Monday, April 30, 2012

Sahara Spring.


That’s just a wee bit past my “cut-off” in terms of when I’m willing to put on the air conditioning.   However,  there’s enough of a breeze that it’s not to the point yet where it’s unpleasant.

Of course,  that breeze means no sitting out under the umbrella,  since I’d rather not watch it catapult over the edge of the balcony.


Travelling Companion is working from home today.  This is mostly since there’s nary a soul hanging around her office,  and as long as our internet works (fingers crossed) she can look at files to her heart’s content, and has only to concern herself with a couple conference calls,  one of which she is on as we speak.   Er,  type.   Er,  keyboard.  I’m sitting out on the terrace,  since listening to only one part of a conversation can be a little distracting.  My pea brain can’t handle too much stimulus.

Tomorrow is May 1st.  Labour Day.  I’d put in a link,  but the stupid Wiki article then takes you to Labor Day,  which is of course,  the American Labor Day.  Some sort of internet imperialism.  Don’t get me started.

The reports are that this unseasonably warm weather is coming up from the Sahara Desert.  There’s also the possibility that we might get some of the Sahara dust as well.  That should be interesting.  Does anyone ever get any dust blown up from the Mojave Desert?  No? I didn’t think so.


Other than that,  there’s not too danged much going on today.  Had to jaunt off to the post office this afternoon,  which I never do,  since Mariahilferstrasse is an absolute zoo.  I try not to go out there anytime after about 2:00 p.m.   Now of course,  since they’ve further congested the one side with the scaffolding,  it’s even worse.   Slow walkers slurping their ice cream cones need to have their own lane.  Just a suggestion.

Didn’t take the camera (of course!)  since I was more concerned with getting to the post office before the place closed.  I have no idea when they close in the afternoon,  since I always try to do that sort of deed first thing in the morning.   Naturally there was a line-up.  I swear it takes me all of about 30 seconds to post a letter,  so it’s always a mystery to me just what the hell it is that takes some people so friggin’ long to do whatever they do.   There was one lady buying stamps.   Like, to collect.  She was taking her time trying to decide.  This is probably a sound reason for frowning on carrying firearms here.  Don’t let me give you the wrong impression.   They’re just thoughts.

Besides,  people still collect stamps?  Are you kidding me?  What on earth for?  Put your money in a GIC.  If I were going to collect anything and put it in a book so that I could later leaf through and look at it,  it would be labels from bottles of wine I had consumed.  Even coasters from different pubs.  But stamps?  I guess I’m just dim,  since I don’t quite understand.


In other “news”,  we’re a little giddy of late since we’ve heard that Ljuba is coming for a visit.  This is ‘awesome recipe’ Ljuba.  Once of T.C.’s sisters.  Coming all the way from Vancouver.   No mean feat either.  Has a layover in Heathrow.   Such dedication.   There are others in the wings working on their plans,  but no flights have been booked yet.

Please stand by.






This just in.  Had to go out briefly on a quest.  This is what the hoards look like…



Now you know why I’d rather just stay home in the afternoon.

Oh,  and of course,  just as I’m about to come back in our front door,  there’s yet another example of rampant stupidity. 


Note broken glass.

I do seem to have quite the collection of people smacking into each other.  Felt kinda bad for the guy with the brand new SUV.  Too bad the ‘this is it’ dummy has some issues visualising distances.   Like how far it is to the vehicle in front. 


Gotta go.


Time to rustle up some grub. 


Thanks for stopping in.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Clangin’ and Bangin’.

It’s not like we needed to have the windows wide open over night, but the top part was open just enough so I could hear the workers out on the main drag putting together some scaffolding in front of one of the stores.  I’m pretty sure they started some time around 7:00 a.m. 

Yes,  it is Sunday.  Not sure what the deal was, but they were hard at it.  Just noisy enough to be annoying. 

It was just one of those things that slowly creeps into your brain, and you don’t want it there,  since you know it’s going to wake you up.





This of course is right in front of where we have to get to every day to fetch the car,  which is in an underground parking garage under one end of this structure.   Slightly unnerving.

When you consider that the warm weather must represent the best shopping season, I don’t know why  you would renovate the front of the store over the summer?  Can’t get work done over the winter?  It wasn’t that harsh,  but maybe I’m using Canadian standards when it comes to harshness.  We work in all kinds of crud.  

My guess is this will be going on all summer.



Rather than be a couple complete lumps today,  we thought we’d get out of here,  and head over to the Stadtpark.   We were actually on our way to the Prater,  but saw an empty parking spot.  It was too good to pass up,  so we stopped to park.  When we looked around we realised we were within walking distance of the Stadtpark.  *OK, I’m being a little facetious here,  but that is a completely plausible explanation*.

