Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The week that was.

Pitiful title.  I know.

I need to snap out of it.   The week that was,  wasn’t nearly long enough,  that’s for sure.   Both Travelling Companion and I have been in a bit of a funk since Daughter Number Two left for Canada yesterday morning.


trying not to cry.

I don’t even remember where we left off.  Some sort of foray into eating veggies.  Not really one of the last things I ever wanted to write about.   I’ll dig out that Quinoa recipe and post it one of these days. 

No,  I didn’t forget and I try and not ignore direct questions.

What I do need to say is,  I have total respect for anyone who can travel all day and then blog about it.  You know who you are.

I don’t know where a person finds the time.  It seems like our days were pretty full,  and even if we weren’t going somewhere or doing something,  we were just sitting and yakking.  There was no way I was going to have my nose glued to a computer screen.   Just sayin’.  Ignorant of me to have the blog come to a grinding halt like that I know,  but such is the way of my priorities.  It will happen again.  Trust me.


So we got the call last night that DNT (OK, Daughter Number Two is Kathryn,  but that’s one of the rare times I’ll post her name,  so pay attention)  had arrived safe and sound back at our Canadian digs.  I’m sure her hubby was glad to see her,  although all sorts of arrangements had been made for food, transportation and visits from enough relations over the week,  that he wasn’t exactly wasting away,  shivering and shaking off in one corner of the basement or anything.  There were a few pictures of food that were sent along on Instagram,  just to torment him ever so slightly.   There was some mention that having the dog and cat constantly follow him around did start to get ever so annoying after about the third day.  I guess the only remaining human in the house wasn’t going to be let out of their sight.  Such is life with pets.

I’m still of the opinion that his job could have spared him for one measly week, although maybe it would have been just too tough on the pets, but what do I know?   It’s tough enough to get T.C. away from her job for more than a few days.  When it came to my illustrious career as a Caretaker,  I had no issues whatsoever sashaying out the door at the start of my vacation with nary a care in the world.  If the school fell in on itself while I was away,  then the only hope would be that it would be all tidied up by the time I got back. 


I’m not going to get too carried away with that whole,  “one cactus is starting to look like the next”  sort of thing when it comes to the trip and all the pictures and such. However, I did put some pictures on Facebook that you’re welcome to browse through.   Slightly better than putting gobs of pictures here,  as not everyone has the bandwidth to download gobs of goop.  That’s my excuse anyway.

Click the link and fingers crossed.

The Book of Face.


I may (may…he says)  talk a little more about the trip over the next few days.   Meh,  we’ll see.  Depends on my mood.

Next on the agenda is to browse through some of the media files my son-in-law put on the new external drive that DNT brought over with her.   I thought it best to have something like that delivered to the house in Canada,  since it’s going to end up back in North America one of these fine days,  and I’d just as soon not have to fart around with adapters forever and ever amen.  

Just needed more room for “stuff”.  There’s never quite enough disk space it seems.


That’s about the extent of it for today kids.   Hope all is well wherever you may find yourself.


Keeps those skates sharp.


Thanks for coming by.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

No meat Monday

If there are any Vegans out there, don’t get too excited,  we were just trying something new. 

Daughter Number Two suggested that we try something called Quinoa. Pronounced “kee-nwa”.  I suppose I’ve lived a sheltered life,  since I had never heard of it,  but that’s not surprising.   It’s very high in protein, similar to couscous apparently,  and was pretty tasty.

We included it in a sort of casserole.


The BBQ was tied up doing the grilled veggies anyway,  so there was no way to BBQ chicken.  So we didn’t have any.  There was enough food,  and for me that’s usually the only necessary factor.  Just fill me up.  It’s all I ask.  And don’t make me gnaw on too much lettuce. 


The “casserole”  (not really a casserole)  kind of looks like crap,  but it was really good.


This isn’t about to be any sort of life altering experience.  We’re having breaded chicken tonight.   Just saying.


Yesterday afternoon,  looking for a place to go,  we decided to take Daughter Number Two over to the Prater.   This would be our second time there in as many months.  We took TC’s sister there back in May.   I suppose it’s a “cultural experience”.  A person should go up on the giant Ferris wheel at some point when on a visit to Vienna.


Plus,  there’s that whole The Third Man connection.  I’m sure you recognised Harry Lime up there.


I’m not going to go crazy here with a gazillion pictures of all the rides.  The beauty of this place is,  there’s no charge to get in,  walk around and gawk.  I have no interest in going on rides,  with the exception of the “Riesenrad”   (The big wheel)  and that was the purpose of our visit.



Daughter Number Two even was able to get a small “horsey fix”.  I didn’t notice any lingering odours.   This is always good.




There’s a certain tackiness to the whole place,  which is well represented by this bench. 


This thing had been in the sun for a few hours,  and the report is, he was “kinda hot”.  And I don’t mean sexy.


One of the locals:


He might have been waiting for someone to pet him,  but T.C.  wasn’t too sure if he might have fleas.   Fleas LOVE Travelling Companion.   He continued across the street and was last seen being fussed over by one of the local vendors.


