Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Coming up on a tack.

Remember how I compared living here to sailing a boat?   Long periods of relative inactivity interspersed with moments of shear terror?  Well,  that's the way the saying goes,  I read it some where.   I don't think "moments of shear terror"  exactly applies,  but it does sound better.
More like,  "heightened activity".

Here's what I'm talking about.  Never mind that I'll be taking Travelling Companion to the airport this afternoon for a trip to Denmark.  That's just your run of the mill business kind of thing.  She has to do some sort of financial whatchamacallit,  and will be back late tomorrow (Thursday) night.
Fine,  it's a "Balance Sheet Review".   I actually do know what it's called,  I just don't really care.
 No,  what I'm talking about is more along the lines of some of the upcoming shared activities.  Later on towards the end of March,   she'll be spending the better part of a week in Barcelona for the annual meeting of the "Top Team",  and I'll be heading there on the Friday to hang out for the weekend.   She'll go on to Bilbao for another financial whatchamacallit,  and I'll come home.   Should be just fine,  I've never been to Barcelona.  I hear they speak Spanish.
 Then towards the end of May,  we'll be getting a visitor from Slovenia for a weekend,  who is actually an acquaintance of one of our daughters whom we met last summer.   It's one of those selling stuff on the internet and you meet people kind of things.    Nice young lady who is attending some sort of fashion show here in Wienerland.   Has to do with the jewellery she makes.   Seems to me it will be worn by some of the models?   I'll let you know.
 Then,  right around that time,  and we haven't firmed up these dates just yet,  one of Travelling Companion's nephews is coming over for a couple weeks to check out some "Musical Hotspots".   Not sure how else to put that.  He's a bit of a classical music buff,  and wants to do the Prague,  Salzburg,  Bonn,  Vienna kind of thing.   We'll probably go with him to Salzburg,  since we've never been,  and drive him down to Slovenia.   Rumour has it that Travelling Companion is actually going to take some vacation!
I know!
Mind you,  I'll believe it when I see it. 

She's never ever taken all the vacation she's been entitled to,  but I'd just as soon not get off on that particular rant.   This topic came up in an off handed kind of way when we briefly touched on the subject of owning a motorhome for ten years.  Not enough free time to really enjoy it.  I didn't really want to get into that one either.

So to continue with the analogy,   we've made sure nobody is standing on the leeward sheet,  and we're about to come up into the wind.

Oh,  and by the way,  the taps are working just fine,  thank-you.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Fun with taps.

You may remember this picture?

Took me quite a few minutes to find it too.  Gawd,  I have to do a better job of organising my pictures.  Anyway,  it's almost as if this kind of problem wants to follow me where ever I go,  since the taps here at the apartment have now become loose as well.

 I promise I won't take a picture of me on my back again trying to fix them,  but you can see here how loose they are.

Admittedly it does make it easier to clean around the base of the taps,  but that's a relatively minor consolation.
I also just spent the last several minutes reading up on and trying to figure out how to make those two pictures into an animated "gif".   Hm,  turns out it can't be done in blogger.   You'll just have to close first one eye and then the other to make them move. 

It actually doesn't look too bad in those pictures,  but trust me,  turning on the taps has become a two handed job,  especially if you think you want any hot water to come out.


 In response to my plight last week in the dinner preparation department,  I actually received a couple worth while recipes from people with whom I have not only eaten but have enjoyed both the food and the company.  That's a long winded way of saying, nothing crazy assed weird or anything.

I mean,  it's fine to look up recipes on the internet,  but more often than not they're quite complicated,  and not always something that is agreeable.
 So for this one particular recipe,  I had all the ingredients ready for Friday nights dinner,  but was quite surprised when Travelling Companion called to say she was on her way home!  This was like,  at a normal time when most of the workers in Austria go home,  so I was really caught off guard.  (It was still daylight!)
We therefore made a bi-lateral decision to put off this particular dish and simply have pizza instead.