In all the time that we’ve been here,  we’ve never gone to this somewhat touristy/world famous/what have you,  park.  I took a stroll through one end once back in July of 08 when we were here for a brief visit,  but that was it.

It’s a park. It’s nice.

There,  that’s the whole tour.  What else could you possibly need to know?



Oh,  and the Vienna River runs through it.



And there was some old guy hanging around.  Actually,  there were a few old guys hanging around,  but I didn’t take their pictures.  I figured the one with the sleeping ‘beaut’ on the bench from yesterday was enough.



Oh,  and there was a very pervasive smell of lilacs most everywhere in the park. 

Just a note about Travelling Companion’s Panama Hat that she’s wearing.   When we were coming back home and turning in to the parking garage,  she said,  “Who could have imagined?  Here I’m wearing my Panama hat that I bought in Puerto Rico,  and I’m in Vienna!’  

Ya,  sometimes we still pinch ourselves,  even though I have days like Friday.

*Um,  I had to crop that photo of T.C., since she’s a little touchy about her image appearing on the blog.  Some days while I’ll admit that I might want to go home, (like on Friday, in case you forgot)  it’s not in a pine box.



I was quite taken by the urns that were placed all along either side of the river.  Just very neat I thought.



Of course,  it wouldn’t be a “world class” city without some graffiti,  now would it?  *mumble*



Most everything else is pretty awesome though;



OK,  I have a number of pictures of statues,  but we’ll stop right there.

You’re welcome.


We never did make it to the Prater,  but we’ll try and get there next weekend.  Here’s a link to the Prater in German if you’re feeling adventuresome.  Good luck.



I sure hope it’s warming up wherever you are.  We’re *that* close to putting on the air conditioning.  Don’t judge me.


Oh,  and if anyone offers to sell you a Panama hat made in Panama?   Run away.  They’re not from Panama.  The best ones are made in Ecuador. They obviously don’t call them “Panama hats” there,  but rather sombreros de paja toquilla. 

Our Panama hats (of somewhat lesser quality) were made in Colombia.  Just thought you should know.



Thanks for lookin’.




Saturday, April 28, 2012

No Complaints


While I realise there will be some of you who might want to perhaps spit when you see that thermometer,  just take it easy.  I’m just going with human nature here,  and trying to balance out any of the times that I might have *possibly* complained about less than ideal weather.

Besides,  I know full well that anyone who finds themselves in warmer temperatures when others aren’t quite so fortunate,  have a way of rubbing it in.   Now it’s my turn.

Apparently we’re getting some warm air from Africa?  OK then.  The shorts might be “put away”,  but not in the literal sense.  I did discover though that I had to put my somewhat thick socks back on though,  my bare feet were killing me.  Oy, I’ve lost all the callousness that I built up by running around barefoot in Puerto Rico.  All that’s left is my personality. 

I didn’t have anything to say yesterday,  since I was in a bit of a foul mood.  And the thing of it was, there wasn’t any particular reason.  It’s not like someone slighted me on the sidewalk or something.  I was just miserable.  Some days I just want to go home.  There,  I said it.

But hey,  the weather “back home”  kinda sucks right about now,  so I’d better be a tad careful what I wish for there.  I think it’s just about the coldest spring that many parts of Canada have had in a long time.  Seems like that anyway.




Sometimes when I’m out,  I see things.  Can’t help myself.



I’m not sure if he was there all night,  or just taking an early morning nap,  but it was that warm already this morning at about nine. 

I think I mentioned that I had chauffeured T.C. to work on Thursday,  and this was due to needing to get the tires changed over.   It never fails of course,  that there was some sort of an issue on the Ring on the way home,  which wouldn’t have been that big a deal,  except that everyone had to get shoved off onto Babenbergerstraße,  and then find their way from there. 



Of course,  the taxis can go up the middle lane.  Bastards.  We have to get in behind that horde.  It wasn’t too bad,  since we only needed to get to the second light. Nobody else was going our way.

The thing is,  I had heard something on the radio,  but it didn’t really register.  This is sometimes the problem I have with dealing with everything in a foreign language.   My guess is that,  had it been in English, I might have picked up on it?  Even that isn’t necessarily a sure fire way of snapping up every little tidbit that comes my way.  I’m just getting a tad dense.  May as well face up to it.

“Did you have eye contact?”  is the first question to be asked if there is any chance of a misunderstanding when it comes to any sort of face to face communication.  It’s usually a good “out”.    I try not to overdo that one,  but it’s usually a fairly safe fall back position.