Anytime there’s a visitor from home,  there’s a very good chance that a few little items arrive as well.





Tried one of the mustards already.  Me like.   Haven’t worked my way all the way through the newspaper yet,  but I’ll get there.

Shall I refer to the sailing analogy again?   Feast or famine I tells ya.

Tomorrow we’re off to Slovenia for a couple days,  and will be staying over night in Bled,  and then on to Ljubljana.  You’ll be sick of the pictures when I’m done.  Believe me.

There may be a brief “Blog-cation”,  depending on time constraints.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping in.



Monday, July 23, 2012

No Pressure!




Ended up getting to the airport a little on the early side,  so we broke with protocol and each had a cup of coffee and a croissant.   Didn’t quite have to take out a mortgage,  but it was of course just slightly more expensive than most other places.   I guess I don’t get out much.  Actually,  I have very little desire to “get out” much.  Just the same, €7,20 for two coffees,  as tasty as they were?   Well,  it’s the airport.

Surprisingly,  the croissants were only one Euro each.  Whatever.

The flight was reasonably on time I guess.  I sort of start to lose track of time after a little while.   It’s not always easy to figure out just exactly which flight is being represented as passengers come through the point of no return.   Of course,  all their luggage is going to have a “Vienna”  tag on it,  so that’s no help.

Of course,  having the attention span of a gnat,  I sometimes start to look around and people watch.  Which means I do sometimes miss the person coming in.  Poor form I realise.  Can’t be helped.


Travelling Companion got a good taste of what it’s like to stand there waiting for someone to emerge,  and even made mention of it at one point.  Yup,  it can be a bit of a drag.   The reward is worth it though.




On the way out to the airport,  there was a bit of a back-up on the highway in the opposite direction,  and I was hoping beyond hope that it was only a rush hour issue.   Turns out it was,   since our return trip wasn’t until around 9:30 or so.

The tricky bit it seemed was getting out of the stupid parking lot!   I’ve never had this issue before,  but for some reason there was a *bit* of a line up of cars trying to get out.  It’s an automatic arrangement,  where you pay for your time at a machine,  and then take your paid ticket with you to the exit,  where you feed the ticket in the slot,  the bar goes up,  and off you go.

Seems there was a problem.




Now,  I don’t have a picture of the final couple minutes,  since I was kinda busy.   The poor bugger in front of me had to back up,  since it spat his ticket out,  so that was a bit of a little dance we had to do with our cars,  and then by the time we got up there,  it was telling me I had to go back to the “Kassa”.   

Not on your life. 

And I know Travelling Companion gets a little embarrassed when I get like this,  but I have a very low tolerance for stupid machines that don’t work.   When the guy in front of me had his ticket come back out at him,  he no doubt got the message that he had to go back to the cash as well,  which is why he had to back up.  Hence the car jockeying.

Well,  it turns out that we had all been sitting there so long that everyone was going to have to return to the ticket machine to pay for the additional time.  So you make me wait far too long,  and then you expect me to pay for it?   

Again,  not on your life.


There was a bit of “playground voice”  on my part,  which is just a notch below yelling.   The reply from the faceless voice at the other end was that I was giving him “too much pressure”.  (I guess he was trying to find the magic button?)   I just said,  “Hey, no pressure,  just lift the bar so we can get out”.    I tersely explained to him that I had paid my nine Euros,  and it was time to leave.  

Even if the ticket machine hadn’t been behind us by something like 20 car lengths,  there was no chance I was going back there. 

The bar went up,  we left.   Not sure what happened to all the cars behind us,  as they had been sitting there as long as us,  but I would imagine that once they witness the crazy foreign guy get his way,  they might have tried the same tactic.   We’ll never know.


So by this point in the day, Daughter Number Two has had a bit of a nap,  and we’ve been out and about.   I’ll catch up on that tomorrow.   The pictures are still on the camera.  I’m not only hungry,  but there’s a beer in the fridge calling to me.


Have a pleasant evening,  and thanks for coming ‘round.



Saturday, July 21, 2012

My kind of day.





We interrupt this post to mention the following.  This is number 700.


Now if I get anyone hanging around here as a result of searching “The 700 Club”  (no link provided, sorry)  I’ll be really annoyed.   TV hucksters don’t sit well with me, but we won’t go there.


I’ll admit that,  “My kind of day”, is a bit misleading.   Weather wise yes,  it’s certainly my kind of day.  Kind of overcast,  threatening rain that never comes along.  A bit cool.   Damned near perfect.  I think we got up to 20°C.   


Actually,  “my kind of day”,  would be spent in this place: 


poacher group and sailing 018

Actually,  that’s a pretty old picture.  I’m sure I must have something more recent in the “archives”.  That cabinet does have doors,  and I’ve done a couple other things to the shop. 


Travelling Companion still refers to it as “The Garage”.  *pfft*  The nerve.

I’m not firing up a spare drive and rummaging through photos to find the latest pic.  Just too comfy here on the comfy couch.


There were shelves on that wall for about 20 years,  and then I thought maybe I’d make an actual,  honest to goodness tool cabinet.  Not done yet.  There’s still some blank bits to fill.  There are tools hidden all over the place.

