Saturday, November 19, 2011

Short Shrift.

After I checked out of the hotel yesterday morning,  I realised that I had presented a really abridged version of Gmünd and the surrounding area.   I’ve posted lots of pics in the past of the area,  but that may have been as long ago as 2009.  Seems hardly possible.

But here’s the thing.   This:


…is somewhat representative of the excitement in a town like Gmünd. 


Here’s another angle. 


Fascinating.  The stupid ducks must have thought I was going to feed them,  since they all started to swim frantically in my direction.  Silly buggers.  

I didn’t get a picture of the rapidly approaching ducks,  since I figured it was more sensible at that point to simply leave.   Did I also mention it was a whopping 1°C?


So are you starting to get the idea that I might be getting a tad desperate for something,  anything of interest?   Oh,  here’s the backside of some old Dude on his old tractor.

Taken through the windshield of the car,  with the resulting pitiful results.


Love the fedora hat.   It ain’t just some “costume”.

So I just figured I’d go for a little drive,  and maybe something would jump out at me. 


There was a time when we lived in the Netherlands, when I got so desperate that I actually took a picture of a log that had been felled and left at the side of the road.   I was taken to task for that,  and I’ll be darned if I can find that actual entry at the moment.   But I do recall that one of my “pub buddies” did have a few words of admonition for me.  I suggested he might want to start his own blog.   The thing is,  as a woodworker,  I sometimes find myself doing a double take when I see logs.  Especially if they’re just sitting there at the side of the road.

So you can well imagine how I get a little ga-ga when I drive by this place.   Even though these logs are all spoken for:


Suffrin’ cats,  that’s a lot of logs!


Well,  this isn’t quite the same,  but the good folks of Breitensee dug up a log out of the muck,  and decided to put it in it’s own shrine!   I almost drove right on by,  but the sight of a log in a glass case made me do a bit of a double take.


Here ya go:



Yup,  that’s a log that has been housed in it’s own little (well,  big really) display case.

I’m going to include a couple snippets of the details,  but for those who may be inclined to skip ahead,  the abridged version is,  it lived for some 250 years,  and keeled over some time around 650 A.D.   If you’ve ever wondered what the term “old growth”  is,  this would be a pretty apt example.

There are some woodworkers who would simply drool over the prospect of being able to make something with the oak from this log.   Lake Superior happens to be one location where old growth lumber has been salvaged, and if you have enough money,  you can buy some of the lumber.  The thing is though,  you really and truly have to have the creativity and skill level to build something worthy of such a find.

You’re certainly welcome to wade through all the bla-bla that they’ve put in the display,  but what I found curious about the whole thing,  is the typical way in which they’ve tried to milk this log display for all they could.   You can see this type of well,  for lack of a better term,  “desperation” in just about any small town on the face of the planet.   “We’re special and we want to show you why”.    You’re welcome to come up with your own answer to that assertion.









I mean,  I do appreciate the effort,  and the old log is definitely neat and all,   but somebody went to an awful lot of trouble to try and embellish the simple fact that they hauled some old log out of the goop.  I’m just saying.

It so happens that this elaborate little display was off to one side of the fire hall.   I’m not sure what the significance of the Roman Dude is,  and you can draw your own conclusions about the quality of the artwork.



For my part,  my first thought was,  “Now why would you do that?”   No budding Rembrandts in town I guess.



And now for something completely different,  I was tooling along on one of the roads that follows the border between the Czech Republic and Austria,  and I spotted a business that,  from what I gather,  was selling stone?  Actually,  I haven’t a clue what they were selling,  but what was interesting was this little cabinet that they had out on display. 


See the stone piece over behind the display?   There were lots of them lying around,  and I think they were selling these things.  Planters?   Watering troughs?   No idea.

This display was obviously outdoors,  and about 20 meters from the roadway.  Maybe there was video surveillance,  but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how it hadn’t been vandalised.  Maybe I’ve forgotten what country life can be all about?  And maybe it’s a pretty sad thing when the first thing I think of is vandalism.  

I suppose some folks have these kinds of items on display in their house,  or maybe tucked away in a drawer or two.  These people decided to put it out there for all to see.  

Of particular note is the ticket for a motorcycle race that took place in May of 1936 in Gmünd.   The cost of admission was one Schilling.  I’d bet that was an exciting day.


The bottom line on the ticket states that it had to be worn so as to be visible.  Judging by the way the town is so compactly built,  I can see how easy it would be to close off all access to the roads,  and only let people who had bought a ticket in to see an event.   Only a guess mind you.   I’m sure you’d be able to see some parts of the race,  but to get to see from the really good vantage points,  you’d need to cough up that Schilling.


Well I certainly hope this has rounded out the educational portion of your day. 

You’re now ready for the New York Times Crossword.

Good luck with that.


Thanks for stopping by.




  1. D'oh! Sorry. No otter picture. I know, otterly ridiculous.
    They do have raccoons here at the zoo, I didn't think I needed to see them though.

  2. amazing how one 'ole piece of wood' can be quite the subject for a blog post!!!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.