Just thought I’d pass that along.






Not sure what this protest was about,  but they wanted their freedom,  whoever they were. 



They looked “free” enough. 

It’s a kooky place.  I was feeling a little smug that we decided to stay home. 


And then of course,  as I sit here typing this (or is it “keyboarding”?)  I realise it must be four o’clock,  since I can hear the Hare Krishnas go by.  


Must be a normal Saturday after all.


Have a fine weekend.


Thanks for stopping by.




Thursday, April 26, 2012

Change of season.

I had a couple ideas pop into my wee brain yesterday,  but therein lies the problem.  It wasn’t really anything worth mentioning.

I was a little bit annoyed yesterday morning to get woke up by someone snoring loudly in the bedroom.  Turns out it was me. I think I’m preaching to choir here when it comes to that whole,  “getting old ain’t for sissies” program?  There are so many new things to discover!  It’s just wonderful!



I’m not even sure where the day went to yesterday,  to be quite honest.  I did the usual out and about,  and then Travelling Companion called from the Frankfurt airport at one point to say she was between flights,  but that there was so much time in between that they hadn’t even put the flight up yet.  I never like when that happens,  and it happened to me once in Barcelona.  It turned out that I was in the wrong spot,  and that was because the flight was so late it had been switched to another gate.   I still had lots of time,  and only had to move over by a couple gates,  but it’s still kind of unnerving.


So then it was a matter of heading off to the airport in plenty of time for the pick-up.  Not knowing just what the traffic would be like I left early,   which turned out to be completely unnecessary,  meaning that I had a good 40 minutes to kill while waiting.   The way these things go of course,  had I left at a proper time,  you know exactly what would have happened.  Some idiot would have pranged into another car on the way and I would have been sitting in traffic.   It’s always the way.


Couldn’t help but notice a building they were working on along the Danube canal.  In November of 09,  just after we moved here,  they were knocking the old building down.  It used to be a UN location at one point,  at least that was what our Relocation Lady said.  I’ve never really had reason to doubt that.

So we’re into the third year of construction and there’s still a ways to go.  Just thought you needed to know that.



They are displaying two of the state symbols of Vienna there you’ll notice. 


While I certainly hate being late,  being really super early can be a bit of a drag too.  I did manage to stay awake.  That wasn’t necessarily the case for everyone who was waiting though...





We’ve seen this scene before.


Of course,  if you’re that early,  the flight isn’t even up on the board yet.  *mumble*


Which means there’s no harm in gawking around from time to time (and noticing old guys sleeping).


Oh dear,  looks like SpongeBob won’t be going home with whomever it was he was waiting for.  I think I’ll be looking up now more often. 



Today it was off to the garage to get the winter boots taken off.  Thankfully I’ve done this often enough that  I’m not quite so confused with the routine anymore.  We have a bunch of forms in the back of the Leaseplan folder,  and I’ve filled out enough of them by now that it’s become old hat.   Sometimes I have issues with filling out forms when they’re written in English.  Just saying.



I suppose I could have stuck a picture in here from any of the last visits I’ve made to this place,  but that would be cheating. 


You can see by the clear sky there,  that the weather has once again taken a turn for the better.  Up into the teens today.  I can dig it.


It’s a curious thing about this place,  but for a little while there, it was dead as a fart,  and then when I went to leave,  I could barely get out of there.  There were three or four vehicles at the pumps,  and another two or three getting dropped off for tires or oil changes or whatever.   It wasn’t like it was “lunch time” or anything,  it just suddenly got busy.  Something else you needed to know.




And now,  just for your amusement,  I’d like to leave you with some world class artwork. 



Yup,  that’ll bring in the crowds!

Let’s just hope the cooking is NOT being done by the same guy who did the sign.  Or maybe if it is the same person,  he/she is a better cook than sign painter? 

That question will remain unanswered.  Trust me.


Thanks for coming by.




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Not sexy.

This isn’t the first time a lamp has pooped out in one of the bathrooms.  At first I actually thought it was the same one,  but when I fished it out,  it had paint slathered along one side,  so I knew it wasn’t the same one as before. 

Interior design can certainly be a wondrous thing,  right up until practicality rears its ugly head.  When you see where these fluorescent tubes are located,  you’ll be willing to cut the painter a little slack in terms of trying to get paint up in there.


So I’m sure that wonderful design looked really “sexy” on paper.  But only on paper.

Oh look!  Recessed lighting! 