This too shall come to pass.


This is where the kernel of the idea came from,  with a couple minor changes of my own.  With kudos to Fine Woodworking.

tool cabinet

And really,  I probably have as many bits and bobs as this guy.  It’s surprising/scary. 

*ssshh*  Don’t tell.


I had some cherry plywood left over from a little bedroom project from a few years back so,  I mean,  why not use it to build a tool cabinet?  Some sort of “fuzzy woodworker logic”.



Um ya.  I like things “built in”.  There are 12 drawers and a couple hanging closets.  The three drawers at the bottom are in the kick space.   Hated to see it go to waste.

See that Seth Thomas mantle clock in the case there?   That was a wedding present for my grandparents on my father’s side in something like 1895.  If I ever remembered to wind it,  it would still keep time.


Of course,  once we do get moved back to the homeland, the dilemma will no doubt be that,  I’ll be too flippin’ busy to carry on with my little “shop improvement” project(s).   This has been the problem all along,  and the only reason why I started on that little venture during the times when we were only home for a visit.   Visits are too short to start on any kind of big assed home improvement thing,  but fiddling away at this sort of project is something I can get away with.  Out there “hiding” in my shop.  That’s the official version,  by the way.

It’s kind of like the car mechanic who has no time to work on his own car,  and drives something that runs,  but just barely.  


Not too much else happening here in Wienerland.  Travelling Companion is catching up on a couple episodes of a TV series we’ve been watching.   We’re at cross purposes when it comes to that sort of thing,  since we start off watching together,  and then I look over and she’s asleep.  Of course,  one of the neat things about media files is,  a person can just go back and watch it all again.  Hopefully I don’t go in the next room to discover that she’s nodded off again.  That would mean another “do-over”.

For my part,  I could stay up all flippin’ night watching stuff.  It just has the opposite affect on me. 

Watching an entire TV series can be a drawn out affair,  since she never seems to get through an entire episode.  Besides having to do the “do overs”, we’ll never run out of stuff to watch,  that’s for sure.

I probably have a good two terabytes of media files.  The mind boggles.  One terabyte is probably over 100 DVD sized files.  So if it takes a couple hours to watch the average DVD?   Right, I think you get the idea.


Here’s hoping your weekend is all you hoped it would be.


Thanks for stopping in.



Friday, July 20, 2012

Wearing down the weeks.

Received an email from Daughter Number One a few days ago indicating her flight was booked for August 24th.   She’s coming over with a cousin,  and cousin’s Mom.   Cousin’s Mom would be Travelling Companion’s sister.  Well one of them.  She has five.  Four of them have come for a visit.  The one brother is looking at a trip in the fall.  Everyone has been given fair warning.  

Of course,  this is not to be confused with the arrival of Daughter Number Two on Monday.  Just saying.

TCTCBN (The Company that Cannot be Named)  has somehow wangled (that’s a word,  right?)  an extension for T.C.’s  visa until the end of the year.   Apparently, I’ll be in contact with the lawyers in a month or so to extend my legal status.   Swell.

I can live with the end of the year program.  Home for Christmas.   Where, by the way,  I have gobs of Christmas music other than the stuff I was going on about yesterday.  Even though some of it might involve crooners.  If applied in measured doses,  it can be acceptable.

Note.  *measured doses*


Last Christmas was the first ever that we spent outside of Canada.  Thought we’d try it.  Didn’t care for it much.  Some day maybe we’ll take another shot at it.  I have no issues being say,  somewhere warm over Christmas?,  but just need a few more folks around in the relations/friends department.  Didn’t know we’d miss them that much.

Well,  I think the other thing too is,  we haven’t been home since last August.   Yes kids,  we’re coming up on a year.  That’s sort of the other side of the coin.  So if we didn’t go home for Christmas,  maybe we could have gone home for Easter?  Summer Solstice?  I’m open.


So that’s the brief synopsis of the future as we know it.  If The Company that Cannot be Named manages to come up with a replacement for T.C.,  there’s an extremely good chance that,  not only will she be once again involved in this thing called “Profit Plan”,   (AKA the “Dreaded Profit Plan” to some)  but will also quite likely be obliged to take the newbie around to all the locations. 

Denmark, UK, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia,  and Spain.  I think that’s it.  She does go up to Bonn from time to time as well,  but that one is kind of out in left field.   I think that’s mostly just a meeting thing.  Same as Switzerland.  Just meetings.


Anyway,  enough of that. 

It’s a reasonably normal Friday here in Wienerland.  We’re taking a little break from Summer for a few days,  with the temperatures in the teens for the most part (Celsius,  hello?)  and I’m OK with that.  It tries to rain from time to time,  so best not to go too far without an umbrella.   Summer will resume in a few days I’m sure.  Well,  let’s hope.

I finally got around to a little job that I had been dreading,  which turned out to be not worth the dread. 

How does that work anyway?   The “little jobs” that you think will be a piece of cake take twice as long as expected,  and dreaded ones sometimes are nothing at all.  Sometimes.