OK,  I know you're possibly rolling your eyes here,  but what that meant was that I wasn't going to be out there in left field on my own trying out a new recipe,  and was quite happy to play second fiddle to Travelling Companion's superior culinary skills.
There are four pots on the go for this one.

I know we're missing the "fourth pot",  but we had already sautéed the pine-nuts before I realised I wanted to take a picture.  The cook insisted that no part of her was to be in the picture,  so pretend you don't see her hand there holding the spoon.
Oh,  that's the other thing.  While I had been warned that there would be the need for the four pots/pans whatever,  no mention was made that we'd need to fish out four wooden spoons as well.  Good thing we shipped extras!   Normally if I have perhaps two pots on the go,  I really think I'm cookin' up a storm.

 Silly fool.

 Not only was this Chicken Risotto with Pine Nuts really tasty,  but since the recipe is for four,  tonight we'll have the other half.

Off the hook for one night.


 OK,  so now I'm off to lie on my back under the sink.  Fun times!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's for supper?

I can't blame you if you think this is trivial matter,  but I struggle with this question each and every day.
Not sure if "struggle"  is the best word,  but it is a thought that already starts to creep into my head at the precise moment when we're clearing the dinner dishes.  Sad but true.
On at least one occasion,  and I quickly figured out it had better be the one and only occasion,  I actually was dim enough to ask that question of Travelling Companion at that precise moment.   While there was no actual cussing involved,  her response wasn't anything you would call,  "appreciative",   shall we say?
Seems to me that was way back when we lived in Puerto Rico,   where I had taken over the domestic duties on a full scale for the first time.  I guess I hadn't figured out all the tiny little dynamics.   Don't you find that there are some moments that are indelibly etched into a person's memory?
Once in a while,  and it's not too darned often,   I might meekly give a hint in the morning that I am once again without a clue,  but I tend to keep that little snippet of agony to myself.  I already know there's quite enough on Travelling Companions plate on the work front,  so she certainly doesn't need to concern herself with what to put on our dinner plates later on.

It's not just the skill set that's lacking either.  Mind you,  there are a couple things that I can do reasonably well,  but a little variety goes a long way.   Even with the choice dishes,  we're still only talking "three star"  here.   I don't think there will ever be a "five star"  meal in my future.
Now,  speaking of five star,  we had occasion to sample some of the cooking of one of our long time friends a few years back,  where this husband and wife couple had done a complete roll reversal on the cooking end of things.   After having fed their own three children,  along with our two when they were youngsters on a fairly regular basis,  she had decided to pack it in.  I seem to recall that she said something along the lines of,  "I've cooked for 30 years,  I'm done".
And that,  as they say,  was that.

I'm afraid I don't have that to fall back on,   unless you consider making sandwiches for that length of time.  I don't think that counts.

I think it has a lot to do with visualisation,  and let me play out a scenario for you using woodworking as an analogy.   The questions and answers would go like this:

 "Can you make me a bowl?"


 "Blanket chest?"


 "Kitchen cupboards?"

 "No problem"

 "Built in cabinets for our bedroom?"

 "Piece of cake,  I've already figured it out in my head..."


 *long silence*

 "Dinner?  Um ....Can I get back to you?"


 Quite often what happens is,  having a tiny kernel of an idea in my head for the day's supper plans,  I go off to the store only to then wander around aimlessly hoping something will jump out at me from the shelves.
Happened yesterday.
Well,  not the actual "jumping" part,  that's a metaphor.   Keep up.
 I really had no clue we were having stuffed peppers for dinner until I saw them sitting in the produce section.  Made a fine meal.  Really.
I have some left overs,  but I'm not so sure that will work for today since I'm not a huge left-over kind of person, AND without a microwave getting things warmed up again can be a challenge.

So that's it then,  I'm off to wander aimlessly.

Let me just leave you with this thought.  "Hunger is der beste Chef".

I shouldn't need to translate.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hump Day.

