Thursday, April 20, 2006

English Theatre

Got an invite this week from my buddy Dave to attend the opening performance of Bad Blood at Hamburg's English Theatre with him. The show was tonight, and I'm very glad we went.

I've been battling a little cold since returning from Berlin, and I was afraid my coughing would disturb the other theatergoers, so I had a fresh pack of Fisherman's Friends in my pocket (went through half of the lozenges) -- I don't think my coughing was THAT annoying, was it, Dave? (I only got one nasty look from a blue-hair in front of me -- and I felt an evil sense of joy in the second act when the friend sitting next to her also began coughing!)

The play was interesting. A definite thriller with a lot of emotional tension. There were some plot twists, some violence, some difficult relationship issues. Very interesting -- and very well acted by the cast. I have to admit, I expected something more along the lines of community theater -- a la the Blaine, Missouri residents in Waiting for Guffman. But I couldn't have been more wrong -- these five actors did a wonderful, professional job!

So, hats off to: Julian Agnew, Venetia Deane, Michael Garland, Holly Weston and Ben Wigzell. Thanks for a great performance and I look forward to your next production.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Bavaria North

Six of us are traveling to Berlin Friday morning for the four-day Easter
weekend. So, in order to get us all in a road-trip mood, our buddies
Andreas and Maik had us over for a 'Berlin-Starter' evening.

For those of you familiar with the state flags of Germany, you'll notice
that the table is bedecked not with the flag of Berlin, but rather with
Bavarian colors. I am glad that the guys decided to have a Bavarian themed
dinner -- can't imagine a Berlin-themed meal. (How much currywurst and
jelly-filled donuts can you really eat before you get ill!)

So, thanks to Andreas and Maik for the festive start to a great weekend!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones . . .

I've fallen a bit behind on my blogging. Hope to have a few more entries here before heading to Berlin for the coming Easter weekend.

In the meantime, take a look at these links and judge Judge Farris for yourself....

Underneath Their Robes

"I think marriage is a bundle of sticks and sticks include procreation." -- Judge Jerome Farris

[whhhhhhaaa -- huh???!??? "Sticks include procreation." Hey, Jerome. You've really got a way with words. Do you mind if I borrow that line?]

So, what is it with this guy and sticks, branches and other woody stalks?

And I guess we should contact all the elderly couples in the world. If these loving couples are just enjoying their final years together and no longer having sex, then they need to know that Judge Farris frowns upon this type of wood-free relationship.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

København Hovedbanegård (Copenhagen Main Station)

Well, the trip to Sweden was basically a loss.... Our database programmer
from Munich fell ill, no one called/e-mailed/SMSed me, and I ended up in
Sweden with no meeting to attend!

I did use the time to meet with our corporate IT coordinator. We're working
on a new Service Level Agreement and we spent the time discussing some of
the details.

After work on Tuesday, I hiked around the woods north of town. There's a
big lake and I seemed to have the entire shore all to myself. It was very

So, instead of staying in Sweden until Thursday or Friday, I left Wednesday
morning. I caught the early train and rode through southern Sweden as a
spring snowfall hit the forests and towns along the route. The birches and
pines were beautiful covered with a heavy dusting of snow.

I arrived in Copenhagen at about 09:00. Since this was a travel day anyway,
I decided to spend a few hours in Copenhagen -- one of my favorite cities.

This wasn't the best day to wander around, as the weather was all over the
place. Rain, sleet, hail, snow, wind -- and even a few minutes of sunshine.
Temps hovered around freezing all day -- and still I enjoyed my few hours
in CPH.

Tonight, after arriving in HH (Hansestadt Hamburg), I'll be meeting my
buddy Dave at Cafe Uhrlaub for a bite to eat and some good conversation.
Then, back to work tomorrow morning.

So, click the Travel Photos link on the right and see some of the things I
saw -- I should have some new pix up before bed tonight!


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Off to Sweden

I'm catching the train to Sweden in the morning -- just one of the perks of working for a Swedish company. So, there may or may not be much blogging from afar. I can now blog and send pictures from my phone. But, on my first trip to Sweden last year (before I knew better), I was hit with a massive data access charge on my phone bill. So, unless I find a few minutes to send a message or two, you won't hear from me before Friday.

It's my fourth trip now to the company headquarters, so I've got it down to a routine. Catch the train to Copenhagen. Bring snacks and reading material -- and my iPod filled with podcasts and music.

Here's where it gets weird. Just when you get settled in and the train seems to be moving along just fine on rails, it decides it's had enough and boards the ferry. Seriously. The train rolls out of the station in Puttgarden, the ferry opens up a wide hatch and the train just rolls on into the ferry.

The ferry ride takes about 30-40 minutes. Just enough time to get out for a breath of fresh air and enjoy the view of the Baltic Sea. We dock on the Denmark side and continue, again on rails, to Copenhagen.

Arrive at Copenhagen and find where your connecting train is leaving from (usually Track 5.) Then off to the land of squirrel and moose. (Again, seriously. Lots of squirrel and I saw not one but TWO moose on my very first trip up to Sweden.)

Not much to do in the town I'm heading to. It's small and definitely a company town. But, it's beautiful and peaceful. Although I will have some busy days filled with meetings, I'm guaranteed to come back well-rested.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Praise Be to the Noodly Appendage

While browsing YouTube (a video sharing site) and looking for travel videos of Hamburg, I came across this small gem. (You have to sign up for the site, but it is free and there really are some interesting videos linked at YouTube.)

Now, I had just seen a reference earlier in the week to a Noodly Appendage on the Leo German<>English dictionary site. I wasn't quite sure what was being referred to. Sometimes, later in the Leo entries (after someone's obscure question about split infinitives or the correct use of the genitive after some archaic preposition has been answered) -- well, sometimes people tend to get a bit . . . off track . . . on Leo. I enjoy reading the Leo forums -- and even participate sometimes -- because the people active on that site speak German and English, are interested in languages, share cultural experiences with each other, etc. But, like any group of eggheads, they (we?) can go off on tangents occasionally.

So, when someone mentioned "FSM" and "Noodly Appendages" in his post, I just breezed over it, chalked it up to someone enjoying too much coffee (or some stronger beverage), and continued to read more about the dative being the death of the German genitive, or some such topic.

Now, I find this video.... Still, didn't have a clue what it was about -- but, now I had seen two references to spaghetti in one week -- and each from a very different source. My curiosity was piqued. (And I was getting hungry.)

A bit of googling and I find that it all leads back to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Wikipedia says: "The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the subject of a satirical religion created by Bobby Henderson in 2005 to protest the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to require the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to biological evolution."

Reading through the site, I see Bobby Henderson and I have a bit in common. He's not a fan of ID. (ID in this case being the theory of "Intelligent Design/Bearded Man Created Everything", not the product available in Juicy, Millenium, Pleasure, Sensation, Cream and Glide). And he has a sense of humor about religion that may upset younger viewers.

Two of my favorite parts of the site:


  • Flimsy moral standards.
  • Every friday is a relgious holiday. If your work/school objects to that, demand your religious beliefs are respected and threaten to call the ACLU.
  • Our heaven is WAY better. We've got a Stripper Factory AND a Beer Volcano.
  • You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.
Bobby's point being: if you feel compelled to present ID to the country's schoolchildren, alongside (or, FSM forbid, instead of) the rational, scientific theory of evolution, then you MUST also include the Pastafarians' view of the world.

AMEN -- and pass the Parmesan (or my new favorite, Grana Padano)!