I thought we had somehow buggered up one of the receptacles in the hallway,  but it turns out it’s just well,  poorly engineered.  We have our share of poorly engineered electrical stuff back home,  so it’s not like it’s anything new.

Of course,  it never occurred to me to take a picture until I had already taken the thing apart.


Have to remember,  it’s ALL ABOUT the blog. 

OK, not really.


So the stupid thing is,  the only reason it was loose,  was because it had popped out of the screws holding the top and bottom in place.  Here I thought it was busted.


Then of course to make them hold,  the whole thing needs to be slightly off kilter.  Swell.

That explains why some of the receptacles look like their crooked. It’s because they are.  If they were put in straight,  they’d just pop out again.  Well isn’t that special?



So it bugs me ever so slightly that it’s off kilter,  but I can live with it.  Just have to look away.

I’ve never really bothered to look and see if there are a couple different levels of quality when it comes to these things,  since it’s never been something to think about.  We do have “heavy duty” receptacles in North America for places like the kitchen,  where you know appliances are going to be plugged in and removed over and over again.  They’re usually about 5 times the price you pay for the regular ones.  I somehow suspect that all of them in this place are of the same (lower) quality.   Just a guess.


Travelling Companion just called to say she was on her way,  but sitting in traffic.  Pretty much par for the course.  She wants to get in to the “Friseur” for a little touch up.  Other details of T.C. and her hair will not be forthcoming.  Sorry.

There have been no Elvis sightings today. 

Just wanted let you know.


Thanks for coming ‘round.



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Just in time.

And by that I mean,  we got back here just in time. 

We just had another huge front move through,  and the temperature dropped from 33 down to 20°C in the span of well,  not too danged long. 


It was a darned good thing I left early too,  since I had this idea I’d have issues getting out of the city.  It’s getting so there are construction sites just about everywhere,  and it can be a little vexing.  The location where I took that early morning photo yesterday is a spot where not only do two streets merge,  but now they both have to come together into one lane.   That took a while.  I figured I’d be OK though,  since I had given myself over an hour for what normally takes roughly a half hour.   Took twenty minutes just to get past these guys.


They’ve had it ripped up there for some time,  so at least now they’re pouring concrete.  I’ve not seen any of it cracking either.  They seem to know what they’re doing.

Had to stop and take a picture of this gorgeous merc on the way out of the parking garage. 



Someone was getting in the thing when we were coming home again,  so I certainly hope they weren’t out driving it in the rainstorm.  That would just be wrong.  I’m thinking it’s a 1960 190.   You’re welcome to correct me if I’m wrong.    And before you get all excited,  the 220 had some extra chrome work along the side,  so I don’t think it’s a 220.   Just saying.   Do you care?


Some people do you know.    I really only have a passing interest.


Kind of like this sign that I saw this morning.

I was passing,  and it caught my interest.



You know,  I never was a big fan of Elvis,  but I do remember being somewhat shocked that one August morning back in ‘77 when his death was splashed across the top of the Toronto Sun.   Isn’t that whom they’re talking about?  I don’t think the Habsburgs are coming back any time soon. 

Mind you, I’m pretty much alone in my somewhat less than enthusiastic views when it comes to the “King”.   Travelling Companion is a bit of a fan.  So much so that,  at Christmas time,  if I had heard “Blue blue Christmas” (or whatever the heck it’s called) ONE MORE TIME,  my head was going to explode.   I even went out and bought some different Christmas music.  That’s when you really get to put the “Christ!”  in Christmas.  I’ll not repeat what I may or may not have actually said.   I may have sensitive readers after all. 


If anyone has their guitar handy and wants to play along,  be my guest.


I’ll admit,  it’s NOT THAT BAD.  The guitar licks are half decent and all,  but play it fifteen times and see how you feel.   I dares ya.



Ever watch paint dry?  How about rain fall?

Hard to capture the craziness.  Turn up the volume I suppose.



Have a nice evening.  Ours just got considerably cooler.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping in.



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Up at Dark-thirty.

Actually,  we were really up at Dark,  and had our coffee in bed until Dark-thirty.   Had to leave by five,  at which point it was no longer quite so dark out.   Surprising how quickly the days are starting to get shorter.  Not sure I like it.

One thing I’ll have to admit,  even though I enjoy the mornings (mostly),  I’ve never been all that keen on getting up in the dark.  Reminds me too much of work.  Usually along with the dark,  it’s cold.  Probably should undergo hypnosis or something to try and get rid of that connection.



Not a whole lot of action on the streets of Vienna in the early hours.  I can dig it. 

Today Travelling Companion was off to Serbia.  Early flight to Belgrade,  picked up and driven to Sremska Mitrovica.    Seems to me boarding time was 5:40.   I was back in Vienna by 5:45 and back home by 6:00.  

One of the few times I noticed absolutely nobody around the State Opera.



Not that it’s such a wonderful photo or anything,  but I’m just putting it in here as a matter of credibility. 

This trip to Serbia for Travelling Companion may be her last.   She took along one of her associates,  and he is going to be signing off on the accounting hokus pokus that they’ll be doing.   It’s not as big a deal as Romania was a couple weeks ago,  so they’re only there for the two days.  They were in Romania for four.  I’ll pick her up again tomorrow afternoon.  