That dark bit is where a 13 watt lamp used to be.  Took it out a couple weeks ago.  Just haven’t had the right opportunity to go out and get a new one.  There is a place a few blocks from here where I bought one last year some time,  but he’s pricey.  €10 for a little tiny lamp.  I thought instead I’d try my luck at one of the big box type stores,  which is far easier to reach by car.  T.C. is away, remember.  I’m on airport pick-up duty,  so the car is at my disposal.    Well, it turns out it wasn’t  that much cheaper at Obi,  at €7,99,  but at least I didn’t have to walk half way to the first district.


I was a little concerned that it wasn’t the same breed,  but the fellow at the store reassured me that they were all the same.  13 watts is 13 watts apparently.  Just the same,  the little beggar was a tight fit,  and will only go in if you shove in one end first.  Naturally I chose the wrong end to start with.

While I was in Obi of course,  I couldn’t help but walk around and check out at least a couple things.  Seems I’m always drawn to the BBQs for some reason.   We already have two different Webers, I don’t know why I keep looking.

These puppies are a wee bit pricey I thought.




€229?  Jumpin’!   I bought ours at the end of the year in the Netherlands for €150,  and even that was a might painful.  Maybe I keep looking to try and reassure myself that I actually did get the best price?  Not sure.  Mind you,  them coloured ones is purdy.


I also saw this rather intriguing little Makita electric bike.   I was too dumbfounded to take my own picture of course,  so I had to pinch (a rather poor) one off the net. 


  makita bike

As near as I can figure,  these little suckers are pricey as well.  Some outfit in Australia has them on Ebay.  I’ve never been overly impressed with fold-up bike technology, as most of them are way too heavy to be practical.  Brompton makes the bike that everyone should be trying to emulate.  Also pricey,  but well made.  Note that a Brompton weighs in at between 9 and 12 and a half kilograms, (20-28 lbs)  whereas the Makita clunker comes in at a low of 20, to upwards of a whopping 25kg!  No wonder it needs an electric assist.   That’s over 55 lbs.   Eep.

Anyway,  just a little bike diversion.  Looks like you could carry one whole book on the back there.  Just saying.






In my bag of tricks somewhere I have one of those handy dandy little telescopic mirrors that you can carry around in your pocket if need be.   I wasn’t about to rummage around in a couple different tool boxes,  only to discover that I might not have shipped it with the rest of the meagre provisions I brought along.   So thankfully I was able to hang onto Travelling Companions make-up mirror to get up in there.   You can see where the painter simply wasn’t able to get the drywall painted?  Can’t blame him.


Such fun to try and do everything “backwards”,  isn’t it?  By the time I got my brain adjusted,  I was just about ready to put the mirror down.  I was beginning to think I might do a search for the little pocket mirror,  but with enough grunting I was able to get the little bugger in there. 

Much better.

It’s the grunting.  Trust me.



Until the next time.


Mind you,  these are the only bulbs that have burnt out in the whole place.  I would have expected the tiny little halogen pot lights to have had a casualty by now,  but they’re still going strong.  Must be a different kind than the crappy ones I ended up with for the house back home.  I’ve been changing those miserable things out from the low voltage version back to the regular 110 kind on a regular basis right up until we packed up to move in 08.   It’s the stupid little pins that no longer make contact in the stupid little plugs.  Not sure who designed those things.  What’s that expression,  “They don’t know gee from haw”?   Let’s not get started on the engineers,  shall we?


Have to stop now.  I feel a rant coming on.


Hope your day is just peachy.  Bundle where you have to.  (I’ve heard some things)


Thanks for stopping by.




Monday, April 23, 2012

Early morning Monday.

Which is why I don’t seem to be all that fired up with any great pronouncements today. 

It was 4:40 a.m. when the alarm went off,  which is one of the few times when we actually use an alarm,  since I’m normally still fast asleep right about then. At least that’s the plan.  Doesn’t always happen that way.

If it’s along towards six or so,  I just wake up.  Mind you,  just my luck it would be that morning when I’d sleep in,  instead of getting up,  even if it was as late as six.

Departure time this morning for Travelling Companion was 7:00 a.m.  From there of course,  you have to count backwards to the time to leave,  and then from there back to when to get up.  There needs to be at least 10 to 15 minutes of coffee drinking time built in there as well.  Preferably while still under the covers.  Just one of our little habits.  Hate to be rushed.  It’s even worse if there’s been no time for coffee.


It’s “Balance Sheet Review”  season again,  and T.C. will be in the UK until Wednesday afternoon at some point.  Well,  I know when her flight arrives,  I have it written down here somewhere.  

I think.  Now what did I do with that piece of paper?

