You may recall we went to a service there back in the spring some time.

Rather than head directly for the subway at Schottengasse,  I decided to hoof it a ways,  since I normally only come along this way by car,  which means missing out on a bunch of stuff.  The architecture,  statues and such in Vienna can be a little overwhelming,  and a person could stand and take pictures like a complete idiot to no end.

This is just on a side street....

I also noticed posters for some sort of exhibit involving Airstream trailers.   Not sure what the deal is with that,  but I find it intriguing.

I finally had had enough of walking by the time I got to Volksteater, and decided to get back on the subway and come home.  I was actually kind of avoiding the subway routine at first,  since my mouth was totally frozen and I didn't really know whether I'd be just another drooling idiot on the U-Bahn or not.

Hope everyone has a fine weekend.

Dammit,  now I'll have that song in my head for the rest of the day....


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fruitless Wanderings.

How shall I put this?    I've been told that I waste more time "looking for stuff"  than anything else.
 OK.   I'll admit it.  It happens.
 See,  although I have more "stuff"  back home in Canader,  somehow I've managed to keep it more organised.
 It's that whole,  "everything has it's place,  and every place has it's thing",  or something like that.   I can go to a drawer in my shop (yes,  there are drawers)  and usually on the first pull,  I can come up with the item I'm looking for.

 Not here by golly.

 Between the storage cage in the basement,  the little hut on the roof and various spots around the apartment,  I manage to put things away in places where I never seem to be able to find them ever again.  Ever!

 It's not that big a place!  How is this possible??

A few days ago,  or maybe it's weeks by now,  Travelling Companion bought some presents for some of the kiddies back home.
This whole concept of paying as much or more for shipping  as what something is worth to send it half way around the earth for someone's birthday doesn't really sit all that well with me in the first place but hey,  I'm willing to go along.
There is such a thing as gift certificates,  but what do I know?
 Secondly,  I'm the one who has to do the packing up and the trip to the post office.


 So fine,  I had gathered up the necessary boxes into which these items had to go,  and then set about to find some packing tape that I had bought in the Netherlands,  and that I KNOW I've used since coming here to Wienerland,  and that's where my wanderings began.

Oh man! 

"And what did you do today,  Bob?"

 "Well  lemme see,  spent the afternoon wandering around looking for a roll of tape."
 "Yessiree,  busy day...."

At one point I finally gave up on the idea and went across the street to Müller to see if I could just buy some more friggin' tape,  but they didn't have any.
 They had double sided carpet tape,  but I somehow didn't think that would work.

 This is unfortunately how one ends up with more "stuff" since if I buy more tape,  (I have a couple other stores I can visit) I'm pretty sure I'll find the tape that I know is already here.  Always happens.   Some sort of "lost things karma".

 Mind you,  not much would be getting bundled up tonight as it is,  since Travelling Companion just phoned to say she would be late.   Very,  very late.
She didn't elaborate,  nor would I presume to say anything in a public forum,  but I'm pretty sure it has to do with some numbers.   It would seem some of them are scary numbers,  but have nothing at all to do with Halloween.   Just a coincidence.

The number for today is...

wait for it...



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Had to be done.

My guitar playing seems to come and go.   I guess it was kind of like the smoking.   Some days I could smoke my brains out,  and other days,  not so much.
There was a time there recently when I hardly picked up the guitar.  Mostly in the summer time when we had a string of visitors.
 No serenades,  sorry.
 Then I figured I'd better keep at it,  or I'll just always be pitiful.  I want to increase my skill from "pitiful"  to at least "horrid". 
One of the things that anyone who picks up a guitar needs to know how to do is change the strings.  Some folks change their strings every few weeks.  I think that's a little nuts,  but if you play every night in some club or other,  I guess you'd have to.
 Before we came over to Europe I would cheat.   By that I mean,  I'd leave the guitar where it had been purchased,  and for a mere Twenty Bucks,  they'd very skilfully change  my strings for me.   Such a deal!
And I know,  that's pretty damned lazy.   But c'mon!  Twenty Bucks!

 Unfortunately that's kind of like keeping the training wheels on your bike.  At some point you have to figure it out on your own.
I brought along a couple packs of strings,  but up to now I've been kinda putting it off.  Just....kinda chicken.
Got to the point that only open chords would be in tune.  Anything above the fifth fret wasn't sounding too hot.  I think the guitar was trying to tell me something.
 Thankfully,  there's the internet.   Not only can you find information on the subject,  but chances are pretty good there's someone out there who has put it on Youtube.  Mind you,  there's a lot of cr*p on Youtube,  but if you pick and choose (oh,  that would be a bit of a guitar pun)  you'd be amazed at the number of people who are willing to share what they know.  And... make a video of it!  