Not that there's any great significance there or anything,  and originally the title "Idiots and Beggars"  sprang to mind,  but when I was out just now I actually didn't see any beggars.   Only a couple idiots.
I should point out that,  in spite of what you might think,  I don't only consider a person such as the young lad I saw on my way down Mariahilfer who was already well on his way to a hangover at 10 in the morning an idiot. 
No no,  let me paint another scenario for you. 
From time to time the stores on Mariahilfer employ companies with mobile lift/crane thingies to come along and either install something or other or clean their store fronts.  You following me?   So then what would happen if,  since you're so important,  you decide to back said vehicle out across an intersection thereby stopping traffic all the way back to the Hofburg?  Hm?
I mean,  it would have taken an extra two minutes tops to let the one delivery truck make his turn and thereby get the hell out of the way,  but NO we need to back up NOW.
Drives like an idiot.  Backs up like an idiot.  Causes havoc like an idiot.   Just wish I'd had my camera.   And the ability to fine each of these turds about €1000 apiece.  
And then we wonder why the Viennese get impatient? 
Sadly there was no alcohol involved.
Pretty sure if this sort of thing happened anywhere on the planet where they happened to live in a "gun culture"  there would be a shoot-out on the street.
Now I certainly wouldn't want to cloud your judgement by alluding to just where these types of events could possibly occur,  but I would like to suggest that if you simply go to "google"  and type in the words,  "road rage results in shooting",   you can decide for yourself.  
You'll get lots of hits,  trust me.

The reason I wanted to mention the beggars,  is mostly due to the ones I saw yesterday.  The thing is,  begging in Vienna has been made illegal for some time.  It's not like the ever vigilant constabulary (um,  that would be the height of sarcasm in case you missed it)  do much about the odd one,  but from time to time I suppose they might get a complaint from some sucker,  and they have to react.

Case in point:

The newspaper trick of the beggars.

See,  to get around the notion of out and out begging,  some of these enterprising individuals have taken to trying to sell you something.   I believe I've mentioned those whom I've seen selling the "Augustin"  before? 
I've also noticed others trying to sell other "publications".   For my part,  I don't give them the time of day.  Sorry,  maybe that's not very charitable,  but I'd sooner give to an organisation like the Canadian Cancer Society,  or even the Salvation Army?   Although in the case of the latter while I'm not in any way overly impressed with their particular philosophy,  they seem to be doing something.  Good for them.  Off you go.
In case your German is a little rusty,  the gist of the article is that some of these beggars (sorry,  "salesmen")  have not only been shown to be somewhat aggressive when it comes to selling their newspapers,  but it turns out that what they're selling is what they've managed to fish out of the recycling that morning. 
I'm not sure which part I find more amusing.   The creativity/resourcefulness  involved,  or the subsequent indignation of the stupid ass who gives them the money.
Of course,  giving any money only encourages the practise,  and that's certainly not very amusing.

Yesterday German Teacher Dude and I got into a little discussion over the whole beggar situation,  with somewhat opposing points of view I might add.   He seemed to think things were considerably rosier back in the seventies due to the then political situation,  which I'm sure it was, whereas I simply pointed out that too many of the countries that are presently in the EU have an abundance of opportunistic bums.   Seems clear enough to me.  I remember in the seventies crossing the border between Germany and France,  and it was no less fraught with trepidation than the present situation when crossing from Canada into the US.   Turn off the radio.   Put out your smoke (something I haven't had to worry about since 1988)  have your passport out and don't make any sudden moves!

Oh,  and get ready for the third degree.

 But I digress.

 If you care to take a look at the countries within the EU'll notice there are a couple of them,  such as Bulgaria and Romania,  (wish I had a better map)  both of which have been known to produce an abundance of "less than desirables"  who have headed west seeking their fortune.   Or perhaps in the case of the fellow in the photo above,  decent smokes.

In could be worse.

 You could be merrily going along one day at work,  only to be rudely reminded of what happens when living in a country that has hosted several wars.