Kidding,  really!


Yesterday?  What happened yesterday?   Right.  Nothing.

We had a very loose plan to get out….somewhere,  but the weather started to get a bit snotty,  so we gave that a pass.  Cool and blustery just doesn’t work for me if I’m going to be a reluctant tourist.  That’s just the way it is.

I happened to notice this on Saturday morning when out for a few groceries.  Hadn’t seen it before.



Well there you go.  Gluten free beer.  At first I didn’t realise there was gluten in beer.  But of course there is,  since any “Weißbier”  (which I used to think only meant “white beer”)  is actually a wheat beer.   The other term for it is,  “Weizenbier”,  since “Weizen” is wheat.  

There’s your beer lesson for today.

So,  for those with Celiac disease,  you too can have a beer belly.   Aren’t you thrilled?


Other than that,  I only have this to offer.   Mostly since I had taken one more bike related picture on Saturday but forgot.  (like that’s a stretch)

This was taken at about 9:00 a.m.,  so the bike had been there for the night I would think.   With a book sitting on the rack.


Just sitting there.

The funny thing is,  it took me a couple minutes just now to find something on the web having to do with the author,  and then the book.

My impression,  which quite possibly is wrong, is that the contents of said bicycle rack book is something along the lines of a dime store romance,  which may very explain why it was left there untouched. 

I suppose if you write enough cr*p,  somebody is bound to read it.   He *the kettle* said,  while calling *the pot* black.  Hey, Ms. Wood is a published author,  so I think I need to shut the hell up.


Anyway,  such are some of the little mysteries of city life.  I’ve not been back to see if the book is still there.  I’m sure whoever owned it realised they were missing it and went to fetch it.

T.C. called at around 2:30 p.m. to say she was in a cab on her way to the UK location of TCTCBN.   They have several locations actually,  but the main one for the Electrical Division is in Birmingham.   That’s all the information you get. 


I’m sure she’ll call again tonight when she’s in her hotel room.  That’s the usual protocol.


So keep those sticks…. right where I can see them.


Thanks for lookin’.



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday shopping.

I don’t seem to have a lot of words in me today,  so I’ll do a little picture montage,  and you can sort it out.



Here’s how we got there…*link*



Not for me. 

I just thought,  “who’s going to know?”

I’ll stick with Stanfields,  thanks.



Then as we were getting close to home again,  we spotted this guy riding in a box.




Just chillin’.


I think the dog and the bike were of a similar vintage.


Then there was the prize.



Unfortunately you don’t get to see either of the two purses that Travelling Companion bought.  Some lucky person might (*might*) get one as a gift at some point.




This was more my speed.



I bought two books for a Euro.


We won’t mention how much the stuff from that other place was.

If you do choose to go on line and look around,  make sure you’re sitting down.


Hope your weekend is treating you OK.


Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Just a Friday.

I had another title that I thought I’d use,  but I had second thoughts.  It had to do with the number of hours that T.C. works and a few other pithy remarks.

The secondary reason for my frustration,  and hence the need to ‘beak off’ in Live Writer (since I started this missive last night already),  is that just about every afternoon from about 3 or 4 on,  the internet in these parts slows to a crawl.  Actually,  if it were at all possible,  it think it turns right around and goes backwards.

Of course,  I know it doesn’t work that way.  It just seems like it.


And that’s because the rest of Austria has gone home for the day and is on the internet.  That’s my theory anyway.   I think it was a bit beyond that last night though,  since by the time T.C. decided to pack it in and tried to call home,  she couldn’t get through,  since the net was down.  Thankfully I keep my mobile phone handy.

Our phone is through our internet service provider,  in whose office someone manages to trip over and unplug an extension cord every evening.   Oh, did I mention the internet going backwards? 

Right,  I think I need to move on.



I am entirely thankful and aware that it’s a good thing to live in a place with gobs of windows,  but what started out as a nice day yesterday didn’t actually stay that way.  And why is it that the wind needs to blow against the windows that I’ve just cleaned?  

I suppose I need to be less anal about the windows.  And our internet speed.  Did I just say that?


OK,  I’m done with that.  Really.


The “storm”  or whatever it was that we had,  didn’t seem to last too long,  but every time I looked outside,  the rain was being blown in a different direction.  Makes for half decent sunsets I suppose.



This one could have been a tad nicer without the construction crane.   It wouldn’t seem like Vienna though if we didn’t have construction cranes.



The oil change for the car turned out to be considerably less complicated that we had originally thought.  As part of the service,  BMW Wien will come and pick up the car. 