So...I took some pictures.

Old strings.

New strings.   Oh,  they're colour coded.

Then I realised I had to buy a "tool".   The little black thing is a string winder.  Never hurts to have one more tool....

Good time to do some dusting.

New strings.   Nice neat job.  I'm sure you care.

   And a surprising difference,  both in the feel of the instrument, and the fact that it will play in tune....
Pft!  Who knew?

 In other news,  Travelling Companion called not so long ago from the airport in Lucerne (um,  that would be in Switzerland for those of you who might be geographically challenged)  to tell me that her flight had been cancelled. 
 Never good when that happens.  I was supposed to be at the airport here in Wienerland just about now to pick her up.  (it's around six p.m.)  Good thing she always calls from the gate.
 She went off to Morges late yesterday since there was some sort of a pow-wow at one of the offices of the company that cannot be named.   Having the flight cancelled at the end of the visit just added to the fun of the whole experience. 
 Turns out they put her on a later flight,  which means she's due to arrive just before 10:00 p.m. 
Just the same,  I'll wait for the call from the gate.   Hanging around Vienna airport (which I tend to refer to as "the abortion")  for too long a time frame is not really one of my biggest ambitions.
 Tomorrow she has to do some training or other up in Shrems and has asked me to chauffeur,  so she can go over her stuff.  (Um,  she's the "trainer",  not the "trainee")

 I don't mind.   Too much.
Don't think I'll be slipping over to the Czech Republic to check out the ladies on the street though.  (I'm not kidding)

Again.  Not one of my biggest ambitions.

Besides,  if you saw any of these "ladies",  you'd quickly realise it's they who should be paying the customers.  Not the other way around.  Some of them have a few miles on the odometer.  I distinctly recall muttering to myself the first time I saw one of them waving to my car as I drove up the street, "How do you make any money?"
Yes,  they wave.  It can be a little disconcerting the first time.  They're right there at the curb.
 I'll just leave you with that thought.

Keep your sticks on the ice.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Not giving up M & Ms!!

Many moons ago I gave up cigarettes.   Would have been June of 1987 to be exact,  but who's counting? There were day's when I really enjoyed smoking.   Couldn't suck in enough carcinogens.  Unfortunately,  it's a rather stinky business,   and one January day as I stood with a few other smokers on the front porch of my brother-in-law's then brand new house,  shivering and smoking in the brisk Canadian air (um,  it's was something like -18°C)  I began to formulate a plan to give them up.   Not cold turkey mind you,  but it had to end.   Got tired of the morning cough,  smelly clothes.  The whole ordeal.
Oh,  and by the way,  if you smoke and have a cough,  and you think you can blame it on anything but cigarettes,  you need to give yourself a shake.
Fine.   Not here to preach.

I also realised that I have a slightly addictive nature.  Can't even touch a cigarette,  'cause I know somewhere in my pea brain, there's "something"  that still clambers for a hit of good ole nicotine.  Travelling Companion can actually have a smoke once in awhile.  God bless her.  Not me.  If I had one,  I'd be hooked.
 I'm not going to go so far as to say I'm "hooked"  on M & Ms,   but there is quite often an open bag of them sitting in one of the all too easily accessible kitchen drawers.  I try to follow the five o'clock rule,  and keep my mitts out of there until at least after dinner.  That's pretty weak I know,  but it's all I got.

 Now let me tell you a little story.

 Once upon a time,  when we had that brief year or so in Puerto Rico,  we'd go home to Canada every so often,  and if it was time for a check-up,  we'd take advantage of the opportunity to go to the dentist.  I wasn't overly keen on going to a dentist in Puerto Rico,  and we always figured if we got sick,  it would have been better to drag yourself onto a plane and head for Canada.    There had been some,  shall we say?  "stories"?  of people's hospital and dentist visits that were not exactly confidence inspiring.

I'll leave it at that.