It’s an Austrian Air flight,  on a Fokker 100.  T.C. isn’t really keen on planes that are too small,  so thankfully it isn’t a little Fokker.


That was pretty bad.  I know.  No more Fokker puns.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve driven to that airport.  Really.  I do recall that I made 18 trips to the airport in San Juan from our place in Cabo Rojo,  but we were only there for roughly a year.  It was slightly over a two hour drive.  A person tends to remember those things.   It seems I’m at the airport here roughly twice a month.    The difference of course was,  all those trips in Puerto Rico,  or most of them,  were to pick up visitors.  T.C. was a plant controller back then,  and only had to go back to the mainland in the fall for “Profit Plan”.  I imagine that her then boss (which is the level she’s at now) would have been racking up the air miles.  He had to come down from the mainland. I think he had to head off to South America somewhere from time to time too,  but I don’t really recall.  I almost put in the name of the city where the head office is located there,  but then you might have guessed who the Company that Cannot be Named might be!   Can’t have that!   One fine day if you hang around long enough,  you’ll find out.   Or one of us will keel over. 

Patience Grasshopper.


Of course,  we’ll be heading back to the airport again Monday morning,  as Daughter Number Two will be coming in from Toronto at around 8:30., more or less.   With the overseas flights,  there’s a window there of sometimes almost an hour.  Depends on the jet stream.  That kind of stuff. 

So I guess that’ll make three trips to the airport in July?   No wait,  actually four,  as she’s only here for roughly a week.  Kinda sucks,  but that was all the time she could spare.  Such is life when you’re young and working. 

Nothing much else going on today.  A little groggy.  Might have to take a brief nap a bit later.


Thanks for stopping by.



Monday, July 16, 2012


Nothing vulgar.  Really.  Ever heard of “Chuggers”?  Apparently it’s a phrase coined by the Brits as a way of condensing “Charity Muggers” into one word.   We have them here in Vienna,  although my impression is that they’re much more aggressive on the “High Street”  (British term for any main drag in town)  in cities like London and such.

These are the people who sometimes try to solicit donations from you on the street as you’re passing by minding your business.  Some are more aggressive than others.   Quite often they’ll sort of leap out in front of you,  flashing a smile as they start their little sales pitch.

Typically,  they don’t give me a second look.  Or, in a similar fashion to the way a pitcher might be able to “look back”  a runner trying to steal from first to second base,  they just know better than to approach me.  I’m not usually that surly looking,  but I have my moments,  and sometimes a look is all it takes.

I seem to recall,  and this was maybe a couple years ago,  I just happened to be a few paces behind a well dressed young lady who brushed off an approaching Chugger by simply saying,  “Das geht nicht”,  with a sort of quick sweeping hand gesture.   Duly noted.   I’ve done that a few times.   Saying “Das geht nicht”,  isn’t quite so sharp as saying something like “piss off”,  and instead is more along the lines of “That ain’t happenin’,”  To put it in some sort of Caretaking Vernacular.

It just so happens that I had a little chat with a Chugger this morning.  Of course,  I suppose I could have given her the brush off,  but I had a little of that,  “just try me”  thing going through my head.   A dangerous place, that.   I had just been briefly chatting with at least one shop keeper and one other person in German,  so my wheels were well greased,  but just the same,  the first thing I said to this young lady was,  “Well now,  this will be a chance for you to practise your English”.    I was chuckling ever so slightly inside,  was that mean?

Sometimes what happens is,  they simply skulk away,  since their English is so pitiful.  To her credit however,  she dove in.  Still didn’t get any money.  We had a little chat about taxes,  where we call home,  the charities that I CHOOSE to donate to,  along with tax receipts, and how there would be no way in hell I’d give out any kind of information to a total stranger on the street.   I didn’t really mention anything about the particular charity she was collecting for,  nor what my thoughts about starving little waifs off in some foreign lands might be.  You probably don’t want to know either.

Oh,  and of course the other thing worth mentioning is, this person isn’t exactly donating their time either.  Unlike someone in your community who comes to your door looking for a donation to the Diabetic Association for example,  and who is volunteering their time,  these people are being paid.   Along with their supervisor,  as well as a host of others up the chain.  So by the time the money gets out to the poor waifs in rural Saskatchewan  or areas of Detroit devastated by lack of jobs Africa,  there’s not a whole heck of a lot left over.  Actually,  I haven’t a clue about rural Saskatchewan,  but I’m damned sure there are folks in Detroit who are hurting.   That’s the other thing,  we have our own local “poor people”.  I’d sooner go down to the food bank and drop something off,   or give clothes or whatever.  Sorry there,  African people,  we have our own issues to sort out.  

Maybe I should have pointed down the street to the lady who had “two babies and was sleeping on the street”?  That would be a good place to start.   I always wonder,  where are these babies?  If she’s out begging,  who is looking after them?   Maybe one day I’ll ask.   Mind you,   my Romanian is a tad weak.


On a more positive note,  somebody had a birthday this weekend. 