Now,  I thought they’d somehow just come by with a second driver and drive the thing off.  Silly me.  But no, they use a flat bed tow truck.  Makes blindingly perfect sense I suppose,  as it only involves one other vehicle anyway,  and there’s no need for a second driver.

Travelling Companion didn’t quite realise what the slip of paper was that she had brought in with the service manual when she got home Tuesday night.  It was only then that we figured out what they had done.



I imagine as well that,  whether it’s a brand new vehicle or not,  you don’t want to be putting any extra mileage on somebody’s car.  


There was a comment yesterday about being able to use the “tilde” in Blogger.   Well,  the fact of the matter is,  I cheat.

Not only do I have a file saved in a folder called “blog notes”,  (‘cause then I can find it again,  ‘cause I’m not that bright)  giving me all the html code for the little gems I might need once in a while,  but every so often I quite simply will copy and paste something if I have to.

I really don’t know if this is going to work,  so hopefully you can click on that (below) and see the html codes all spelled out.   There are many others as well,  but this is all I’ve ever needed.



So if I want to use a word like “Mañana”.  it helps to be using a platform like Live Writer,  in which you can do all kinds of things with Hyper Text Mark-up Language.   (Um,  that’s what the HTML stands for.)

Down in the lower left there,  there’s a tab marked “source” which takes me to the code page,  I scroll down to where ever I left off,  being careful not to muck up anything.  (Speaking from experience here)  I then type in,   & # 241,  and when I come back to the “Edit” page,  it’s ‘ñ’. ← that.

¿Verdad?  (oh look, he’s doing it again!)

So there you go, Bob’s yer Uncle!   I wish I knew them all off by heart,  but I don’t.  I used to have them all on a piece of paper,  and then one fine day I had this flash of clarity and thought maybe I could save it as a file!   Wowsers!  

It’s a learning curve,  but in my case it’s such a gradual curve you can barely see it.  

Oh,  so to shove something like that into a comment section on a blog,  I just cheat.  I open the program,  type in whatever I want,  and copy and paste it. 

It has to be kept simple for the old guy,  believe me.


You also have to understand that this is sort of like me giving someone tips on baking.  I’m a one hit wonder when it comes to most everything,  and I only know what I know. 

Your mileage may differ.


I see you’re starting to nod off.  OK, maybe that was me. Time to go.


Thanks for stopping by.




Thursday, April 19, 2012

I got me hoose!

And that’s only because I’ve been wanting to say that for most of the week.  I know my daughter is chuckling.

I don’t need a “noozle” though,  since it’s an air hoose.

She picked it up already from the “pick-up window” at the Lee Valley location in Burlington.  Man, what an invention!

I wasn’t sure if she had to print out the email that I forwarded to her,  but she said she didn’t have to.  Not only that, but it would seem that she only had to mention that she was there for a pick-up for me,  and that was it.  “Bob’s yer Uncle”.  Or in this case,  her Dad. 

Cripes,  I don’t buy THAT MUCH there.  Seriously.





Well,  we wouldn’t want to be kinking under pressure.   No leather whips and high heels.   Oh wait,  maybe that’s “kinky”.   Never mind.  Easily confused.

Actually,  an air hose isn’t going to kink under pressure anyway.  What the heck are they talking about?

It used to be kind of tough to get stuff from Lee Valley,  and then I was delighted to see that they opened a location in my home town!  Only thing was,  they did it the year that we moved to Puerto Rico!  Man,  talk about being torn!  “What?   I have to leave?  But they’re opening a Lee Valley!” 

Meh,  I was able to tough it out.

And now of course,  I can order stuff,  have my faithful servant er, daughter run over and fetch er,  pick it up for me,  and it can be waiting for me when I get home.  Heehee!  *ahem*

Hey,  sometimes you have to do these things for the Dad.  I don’t ask much.  And of course,  if I’m there,  I do my own shopping or picking up.

I swear!  That whole pick-up window program is the best.  You order it on line,  they send a note to let you know it’s ready.  You go there,  glance sideways (trying not snigger in a mocking sort of way) at all the schmucks waiting for their number to be called out,  pick up your little treasures and leave!  It’s just another extension of the “Commando,  swooping in”  kind of shopping that I prefer.   Even if it’s tools.  Really. 


Today’s title might be ever so slightly misleading however,  since when I say “I”,  along with the “Hill-Billy speak” version of “to have”,  as in “I got”?     Well, what that means is,  it was picked up is all.  I have to go home first to use it.  *mumble*   And the “hoose” business?  I never quite identified with “Groundskeeper Willie” from the Simpsons,  but those two words do tend to get tossed about at our house for some reason.  We’re a wee bit simple that way.