 So on one of these dentist visits,  our then dentist kept eyeing this one particular tooth,  and kept referring to the notion of something called a "root canal".   I'm not going to explain the workings of dental procedures here,  but suffice to say a root canal is a way to save a tooth.    Failing that,  you need to yank it out.
 I wasn't too keen on the sounds of either of those options,  and I figured if it wasn't bothering me,  then to just 'leave well enough alone' would be a perfectly viable alternative.
 Fast forward a year or so,  and I've returned to work as a Head Caretaker,  and on a regularly scheduled visit,  he once again wants to deal with this one tooth.

Man,  dentists can be persistent,  can't they?

Coincidentally it was some time in October.

I just figured he was padding his pension,  since by that time his son was going to take over the practice from the Dad.  (seriously,  he's like a carbon copy of the Dad,  but that's another story)
 Once again,  I chickened out.
 One fine day in December though,  right around the stroke of noon,  I could have sworn that someone was trying to pry open my skull with a dull hoe.  Took all of five seconds to realise I was heading to the dentist,  and in fairly short order.
 Fine.   Antibiotics,  Tylenol 3.   Root canal.   It's a multi visit process,  trust me.

 Now let's talk about the "son". 

 Lately,  he's been obsessed with another tooth,  since something showed up on the x-ray back when we were home in May that didn't look "quite right",  but we had agreed that it would be something to be dealt with in December,  when once again we're home for a visit.
  The appointment has already been made.

 You may be starting to figure out where I'm going with this?

 See,  on Saturday (it was after five!)  I just happened to be nibbling on a couple M & Ms,  and happened to chomp down on one obstinate little bugger and well,  what followed was NOT a good sensation.  I thought I had done a number on the crown where I had had the emergency root canal.    I rummaged around in there with my tongue and everything seemed fine.  It still is a bit tender,  even though the theory is that the nerve is supposed to be dead and all.   Not long after that though,  when I was eating a normally harmless cracker,  I suddenly realised I had what I thought was a seed in my mouth,  promptly pitched it in the garbage,  but within a heartbeat realised that I had broken a tooth!!

What the ??   (is this being brought to you once again by the letter,  "F"?)

Cr*p!   The "suspect"  tooth was the one directly below the crown,  and the chomping of the M & M had weakened the one side,  and it simply came apart.


I fully expected it to hurt like hell,  but it's only slightly more sensitive to hot and cold.  My teeth have always been sensitive to cold,  so that's not a stretch.
 So now I have an appointment with some dentist here in Wienerland on Friday morning. He was recommended to us by our Relocation Lady,  but we had never up to this point seen any pressing need to pay him a visit....until now.
  I think I'm actually more nervous about filling out all the forms in German than anything else. 

 If I thought I could somehow put it off until we got back to Canada,  then that would work for me,  but the mere notion of ending up with some sort of infection gives me the royal willies. 
 Pretty sure there's at least one loyal reader out there that knows all about that....right?  Grasshopper?

 And the number for today is....60.

Once again.  Happy Thanksgiving.

(lucky buggers)


Saturday, October 9, 2010

When boredom rears its ugly head.

You end up finding this kind of thing.

and I quote...."

Drunk kicks man for eating in tram

A pensioner has been arrested after literally kicking another tram passenger out of the vehicle for eating.

The 68-year-old got seriously angry when a man, 60, sitting opposite of him in a tram in Graz, Styria, started to snack on a bread roll and a sausage yesterday (Weds). He started to scream at the man and insulted him for leaving breadcrumbs on the floor.

Witnesses said the offended passenger decided to get out of the tram earlier than planned to avoid the situation getting out of control. But when the doors opened, the abusive man kicked him from behind. The 60-year-old suffered broken bones, a concussion and bruises in the fall.

The attacker tried to flee by foot but was caught by policemen a few blocks from the station. A breathalyser check showed he was heavily drunk. The man, who was put into custody, faces grievous bodily harm charges.

Meanwhile, a tram driver in federal capital Vienna faces disciplinary procedures for working while being high on drugs."   (OK,  this is a little closer to home....)

"Public transport agency Wiener Linien said last month the 25-year-old was suspended after a drug test showed he was driving a tram under the influence of illegal substances. It was not revealed what kind of drugs the man had taken."