For your consideration:

I think there might have a couple moments of butt clenching there.   You don't need me to translate the German to see that that's one big-assed bomb.   The photo isn't of the particular bomb that they found at the train station construction site,  but it came in at 250 kilograms,  so I'd guess it was somewhat similar.   Sometimes taking pictures of this kind of ordinance up close isn't such a bright idea,  so I'm not overly upset that the reporter didn't get right in there to get that "once in a lifetime"  picture.    At least one local street was blocked off while the thing was defused.     Again,  more butt clenching.

See?  Now aren't you glad the biggest concern you might have is getting impaled with an icicle on your way out to the car? 

Keep it between the ditches.

Oh,  and be sure and look up.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Sunday.

And it's snowing!

 OK well,  I suppose that's not too much of a sour deal,  since it is still winter after all.  I guess I had been getting a little too spoiled by last week's nice weather.
I'll try to suck it up.

There was a time,  and I'm sure each of you can remember this time,  when snow coming down was met with a certain amount of excitement.  Especially the first snow fall of the coming winter.  Of course it rarely stayed on the ground, so was usually a disappointment when it came to hauling out the toboggan and hurtling oneself down a hill somewhere.
Later on of course,  when a person has to suffer under the burden of being an adult with all the associated baggage that comes along,  a snowfall is usually met with a sense of dread.
 Well,  unless of course you happen to have a draught horse and a cutter,  and the skill set to put the two to use....

That's my brother Angus and one of his horses,  "Mazie".  She looks thrilled.   He seems to be having fun.   Wasn't one of the kids on that movie "Uncle Buck"  named "Maizy"?

 Never mind.  I really try hard to stay away from that whole "stream of conciousness"  style of blogging.   It ain't easy.

It's a nice looking cutter,  and I've only ever seen it hanging up in the barn.  See,  I haven't been back to Nova Scotia in the winter time for quite a few years.  February of 1988 to be exact.   Not so sure I really need to go back there in the wintertime any time soon either.
Sorry.  Winter time in Nova Scotia seems to bring back memories of shivering on my way to the outhouse,  back on the farm.  Never mind getting there and then sitting down on that cold,  cold seat.  That's all I'll say about that.  You and your imagination can sort out the rest.  Oh,  and don't misunderstand,  Angus has indoor plumbing.
Still not going.

On a completely different subject,  I did manage to get outside to take another pic of the front of the café downstairs.

Not too shabby.  Of course it was a bit of a challenge to try and not get anybody's head in the way,  or the back end of a passing car.  I think they just might have got their money's worth.  I don't really remember what the old awning looked like,  except that it was fully manual,  whereas this one is electric.  I would have preferred to take a picture at some off time of the day,  but then of course,  they don't keep the awning out 24/7.  I sure wouldn't. No point in taking a picture of it furled up.

 Now,  onto subject number three...

You may recall that I've been messing about with loading media onto these particular back up hard drives that are then used in a media player?    I ended up ordering another one from Media Markt since I had once again run out of room.  I know I said I wasn't going to be tempted to get carried away ordering stuff on line,  but this was discussed at length with the Finance Minister,  and it's all good.  Trust me.
Here's the thing.  Since I tend to procrastinate when it comes to these sorts of things,  I didn't actually get around to this until Thursday afternoon.  I mean,  I can't use my Canadian credit card,  since we're in Wienerland,  which means I have to do a bank transfer.  Now,  I wouldn't want to go so far as saying that doing a bank transfer is exactly "stressful",  but there is a certain amount of butt clenching going on.  

Hm,  somehow we're back to the outhouse theme?

Anyway, one has to have all the information close at hand when doing one of these deals,  and there's always the chance that something could go wrong.   I'm just not overly keen on the whole thing. That's all I'm saying.

 So,  order was placed Thursday afternoon,  right?     Friday morning,  about 8:50 I'm contemplating going out for a bit,  when the doorbell rings,  and there stands a little man with a box.  And no,  I don't mean a "little man"  in some fairy tale sense,  I just mean he was somewhat vertically challenged.   That's all.  Take it easy.