Not telling who that might be.    I’m probably already in trouble. 

There was a complete lack of segue in there.  Sorry.

One week today and Daughter Number Two will be coming in from Toronto.  She can only spare a week and her hubby couldn’t come at all.  *sniff*,  but we’ll manage.   Of course,  he hasn’t had any kind of a bachelor life for a few years now,  so hopefully he doesn’t slip into a peanut butter and jelly induced coma or something.  Might have to get one of the relations to check in on him from time to time.  See if he’s still ambulatory.   I’m being a little facetious here,  since he’s probably a better cook than I,  but when a guy is by himself?  Um, ya.  All bets are off.

I think that’s it for my little pea brain for today.


We’re wearing down the weeks.


Thanks for stopping in.




Friday, July 13, 2012

Slightly miserable.

I’m referring to the weather by the way,  not me.  Although I have had my moments.   Just the other day I was grumbling about having to iron every freakin’ piece of clothing that I want to put on.   Well,  except socks and underwear.   But seriously!  I’m getting sick of it.


This was coming up on 10:00 this morning.  Not a lot of shoppers out there.   Wimps.

Admittedly,  we did go from something like 34°C down to 13°C in about a day and a half,  so it’s a bit of an adjustment.  I realised at one point this morning I needed to close the balcony door,  or the heat might come on.  

That’ll never do.  

I don’t try and mess around with the thermostat anymore.  The heating system itself is awesome.   It’s hydronic,  as is the case with our system back in Canada (a boiler system)  but unfortunately,  the thermostat is a real “piece of work”.  Nothing about changing the settings on that thing is easy,  even after I found an English version of the manual on line and printed out a copy.  Apparently the language barrier wasn’t the problem.   It was designed by monkeys.  And no,  I don’t mean Monkees,  as in “Hey,  hey we’re the Monkees”.   They could have probably done a better job,  not that I was ever a big fan.






Sooo easily distracted.   Terribly sorry.

It’s only 54 seconds,  so at least the distractions I stick in here are short, although whether sweet or not is up for debate. Whether you consider yourself a “Master” or not,  there will be no debating.

Feel free to add a gratuitous “Waka waka”  at your leisure.





It had to happen.



Although I’m not sure which is worse.  Squishing along with bare wet feet in sandals,  or ending up with the bottoms of my jeans getting wet.  The rain has been coming down for most of the day, sometimes with a vengeance.  I can handle having slightly cool tootsies, but the problems start when the wet sandals end up creating sore spots.  I need them feet for getting around,  so there will be no blisters or other irritations.   Best to just face up to it,  and put the socks on.  *grumble*

To paraphrase Chet Atkins, “All (grammatical) mistakes are intentional.”


Speaking of boredom,  we’ve been getting ever so slightly sick of eating lately.  Mind you, Travelling Companion’s appointment with her doc Wednesday afternoon was just fine and dandy,   since after the usual hole punching and blood letting,  she was told her "numbers”  were just fine.   When the doc wondered aloud why things had been so out of whack on the last visit (three months ago)  T.C. simply pointed out that,  we’ve been staying away from restaurants

Of course what that means is,  Muggins here does the cooking.  Swell.  No rest for the wicked.

I’m about as creative as a post,  and eventually I just get sick of trying to come up with stuff.   First it’s the ironing,  now the cooking.  What a complainer.

Thankfully we have the internet.  For all its faults,  there’s information out there galore.  When the internet is “down”,  Bob’s not really happy.  Just sayin’.


So here we have, ‘Cooking for dummies’.


Never hurts to be able to look over someone’s shoulder and see how things are supposed to turn out.  I need all the help I can get.


It doesn’t really look like the picture on the computer screen,  but I didn’t use green pepper.   For the colour end of things,  the green would have been prettier,  but I like the taste of the red and yellow ones more.  I had some pineapple left over from something we had the other night,  along with some perfect pepper pieces. (with pineapple!) 



  (try not to spit on your computer screen)


We scarfed it down in short order.   Either T.C. was being extremely polite,  or she liked it as much as I did.

Maybe it’s some sort of carry over from the time I spent working in restaurants,  but I tend to do “salad prep”,  whereby I wash and cut up the stuff ahead of time,  and then add it to the salad when it gets to the table.  Sometimes we get tired of salad before we get through it all,  so it ends up going on the BBQ or in a dish like this.  This one might be a repeater.


Now,  study these pictures carefully.




I have no opinion.  I only included these images for your entertainment.   Something to do with recycling is my guess.   Saw them Wednesday night on the way back from the doctor’s  office.   I gotta get out more.  There’s probably way more weird shit out there that I’m missing out on. 

I think I’ll live.


I think I’ve run out of words for today.  No more possibly perturbing pithy prognostications on the plethora of pepper preparation proposals….

Ah hell,  I forgot what I was going to say.

Oh right!….with pineapple



Thanks for coming by.   Keep those sticks on the ice.



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Almost chilly.


The sky last night.



And no,  I don’t mean “Chilli”,  so it won’t be “Hot Tamale”.  So sorry.



the sky this morning.