 Are you kidding me?   I do indeed realise that one needs to have a certain amount of scepticism when it comes to the cr*p on the internet,  but I'm pretty sure it's hard to make this kind of thing up.
This,  in a nutshell (with a bit of an emphasis on "nuts")  is one of the somewhat unfortunate side effects of public transit.  Which is why I'd really prefer to either take the car,  or take my life in my hands and head out on the bike.
 Did that today on a couple of occasions by the way,  and I'd just like to point out that,  even though it looks sunny and warm,  it can get a little cool in the shadows with a head wind.  I did see a guy riding a bike wearing gloves.
But please.  It was NOT that cool out.
He either was a very confident kind of guy,  or a total Milquetoast kind of wimp.   But either way,  he looked kind of retarded.
I recall that the kids in the Netherlands would refuse to wear gloves even when riding in subzero temperatures,  because it just simply wasn't cool.
 Of course,  their hands would be cherry red.  But man, they were cool!

It's hard to really categorise this particular event.  Does it fall under "trams",  "public transit",  or better yet,  "eating in public"?

 I see a lot of people eating in public.  I'm just saying.  Apparently I'm not the only one who finds it somewhat disturbing.  I hadn't noticed the crumbs.  Nor have I ever become,  "seriously angry".   Did you notice the wording there?   "Seriously angry"  Really?

 I find eating in public a tad odd.  But hey,  it's not my country.   This is a mantra I tend to repeat over and over again.  That and,  "someday I'll get to go home..."

Haven't had any success clicking my heels....

...hopefully everything will still be in colour when I get there...

 Just yesterday,  as I sat in traffic on the Gürtel  (and I realise this isn't quite "public",  but still....)  I saw this chick in the passenger seat of the car behind me eating corn on the cob.
 I swear to GOD.   1) I'm not lying,  and 2)  I've never seen that before in my life.

Yes,  I've seen people eat corn on the cob.   At our dinner table.  At a corn roast.
 Never in a car.
 What would possess you to eat corn on the cob in the car??   I mean,  chowing down on some sausage on the tram I can sort of handle,  but corn on the cob?  Was that all there was in the fridge?

I'll stop now.  

Hmmmmm.   Viennese culinary delights!

 OK really..  I need to stop.

Now,  speaking of "nuts",  and in the similar vein of public transit,   I do vividly recall heading to the opera one night with a group of guests on the U3,  and we were entertained by a charming fellow who failed to realise that his pants were not properly secured around his waist.   I regret not having the camera at the ready,   not so much to capture the silhouette of his dangling participles,  but moreover the look on my daughter's face when she turned to me to see if I saw what she saw.

Yup.  We exchanged the knowing looks,  and then chose to look elsewhere.

That's all I got for today.

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Oh,  and to all the Canucks out there.   Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

See anything wrong?

Or,  today's post is brought to you by the letter "F".

If you want to make the effort to actually read that message,  you're welcome to double click on it.  For further reading,  I'll happily* suggest this link.

*With a very loose definition of the meaning of "happy".

I pretty much figured this was a variation on the "blue screen of death",  which was something we experienced on the PC back in the Low Countries.   I think it had something to do with it not getting its updates from the mother ship.  It was isolated from the collective!
It's now running open source,  and will do the few things that I want it to do,  like play my favourite radio station from Toronto.
Open source won't necessarily play certain games that were designed to run on Windoz,  but that's another story.

 Turns out this latest blue screen is more of a hardware issues than anything else,  and my somewhat more patient Travelling Companion actually got the thing rebooted last night.  Not sure what's in store for this evening.   This is an ageing laptop that we have in the bedroom that's hooked up to an external hard drive,  on which we play DVDs.  As you may recall,  we ain't got no TV....

So, to put it into the Caretaking vernacular:

old laptop + hardware issues  =  yer screwed.

(well,  I could always refer you to our sponsor letter, "F"....)

So fine,  we may end up having to pony up a few Euros for a DVD player,  as long as I can find something that will play "region one" DVDs.

Chances are slim.

 As well as DivX,  since a lot of our stuff is recorded in DivX format,  (thanks Grasshopper)

or,  and I don't really even want to say this,  a suggestion has been made to buy an Apple.  *gasp*.  

Hm...don't really want a Mac,  or an Apple,  or any other fruit.   I know some folks swear by them, but I just figure I'm too set in my ways to try and learn a whole new set of skills that I haven't even really figured out on a PC at this point.

I'm easily confused.  Sorry.

Maybe we'll pick up something when we're home for Christmas.  Patience is a virtue.  Bla bla bla.


Although I've only ever mentioned these things in passing,  as of late we've had a few issues in our building that make me thankful that we can go back to our house at some point later in life.  I mean,  if I have a leak at the house,   it's my problem,  and I'll get it fixed or fix it myself.  There are no phone calls,  no irate letters from fellow tenants wanting you to join forces with them to take on "the Man".   No elevator that craps out if you look at it sideways.
No smelly Chinese restaurants cooking up dead cats in what should really be a storage room off the main hallway.   No Mexicans whipping up tortillas down in the basement over on the other side of the building...