At first I thought maybe it was the little dude coming around to try and put the bite on me for the dreaded TV tax,  or maybe even a couple Jehovahs,  with one of them hiding out of sight of the peep hole.   No,  it was my drive.  
I'm sure the delivery guy thought at first there was a village somewhere missing it's idiot,  since I stood there for a couple seconds in stunned silence,  trying to fathom just how I had somehow stepped into another dimension?    How was this possible?
 While I do realise that outfits like Amazon have a pretty good reputation for getting stuff out the door,  it still takes a few days to get your goods.   Let's not even talk about Canada.  Pretty sure they're still using dog teams.

I honestly can't say for sure if I'll ever order anything again.  I figured the last time,  was the "last time",  and was wrong.  As it stands,  we have something like one and a half terabytes of TV shows and movies,  which should hold out quite nicely for the next year and a half.  That's the plan anyway.   We'll see.

Hope you had a fine weekend.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Something about a game?

Apparently there was some sort of hoopla in the States on Sunday that we didn't really hear much about.  Not much of a big deal over here.
If I desperately wanted to,  I could have shelled out something like €40 to go and sit in a hotel somewhere and watch the game,  but there were only two problems with that.   First of all,  it was being shown live and there's that whole six hour difference and secondly,  on a scale of say,  one to 10?  my interest in this sort of thing is down somewhere in the neighbourhood of point five.   Maybe as high as one,  but that's a stretch.
 Don't get me wrong,  I've had fun at "Super Bowl Parties"  in the past,  but that has more to do with the company than the actual reason for the gathering.    It could have been a "Macramé Party"  and that would have been just fine.  Well,  maybe that's a bit of a stretch,  since I've never seen macramé on a big screen,  nor would there be any betting involved,  nor would any of the participants be dressed up in silly outfits.
I imagine though that anything is possible.
Some people still do macramé,  don't they?

 For your consideration.

 Silly costume:

 On the other hand,  a silly costume:

Who is this guy,  and how can I get his autograph?

Fine,  somehow my examples are sort of missing the point.

 Never mind.

 The rather curious coincidence was that Travelling Companion decided to make chilli on Saturday,  and then since there's only the two of us,  that meant that we then had chilli again on "Super Bowl Sunday".   This was pointed out to her when she happened to call one of her sisters and mentioned what was on the menu.
I do seem to recall that serving chilli is pretty much a foregone conclusion at a Super Bowl party.  Why one would want to consume a somewhat flatulence causing meal in the company of your nearest and dearest is also a bit of a puzzlement,  but who am I to question tradition?
Maybe that's a sign of who your true friends really are?
Not sure.
 So yes,  that was a total coincidence.   I would like to just point out that,  while my interest in these sorts of goings-on is rather low,  (see above) when it comes to Travelling Companion,  using the one to ten scale,  her interest is somewhere down at the sub atomic level.  We're talking protons here.  Possibly muons.

OK fine,  I know I'm using two different scales,  but I think you get it.  Let's just say smaller than the dot in the "point five"?  So the chilli had nothing to do with tradition,  that's all I'm saying.

In the sports department, the Austrians are more wrapped up in just how their down hill skiers are doing in Garmisch Partenkirchen.

Austria's Elizabeth Goergl reacts in the finish area during the alpine skiing world championships super G event in Garmish-Partenkirchen,  Germany on Tuesday.  Goergl wound up winning gold.

Just as a side note,  this particular down hill course has had its share of victims,  and at least one guy ended up in an induced coma for over a week.