I try to make sure to include the state symbol of Vienna in all these sky pictures.  (this is when you insert the sarcasm font?)


Something blew in,  and it has clouded over and cooled off.  It’s all good.  I refuse to wear socks however.   I’d like to put that off for as long as possible,  or until we go to the opera Sunday night,  whichever comes first.  The weather forecast doesn’t look all that peachy-keen for the next couple days,  but we’ll be prepared.  It’s another one of these outdoor things,  so warm clothing and an umbrella is kind of important. 

More on that later. 

Speaking of morons. 

Didn’t see that coming did you?  

It seems like there just HAS to be someone pounding/hammering/whatever somewhere.   So not only do we have the wrecking crew around the corner at the C & A,  but now we have another crew doing a roof on a building that faces Zieglergaße.

It’s an amazing thing how sound carries across the rooftops. 

You might also be amazed when you see how these guys are working.


Step away from the edge!

Dude! What are you doing?

I can't watch anymore.

I found it difficult to watch.  I can’t clutch my butt for very long it seems.

Do you see anything missing?

Looks like a fair drop to the ground below I would guess.  I figure we’re on about the seventh floor,  so that must be up around number five or so.  I think you’d only want to come off there once.

I’m as adverse to bureaucracy as the next fellow,  but I think there’s something about safety equipment that comes to mind here.  I suppose they figure that since they’re not visible from the street,  that perhaps it’s OK.

I can’t speak to the laws in other places,  but for a few years now,  in the province of Ontario, where we have this entity called the Ministry of Labour, they take a really dim view of anyone working at that height without a safety harness or some sort of “fall arrest”  device.

If you wish to gloat over the misfortune and or stupidity of others,  there’s a fine example here.   All of the Caretakers had been warned about that 10,000 dollar fine thing.  Seems at least our management types weren’t kidding.   I suppose the worker who fell is lucky to have only “sustained serious injuries”.   It’s all a matter of what one considers ‘lucky’.



That one got me out of having to go up on the roof of the school once a week to fetch the balls.  Initially the “deal” was,  you shouldn’t really go within 10 feet of the edge.  (I think it was in meters,  but I forget)  but that was really only supposed to be for the twice annual roof inspections.  Someone let a cat out of a bag,  and one of the suits at the Board Office found out that most Head Caretakers were going onto the roof of their buildings once a week for this ball gathering foolishness,  and in fairly short order,  a rather terse email was sent out to all parties to stop that practise immediately.  This came straight from the “Health and Safety” Dude.  

I think I recall saying out loud as I read that email,  “Yesssss”.  I might have even pumped my fist.

I made sure to very politely forward that email to the administrator of my schoolalong with my apologies, and how I would no longer be able to go onto the roof to get the balls.  And please tell the kids I’m sorry.  *snigger*  

You know,  there’s a certain amount of acting involved I find.  To this day, I’m sure that administrator thinks I was genuinely sorry.   *snort*   Right.

And before you think, “Oh,  but Bob,  what if someone accidentally kicks their ball on the roof?”   Well,  just hang on there.  Not only have I seen with my very own eyes kids deliberately punting sh*t onto the roof,  but sometimes it was within a couple minutes of me sending it down to them.   The funny thing is,  once the word got around that the sucker Caretaker was no longer going up there,  the number of these ‘accidents’ dropped significantly.  Well now,  isn’t that a curious thing?  I mean, I never could figure out how a soccer ball could make its way from the soccer pitch aaaaall the way over onto the roof.  We’re talking a couple hundred meters here.   That’s a helluva good kick.  But I was never very good at physics,  so what do I know? 


This thought just occurred to me,  and I think I’ve said this before.  If I wanted to make the effort,  I’m sure I could go out every day in this here fine city,  and find examples of utter stupidity.  I’m not so sure I can handle feeling that smart,  so I had best leave that alone.


Hope your having a fine day wherever you may be.


Thanks for looking in.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The life of the simple minded.

There were a couple other titles that came to mind.  Things like, “Ha,  what did I say?”   Or,  to quote Forest Gump,  “Stupid is as Stupid does”.  

You can come up with your own I’m sure.

I mentioned yesterday about paying the cops overtime for the Saturday night?  I don’t know this for a fact,  but I doubt very much that the little town of Klosterneuburg has eighty of Austria’s finest running around to keep an eye on things. 

Well,  as I was coming back home this morning after dropping Travelling Companion off at work,  I heard something about a €7,000 fine,  and had only caught the tale end of that part of the news,  so I didn’t really put it together,  until I saw this in the “rag” this morning.


There’s the bright boy.


So,  is that One Euro for every person who showed up?  Or did the authorities pick a number out of the air?   Either way,  it works for me.   

In case your German is a bit weak,  the big print in white says,  “wanted to only invite 80”.   

Eighty?  Seriously?

See,  right there I’d have a problem.   And he’s 16.   Should I rhyme off all the things I could NOT do when I was 16?   Even going to a party?   Oh my,  there were such HUGE pre-conditions.  Who’s going?  Who are the parents?  How many are invited?  Which adults will be in the house?   Where is this place?