That kind of thing.

Puts one in a foul mood.   Kind of goes with the foul smell.

Yes,  I admit that our neighbour back home has a stupid assed dog that barks at four in the morning BUT,  at least that's outside my building.  And if I really wanted to get nasty,  I do have their phone number and could put it on speed dial.  It may still happen.  Mind you, if the dog doesn't wake them up,  then I'm not sure they'd hear the phone.

 Now,  I don't know if what you see in the photos below was a weak spot left over from when we had our flood back in the spring,  or if someone got a little carried away pounding the living cr*p out of a Schnitzel in the restaurant above?

 Either way,  I'm pretty sure I referred to our sponsor letter,  "F",  when I came around the corner.

Nice parge coat there genius!  Ever heard of using something called "lath"?? *

The horror!

What?  Are we in Beirut?   I didn't hear the shelling.

There didn't appear to be any damage to any of the bikes,  even though that one bike fell against "new and shiny".  
I just have a real problem any time I see a bike over on its side.  Makes me cringe.

End of rant.

Seems to me today's count is something like 65.

We're counting "sleeps" here after all.

Time to start dinner.

*in case you didn't know....


Monday, October 4, 2010

End of the season.

Note:  I started this yesterday (Sunday) but basically went from being barely motivated to not giving a crap.   Plus,  the picture I was trying to upload was taking forever,  so I packed it in...


That is,  if "Visitor Season"  is some sort of season.  Can't blame anyone for not really wanting to hang around here in the next little while,  since if the weather is anything like last year,  it'll be rainy,  cool  and pretty much crappy.  Today's weather is pretty indicative.  (same as today...Monday)

 Our last evening together was at Figlmüller  which was a request from one of our visitors,  since I'm pretty sure we might never have ended up there on our own.  Had to make reservations over a week ago,  since this place is mobbed most every night.  Not only that,   but it's not a very big place,  so there was also a line up outside the door when we got there.   When they say they have the biggest Schnitzel,  they're not kidding.

Take a look.

And yes,  that's pretty much a normal sized plate.

I had nothing but Schnitzel,  since I had a suspicion that it would be a challenge to consume the whole thing.   Having skipped lunch,  I was able to manage.  Barely.

Now,  I had this bright idea that,  for fun, we'd take the car and park in the Matchbox Garage   style underground parking at Stephansdom.   Little did I know that access to the ring was blocked,  so it took some quick navigation to get all the way around to the other side of the Donaukanal and come in to the First District from the other side.  Good thing I've been lost down there enough times that I now have it pretty much figured out.
 What that meant was dropping everyone off at the door and then heading off to the parking garage.   I just had this paranoid feeling that I didn't want us to be late for the reservation,  since it had been a bit of a challenge to get the thing in the first place.   Plus,  we had to go for six,  since the place was booked after that.
Crazy thing is,  and I didn't know this before hand even though I've parked at this particular garage before,  but the "people exit"  is right next door to the restaurant.
Phew!  Couldn't have planned it better.
I didn't think there was any point in pretending that I actually had a clue,  since that strategy rarely ever works, especially if you're in the company of three women.

 Just an observation.

From a touristy stand point,  it wasn't so much the restaurant that was the novelty of the evening,  even though the Schnitzel was danged good,  but rather the parking garage.   This is something that one simply doesn't get to experience as a tourist,  and I've had very little luck finding anything about parking garages in Vienna on the net.   I don't think they actually think tourists come here by car....

Our guests showed signs of first befuddlement and then utter dismay....

Fortunately,  I took a couple videos last February!  Bwahaha!!   So you can have a look here


and here

Sunday morning was the usual flurry of activity that goes along with getting people to the airport,  including the somewhat mandatory trip to the bathroom scales.   Not so much for the guests,  but for the luggage.

I also briefly stepped on the scales to verify that they worked,  and quickly realised that the next little while is going to be the 'season of abstinence'.   From beer,  that is.

 Just another observation.

....meanwhile,  as I was wondering just why the heck this was taking so long to upload,  I realised that part of the apartment is dead,  in the power department,   and after some investigation,  and putting the router on a couple extension cords,   we're back in business.  I was getting just a tad frustrated there,  since I couldn't seem to determine just what the heck was going on,  since all the breakers were closed.    Turns out,  there's a problem down at the front door,   since one of the restaurant dudes was down below.