Here's a snippet for you:

Innsbruck, Austria (AP) -- Doctors started trying to wake Hans Grugger from an induced coma on Tuesday, five days after the Austrian skier had Brain Surgery following a near-fatal downhill training crash.
The University Hospital in Innsbruck said in a statement that "the most recent tests ... have gone so well that the team of doctors has started Hans Grugger's wake-up process." Doctors were slowly reducing medicines that keep Grugger in a coma to monitor the reactions of the skier's...
Grugger in a coma to monitor the reactions of the skier's body. The process would take several days, the hospital said. As soon as Grugger reached sufficient consciousness, doctors would start detailed neurological tests which could give an indication of the skier's recovery.
The 29-year-old Grugger lost balance in a long jump on the demanding Streif course on Thursday. He smashed his head on the icy slope and landed motionless. He was brought to a hospital by helicopter and underwent a 5-hour emergency operation.
After a similar accident two years ago, Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht suffered brain and lung injuries and was kept in an induced coma for 16 days before fully recovering and returning to World Cup ski racing.

 Gah!   My stomach does a little flip flop when I read this kind of stuff.   Not having TV in these situations doesn't really bother me all that much.  Do I really need to see that?

This is a little beyond the simple notion of "Throwing yourself down a hill on two sticks",  but hey, if that's what makes you happy....

In more local "news",   the owners of the Café downstairs have decided to take advantage of the warm weather and do an upgrade to their signage out front.

The crew doing the job have been at this for a few days now,  and they're still not done.  The hope is that the whole awning contraption will be a little more visible from the main drag.  For €12,000?   Let's hope so.

I'll do a little photo update when it's all done. 

Maybe with a better camera.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Not a cooking show.

Pretty much an average Friday here in Wienerland,  with the exception of a couple things.  For some reason that is sometimes a mystery to me,  Travelling Companion asked if I would drive her to work today.
I don't really mind.  It's not like the weather is anything short of spectacular,  and as a matter of fact,  it's going to get even better over the weekend, so it wasn't due to any sort of adverse weather conditions.  My thermometer outside in the shade is presently showing close to nine degrees,  so don't believe that weather widget on the side.  That thing has never been all that accurate.

  I think she just likes to not have the added stress of dealing with the traffic some times?  Meh,  no biggie for me.  I also take considerable delight in smiling for the nice policemen that have the various radar traps set up on my way back into town.
They have a couple favourite spots,  one of which is on the Ring just before Babenbergerstrasse.   It's one of those rare spots where all the half wits have finally gotten out of your way,  and you can really jump on the accelerator.   Some do.  I don't fall for that one.

She seems to think she'll be done at five.
Keeping my fingers crossed.
That would be a huge difference from just about every night this week when she's staggered in the door closer to nine p.m.
I'm usually starting to get just a tad hungry by then.  But I could probably stand to be a little hungry more often.

I certainly can't allude to any details except to say it has something to do with "month end",  and some issues with people throughout Europe reporting their results.  Or not even getting their results in on time.  Something along those lines.

How do you not know until the very last day where you're going to end up??

Better not go there.

Besides,  I tried listening but I was too busy scarfing down my dinner.

I actually wanted to mention some of the things that we tend to miss when here. 
Never in my life did I ever think I would miss something like a clothes dryer.  Always took it for granted that clothes came out of the washer and went in the dryer.  Maybe,  just maybe when the weather is nice,  putting a few things on the line was an option.   But only an option.
 Admittedly,  the washing machine we have here does wring things out pretty well,  but that means spinning everything at 1200 rpm and having it all come out wrinkled.  And I mean,  really wrinkled.
So,  I can then put on a shirt that looks like I slept in it or,  you guessed it,  I have to iron the thing.    That means ironing just about everything. 
Ever iron your T-shirts?
This has nothing to do with any kind of skill set.   I have no qualms about my ability to handle an iron.  Been doing it for years.
That's not the issue.  I just wouldn't mind being offered a choice.

 Here's an analogy:
 Once upon a time,  I had the chance to go to a firing range and try my hand at hitting a target.  Turns out,  I'm a damned good shot.   Who knew?   Does that mean I somehow want to put that skill to use?   No...thank-you.  Doesn't do it for me.
So,  using a side arm and an iron?
Pretty much on par.  Way at the bottom of the list.