And really,  “hoose”,  would be the Scots version of “house”,  if we wanted to split hairs over that one.


We won’t split hairs.

I don’t have that many left.


Other than that,  you’ve quite likely begun to suspect that there’s not too danged much else going on here in Wienerland.  Nary an idiot to be found.  Just another Thursday.

Actually all the people I’ve encountered today were quite pleasant and seemed well, reasonably competent.     Even the little guy on the corner from whom I now buy a paper on Saturdays gives me a cheery “Guten Morgen”.  Almost like a scene out of “It’s a Wonderful Life”,  only without all that snow.

Our weather today has turned out to be quite pleasant, with it being sunny and up in the high teens.  (Celsius people,  Celsius!) Not quite so warm today as it was the other day in Nova Scotia however.  I just happened to give one of my brothers a call on Tuesday, and he casually mentioned that it was in the high twenties.  I really had no reason to doubt his word,  but I just now thought I’d look that up anyway.

It’s always useful to have graphic proof,  yes?


Nova Scotia weather

He’s about 10 minutes from Greenwood,  where they broke a record that was set in 1973.   OK then!   That’s 79°F by the way. 

They’re not actually used to those temperatures,  but he didn’t seem to be complaining.

I sure wouldn’t be.


The well has run dry for today I’m afraid.   So keep it between the ditches.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dealing with idiots.


Just indulge me for a minute and read this,  and then put your pencils down.  Oh,  and I may have to add a comment here and there if that’s OK with you. 


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A prison inmate is suing the hospital where he was circumcised as a newborn, saying he only recently became aware (so what?  he forgot to take a look at the thing?) that he'd undergone the procedure and that it robbed him of his sexual prowess.  (*snort* So we can measure that too,  can we?)

Dean Cochrun, (“Cochrun”?,  seriously??)  28, is asking for $1,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. He also asks in the lawsuit that his foreskin be restored "in the hopes I could feel whole again," (just a minute there,  while I get out a tissue) though he acknowledged that he didn't expect such a restoration to be anything more than aesthetic.

Cochrun, (heeheee) who is imprisoned on a kidnapping conviction, filed the federal lawsuit Friday against Sanford Hospital. Cochrun (oh stop it!!) claims that an "unknown doctor" misled his mother to believe that the procedure was medically necessary. Cochrun (please!  seriously,  I’m busting a gut here!)  argues that the procedure was unnecessary, unethical and without medical benefit.

"I was recently made aware of the fact that I had been (circumcised) and that ... I was robbed of sensitivity during sexual intercourse as well as the sense of security and well-being I am entitled to in my person," he argued in the lawsuit, adding that neither he nor his partners would "have that sensitivity during sexual intercourse and have a normal sex life."  (OK, he’s in prison. I got no words.)

Cochrun isn't represented by a lawyer in the lawsuit, (well,  that’s a relief.  I’m suddenly feeling better about lawyers.)  which includes a letter from Sanford officials responding to a letter requesting that his foreskin be replaced. Patient relations representative DyAnn Smith replied that Sanford would not pay for the procedure.

"There will be no further correspondence about this matter," she wrote.




*phew*.  It’s not even the first of April.  That wasn’t actually what today’s missive was going to touch on,  but I couldn’t help myself.  We’re working up a theme.

First of all,  I have to hand it to the guy.  I mean, if you’re going to come up with some crazy-assed loopy lawsuit,  it may as well be about losing part of your pecker.  I mean, that chick who spilled coffee on herself made out OK.    Besides,   he’s only asking for a thousand.   Oh,  and part of his pecker back.

I think there might be a *slight* complication though?  I’d hazard a guess that when the original doctor did the snippety do da,  that keeping that little bit of skin preserved somehow for future consideration wasn’t really part of the procedure.   I’m not sure what they do with all those little foreskins,  and I just now started doing a search on that very topic,  and I had to stop before I got a definitive answer. (*head spinning*)  He never offered whether or not he was Jewish,  but either way,  I don’t think anyone had the forethought to set it aside?

Waka waka.

(I’m here all afternoon,  be sure and tip your server.)

Ooh, *ouch*,  did I just say,  “tip”?  Gah!


So,  what does he think they’re going to do?  Or, would have done? Remove part of his lower lip and attach it to his manhood?  Well now there’s an idea,  maybe they could do both top and bottom lips?   Yet another definition of “self serve”?

I can’t even put that in print. We’re going down hill fast here kids,  let’s not even go there.

I’ll just let you use your imagination.





OK,  let’s get back to reality here,  and the idiots that we *know*.