It seems that power that comes in from the street is three phase,  and one of our phases is out.
I had put some potatoes on the stove and thought that it was working,  but it turns out that it's meant to work on two phases,  and is missing one.   So even though the elements get hot to the touch,  it'll take forever to boil a pot of potatoes.

  We have a back up plan however,  since the hotplate we had to buy a year ago works on a single phase.


Gee,  aren't we lucky we had to spend the first two weeks here "camping" ??


 Today's number is 66.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Turning into my Dad.

Wait!   Just hold on there!

 What I mean is,  I don't want to turn into my Dad. Although I somehow think it's inevitable in some long term,  down the road,  I hopefully won't know the difference kind of way.

 On the one hand,  I recall when something of that nature was pointed out to one of my older brothers,  he simply replied that that was more or less a good thing,  since then at least we do in fact know just who our father is.
 OK,  I'll go along with that.   Not like Mom was hanging around with the Milkman,  although now that I think of it,  if you live on a farm,  your husband could also be the Milkman,  but let's not get too silly here.

 What I'm talking about are those annoying little quirks that can stealthily creep up on a person.  With women,  there's that horrifying moment when they realise they're turning into their Mothers.   With men well,  you get it.
 Thankfully along the way I had maybe just a little snippet of edumacation,  and have had a chance to go out and take a gander at a couple other places around the world.
 That more or less falls into the idea that each succeeding generation just might have a few more experiences than the last one.   So that's kind of to be expected.

For example, I do recall sitting in the car as a teenager with the ole Man,  and he very astutely pointed out that when he was my age,  getting to the nearest town that was ten miles away was an accomplishment,  whereas I had on more than one occasion at that point quite easily piloted a vehicle from Ontario to the Maritimes.   Or,  at least that was the case when I could get him out from behind the wheel long enough for him to sleep while not driving at the same time.   But that's a whole other horror story.

 No,  what I'm talking about are those things that can give a person that moment of reflection.   It's a kind of overwhelming sense of dread, really.   Hard to describe,  unless you've experienced it yourself.
 Here's what I'm talking about.
 I came to the realisation earlier today that I had been wearing the same pair of trousers for more than one day.  I'm not going to elaborate,  but it occurred to me as I hauled them on this morning (yes,  even though I'm here by myself,  I do put on pants)  that they felt like they were just about to that point when they could do a fairly convincing job of standing up by themselves.
 That was a scary moment.
Pretty much an overwhelming sense of dread.  Pardon my repetition.   It's necessary.

 I do have more than one pair of pants.   Really.

 But,  I take them off at night,  and I put them on in the morning.   It's not like I'm out there shovelling shit and hollering  "whoa"  (old farmer expression,  sorry)  so the process of them becoming somewhat unwearable is a slow subtle kind of thing.
 Horrifyingly,  the thought that went through my head was the fact that my father would wear the same clothes....well,  we're really not sure for how long.   For a long,  long time.
 When my Mother was alive,  I recall her saying,  "I've got to get those clothes off your father".  
Don't misunderstand,  what she meant was, she'd have to take them away and wash them,  or he'd put the same dirty clothes on after getting out of the shower!
 I'm surprised he showered,  but let's not go there.
 I recall a particular occasion,  many years later when he was living by himself in Nova Scotia after Mom had passed away,  when someone asked if he wanted to change out of his dirty clothes he replied,  as he patted his damp thigh,  "Oh,  they're just wet with sweat".


 (I think I threw up a little in my mouth just then)

 So do you now understand my horror?
 Is this the way it's going to turn out?

 Please let me get run over by a train.  Please please please.

 Better be careful what I wish for, they've got a lot of trains here in Wienerland.  I'm kind of out numbered.

 I've actually been accused of showering too often since,  when I was out there doing my Caretaker thing in the heat of the summer,  I'd jump out of bed,  shower,  go off to work,  come home after eight hours,  shower,  put on clean clothes,  and then inevitably shower again before going to bed.  Hey,  it gets hot and humid in Southern Ontario!
Pretty sure it was some sort of deep seated refusal to ever have the slightest chance of patting myself on the thigh and saying,  "oh,  they're just wet with sweat".
At least that's the only explanation I can come up with.  Wonder what Freud would have to say about that one?

I keep the showering down to once a day here in Wienerland. 

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.