In the kitchen appliance end of things,  we're missing a bunch of stuff.  There's also not a lot of point buying these things either,  since there's always that mystery of what to do with it when we get "repatriated".     It's that whole voltage thing.
Now,  if I had any kind of skill set in the baking department,  I might have considered ordering one of these before we got shipped over here.   Not much point in knowing about this now though,  since I certainly wasn't going to lug one on the plane and bring it over after having it shipped to the Canadian house.
Too late for that.

So then,  if a person were to say,  make a loaf of banana bread,  just how the heck to you get around not having a proper mixer?

 Yes,  that's a potato masher.  Don't think I've ever mashed any potatoes with it,  now that I think of it.
Works just fine on ripe bananas. 
Just thought I'd point that out.

 How about if you forget to leave the butter out,  and you definitely need "soft" butter??

We do not own a microwave.   Well actually,  we do but it runs on 110 and it ain't here....

I'm not even going to comment on that one.

And now some gratuitous photos of the results.

Every bit as good as it looks.  Not sure what the deal is with that small void,  unless it was some butter that I failed to properly mash?    We'll never know.

Have a fine weekend.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's Groundhog Day!

Not that anyone outside of North America has the slightest clue what that's all about.  And frankly,  it's mostly a mid winter excuse to have something to look forward to.
There is however some good news and bad news in there when it comes to the events of today.  Let me just first mention that, if it's a bright clear sunny day and the Groundhog sees his shadow,  then he goes back underground for six more weeks,  ergo there will be six more weeks of winter.  And who wants that?  Really?
Well,  maybe the die hard winter enthusiasts, but I don't really give a sod what they want.

On the other hand,  if he DOESN'T see his shadow,  then rest assured that winter will end shortly.   Something like that.  I'm coming up a little short on some of the details,  and I couldn't really be bothered to look it up.

It is supposedly 100% accurate,  but truth be told,  nobody can remember just what was supposed to happen at the end of the six weeks anyway.

So the best of all possible scenarios is if you have just a few clouds on Groundhog Day.  Right? Wouldn't want him to see his shadow!

Now,  while I'll candidly admit that Monday was one of those days when I overwhelmingly just wanted to go home,  I'm quite happy to stay right here in Wienerland for the moment.

That mess you see there is a map of North America.   Seems there's going to be a bit of a storm.  Sometimes I put in links to stories,  but then find later that the links are no good,  so I figured the best demonstration was the map. 
Some of you will indeed get your wish for a SNOW DAY!

Instead of a link,  I'll just boldly liberate a few words from one of the local rags...

Canada's famous forecasting groundhogs may think twice today about emerging from their burrows to predict the weather.
It's Groundhog Day, and Ontario's Wiarton Willie, Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam and Alberta's Balzac Billy are set to make predictions, along with Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil.
But they have their work cut out for them, with Environment Canada issuing a spate of weather warnings and watches across the country.
In Ontario, meteorologists say a "dangerous" winter storm is expected to dump up to 30 centimetres of snow on much of the southern part of the province.
The weather office has also issued a heavy snowfall warning for Nova Scotia.
Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees his shadow on Groundhog Day he'll flee to his burrow, heralding six more weeks of winter and if he doesn't, it means spring's around the corner.
The origins of the tradition aren't clear, but it's likely related to the fact that Groundhog Day falls midway between the start of winter and the beginning of spring.
Last year, several of the rodent forecasters predicted six more weeks of winter.

So let's just think on this for a moment,  shall we?

 While many of you in North America are silently praying for a snow day,  there are actually people who are going to get dressed up in top hat and tails,  stand outdoors in a blinding snow storm,  haul some poor little rodent out of his cage to determine whether or not he can see his shadow.

 Don't you just love traditions??
I also have to sadly point out the alarming lack of women in the photo.   Didn't want to look that ridiculous, eh?

And really....there's a "Balzac Billy"?

I didn't realise predicting the weather had that much to do with French literature of the 19th century.  I guess I'll have to go back and reread some of that stuff. 
Those crazy Westerners showing off like that!

Play safe out there!