Oh yes,  I remember all those questions.  A feller learns to do his homework ahead of time in order to answer as many as possible.  And whatever you do,  don’t hesitate with the answers.  It’s a sign of weakness.

Not quite as difficult as seeking the Holy Grail,  but almost.



Makes me laugh every time.


When our two kids were both teenagers,  I’m pretty sure they would have been hard pressed to come up with 80 guests between them,  and if they had,  we would have said, “NO”.   Among other things.

And yes,  I had read about the little dough head up in Germany who had 15,000 show up on her street.   She hid out at her Grandmother’s.   It’s getting so the cops now randomly check out Facebook,  looking for more stupidity.   Good for them. Best to nip it in the bud where possible.   I’m thinking the Austrian BP (Bundespolizei) will be scanning Facebook from now on.  Probably something they should have figured out by now.  But really,  once the word is out,  it’s too late for the scanning phase.  That ship has sailed.


I feel my head about to explode here so I’d better ease up.


Here’s a nice picture of a loaf of banana bread.



Isn’t that special?

I only mention it,  since I was a little taken aback last week when I absolutely messed up in the baking department and had some sort of horrid thing emerge from the oven.  Came as a bit of a surprise,  since what normally emerges is pretty tasty and half decent looking.   I’m not entirely sure,  or at least I’m not willing to admit it,  but there’s an exceedingly good chance that I left out an ingredient.  And I mean like,  a big one.   OK,  I’ll admit it.  Possibly sugar.   I’m not sure just when the amnesia set in,  but there was a bit of a gap there…

What a dope.


See?   We’re all capable of doing stupid things,  it’s just a matter of degree.   The result of my “stupid thing”  ended up in the round file.  No harm and no foul.  Well,  and no banana bread.

It’s being incinerated as we speak.

Well,  maybe.  Who knows really?   The boys with the big truck came and picked it up with the rest of the smelly stuff and carted it off.  Most waste gets incinerated in Vienna as near as I can figure.


I don’t think I’ll be seeing my sorry face in the paper any time soon over a buggered up loaf of banana bread.


I have no delusions of grandeur,  and I try to keep my stupidity (mostly) to myself.


Just think,  the next time you do some silly little thing,  you’ll only need to reflect back on one of these Facebook stories and say to yourself,  “Well,  at least I’m smarter than that guy!”  


I know I sure feel better.


Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some folks got no larnin’

This was an expression that was used by some gentle folks whom I once met just outside of Ludlow, New Brunswick.  It refers to someone who may very well have some “education” but moreover, lack common sense.   It’s not that common it seems.

I’m not talking about this guy,  he was just out there this morning playing his heart out on the corner of Neubaugaße and Mariahilferstraße.


He actually didn’t entirely suck,  although I don’t recall what he was playing.  I know it wasn’t “Lady of Spain”,  but it was a recognisable tune.  Sometimes they’re not.  I rarely give money,  and only if the person can play better than I,  which was the case here,  but I still wasn’t feeling generous.  Not nice,  I know.

It was already getting kind of late,   the beggars and nut jobs were already out and about,  and the heat was building.  I wasn’t hanging around for any musical interlude.

I remember this one time we were in Halifax wandering around,  and there was a “gentleman”  there with a guitar. I was almost going to say, “playing a guitar”,  but that would just be wrong.  He was so BAD,  that I just looked at my brother and said,  “You should have brought your guitar!”   Because this guy was actually collecting money for well,  carrying a guitar around,  and beating at it in the general vicinity of where the strings are...  Kind of painful to listen to as I recall.


Where was I? 

Right,  I wanted to mention this little story.



These are snippets from both yesterday and today’s rag.   Apparently,  some jack-ass in one of the little towns nearby,  thought it might be a fun idea to have a little party at his house,  since his parents were away.   He made the mistake of putting it on Facebook.   When roughly 1400 people said they’d be there,  he got a little panicky.   At some point the parents got involved (maybe about time?)  and thought it prudent to hire a security company and then also contact the cops.   80 policemen were sent to the house on the night of the gathering to try and persuade everyone to go home. Only 700 showed up.  Not sure how they were able to count them,  but I’ll take their word for it.  Sucks when you have to bring in extra cops on a Saturday night and pay them overtime.

I think if I were on the local council,  I’d be looking to the family to recover those costs.  Just sayin’.


Meanwhile,   the jack-ass had long since made it public that the party was called off,  (like that was going to work) and had buggered off to Vienna.  I do realise that calling this young lad by that name is an insult to jack-asses everywhere,  and I do apologise.

The newspaper used the term “Witzbold”,  which is kind of like a “joker”.  I prefer jack-ass myself.


keeping donkeys


So,  the question is,  haven’t we learned about this kind of thing?  I don’t mean the slight lack of parenting skills,  that’s a whole other subject.   I’m talking about that whole “let’s put it on Facebook!”  thing.

I mean,  it’s been in the news.  It’s not clever to advertise any kind of gathering on a social media site like Facebook.

Do a Google search,  you’ll see.     There are some whacky stories out there.  Fill yer boots..


Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.


Thanks for stopping in.