Going back to August,  the “Landlords”  have been pissing around with setting up some sort of visit to check up on the condition of the “roof extension”,   which is the term used by one of their representatives.

Originally I got a note from someone back then (in August),   to which I replied that,  at the time we were in fact in Canada,  and that a week’s notice for such a thing was a bit of a waste of everyone’s time.  These people are Austrians,  don’t they know everyone is on vacation?

So that one was cancelled.  My fault.  Sorry.  Didn’t realise I couldn’t leave the country.

Then there’s a note asking about some time in December.  The previous notes had been in German.  After this,  they decide to switch to English,  or some semblance thereof.  Whatever.  

the construction management and we, the property administration, would like to take a look at the roof extension and also your apartment to check how it looks and if everything’s ok after 2,5 years.

Is it possible for you to be at home on Mittwoch, 14.12. , 8-9 a.m.?

Thanks a lot!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen



Anyway,  I’m going to try and cut to the chase here,  and suffice to say that, after a couple more back and forths,  a time was set up for some time between 11:00 and 2:00 p.m. for April the 17th.   Yesterday.

Oh,  and I should mention that,  I had asked this fellow just who exactly are these people that I’m going to be expecting?   He didn’t reply.


The peculiar thing is,  last week (Tuesday,  at that magic time)  somebody shows up at the door,  says they’re representing the Landlord,  he comes in and heads up to the terrace upstairs,   checks a couple things, writes something on the form on his clipboard,  and off he goes.  

Naturally I just figured I had written the wrong date on the calendar,  since that would be entirely possible,  and shot off a note to the Dude from the Landlord office mentioning the fact that there had been someone here a week early.

To make things even more interesting,  Travelling Companion has set up an appointment with the BMW dealer here in town for an oil change for yesterday morning!   It’s not like I have a full schedule or anything,  so it could have been any other day except that one,  but those plans had been made,  and I wasn’t too sure how I was going to be in two places at once.


Landlord Dude shoots a note back saying he’s not sure who was there that morning,  and we’re still on for next week.

Here’s the note I sent back.


Well,  I'm really not sure who it was this morning either.  He didn't leave a card. And you hadn't told me whom I was supposed to be expecting anyway,  so there was certainly no way to check that.
He just said he had something to do with *your company*,  came in,  went up on the Terrace,  had a look in a couple of the clean outs for the chimneys,  and that was it.
Maybe check with the firm that's supposedly coming next week?   I'm certainly not going to cancel the oil change and then have nobody show up.   That would be my prediction.
So,  as far as I'm concerned,  that was "the appointment".  We're done.
Let me know how you make out.
Thanks for your understanding.

So now he starts to get in a panic.   Oh,  and a little too chummy.

Dear Bob,

the appointment next week is of extremely high importance. It wasn’t a misunderstanding. We had to work out the appointment with the tenants of 4 apartments to find the right day and time.

Is there any way you can shift the oil change or give someone a certificate of authority? It’s enough that someone is in your apartment at that time. It doesn’t have to be you at all costs.

Thank you!

So between T.C. and I,  we sort it out,  and I let him know.

My wife has offered to take the car to the dealership in my place.  So I'll be here.
It's my hope that someone will indeed show up.
Until next week then.
Kindest regards.

Have you noticed how I keep repeating that mantra about “showing up”?   Right.

Well,  there they are,  over on the apartment that faces out on Mariahilfer that is still sitting empty since 2009,  since it’s too damned expensive.   Seems to me it was close to three grand a month.  Um, that’s Euros, by the way.



I couldn’t really tell,  but it looked to be about seven of them.  They had their plans,  and were pointing at stuff. 


So I wait.  It’s going to take a little while to make their way over here.  

About an hour or so later,  the doorbell rings,  but there’s only ONE GUY there.   Hm.   What the hell?

Remember my prediction?  Well,  they had seen enough by the second apartment,  and decided to call it a day.   So it was the Dude who had been sending these notes back and forth who quite likely figured that he HAD BETTER come to my door,  or I might just wander down to his office and drag him out by his heels.  

Don’t worry.  I was nice.  Pleasant even.  It’s not his fault he’s an idiot who is caught in the middle between the builder and the owner.   Seems they’re having some minor disagreement over whether or not the final bill should be paid.   After pointing out a few things that wouldn’t be acceptable in “Bob Land”,  I suggested they should keep holding back their money. 


His parting words were to the effect that they wouldn’t need to bother me again.   Got that right. 

Oh, and the oil change?   Wait until tomorrow.


Keep those sticks on the ice,  and thanks for lookin’.