30 August 2005

Out of Touch

Update 2005.08.31: Everything seems to be working just fine now. So the outage wasn't as long-term as I had feared.

There seems to have been a glitch with some transitionary stuff happening with the hise.org server, so if anyone has been trying to mail me, I haven't been getting it. In fact, I am not sure when it will be cleared up.

27 August 2005

Pez in Unlikely Places

Pez MachinePez Machine

Today we went to Bad Wimpfen for their six-hundred-and-something-ith Zunftmarkt. Which was an interesting market that hasn't changed for six-hundred-and-something years. In fact, everyone is still wearing their clothes straight out of the renaissance, which happened less than six-hundred-and-something years ago, if I remember correctly (six-hundred-and-something years is a long time, and I might have some details mixed up). I am still trying to figure that anomaly out, that and the one where they take Euros, a currency that has been around for way less than six-hundred-and-something years. Heck, the Euro hasn't even been around for six-hundred-and-something weeks!

Anyway, this six-hundred-and-something-year-old market really isn't important to this story, other than the fact that it was the reason that we were in Bad Wimpfen today. And the fact that we were in Bad Wimpfen today is only important because that's where Bad Wimpfen's Blauer Turm ("Blue Tower" for the non-German-speakers) is located. Which makes a lot of sense, because they would call it Some Other Town's Blauer Turm if it were located in some other town.

Bad Wimpfen
When we visited Bad Wimpfen last summer, (when I took this picture of the Blauer Turm) the tower was closed, so we couldn't climb it. Not today! It was open and we were ready to do some aerobic stair training. So we whipped out our Euros and started walking up the stairs. We started to think we were getting a freebie, because there was nobody at the bottom of the tower to collect our money. Maybe we were sneaking by while the ticket seller was in the bathroom or something. Silly us, we only paid if we made it to the top! Which is nice, if you happen to die of exhaustion on the way, at least you didn't have to pay for the bullet that killed you.

(I know the tower looks kind of stubby and short in the above picture. It really is massive, but it looks smalle because of that wacky thing called perspective. That and they build really tall houses in Bad Wimpfen, since the only direction to build is up.)

After plunking down our 1 Euro ($1.32 for the non-Euro-Users-that-happen-to-use-the-US-Dollar), we proceeded to the final couple of steps to the outside. But before we reached the daylight (right before the pointy bits start in that picture), we reached the Pez machine. Why there was a Pez machine inside this tower, a dozen or so floors above the ground, I do not know. What I also don't know is if the guy/gal who refills the Pez machine has to pay admission to the tower when (s)he refills it.

21 August 2005

Wine Fest Season


It is wine fest season. This picture comes from the Wengertfescht, which is spelled kinda like how you would say "fest" after drinking too much wine. That one was last weeked, and we had a pretty good time at that one. There were even fireworks. Click the picture above to see more pictures from it on my Flickr account. There was even a guy walking around with a bag on his head, so it had to be good, right?

Yesterday we went to the Erlenbach wine fest kinda early, found ourselves a table with an umbrella near a food stand selling onion and spinach cakes and drank our wine while it rained around us. Since we were on the outskirts of the fest, and the fest sprawls throughout the narrow, twisty streets of Erlenbach, we didn't realize how insanely packed it got after the rain stopped. We had to fight our way through the throng to make it to the bus stop to get back to Heilbronn. I can't the people in the crowd were having a good time, considering how many people there were and how little space there was between everyone.

The big wine fest in Heilbronn will start in a couple weeks. The people we were with tell us that the Heilbronn wine fest is even bigger and even more crowded. I'm all for going to a fest and enjoying what they have to offer, but if I can barely move when I absolutly have to get out, that's not gonna be fun.

But everyone tells me how great the Heilbronn wine fest is. So I won"t pass judgement on it until I have actually experienced it. I am sure it is a lot of fun if we can scope out a table early on so we can be a bit more relaxed.

18 August 2005

More Weird Stuff on the Autobahn

Gegenstand: Känguruh!

Remember several months ago, when I blogged about weird stuff causing traffic problems on the Autobahns?

Well, apparenly recently there was a Kangaroo on the highway. Yes, you read that right. What is really interesting, is that this isn't the first time there has been a kangaroo reported on a highway.

I really wish that the http://www.ladungsverlust.de/ site were searchable (and covered states other than just Hessen). I would like to see what other weird stuff has been on the highways.

17 August 2005

More Amazing Things

Just discovered: wonderfully yummy German chocolate bars with pop rocks inside.
A crazy taste sensation.

08 August 2005

Invader in the Night

Invader in the Night 1
Last night this guy snuck into our bedroom. I took a couple of pictures of the interloper before Jeannette threw him out of the house. Not sure why he would be sneaking around our house, and exactly how he got in (well, actually I do know, it is summer, we have no air conditioning, and German windows don't seem to ever have screens). This low light photo seems to be the best of the bunch, but there are a couple more decent ones showing more detail of this little guy on flickr.

06 August 2005

Unterländer Volksfest

The web site I host my blog photos on, Flickr, has been behaving very badly for me lately, in that many pictures will refuse to load. After reading thru the bug forms and helping with debug, it seems to be happening mostly to people in Germany with the same ISP (the largest ISP in the country) as me. So, anyone on Deutsche Telekom that is reading this, sorry yau can't see the pictures, but you have all been to a Volksfest before and have seen a Maß, so there really isn't much new for you to see. Of course, I also can't see the photos, I just have to assume that everything looks right.

Drunken Allanimal 1
As you can see, I am not letting the lack of a fully functional Flickr facility affect my fun. (PS: I like alliteration)

Ein Maß
And Jeannette is enjoying it too. Actually, the Unterländer Volksfest has been going strong for a week before I dragged my camera there. Since we live about 10 minutes by foot from the fest, we have spent many evenings there this last week, with our very complex buy-one-get-one-free coupons, so we have been drinking vast quantities of beer quite cheaply, with the added benefit of frest air and social interaction.

I mentioned that the coupons are complex. That is because there are at least 3 different versions floating around out there, each valid on different days and with different redemption value (some are half price beer & chicken, some are bogo beers only). We ran into a problem one night when we brought coupons that were good for the wrong day.

Starting Them Young
I like this picture. No, the baby is not drinking beer. But it is still funny in the context of the beer fest.

Woman at the Volksfest
Moving on from the very young, we can see that older people can also enjoy the fest. Again, don't ask me why, I just enjoy this picture.

Finally, this one is for Heguy. Do you know Buffalo Bill? What about Col. Sanders?
Is that Buffalo Bill or Col. Sanders?

05 August 2005

Taste of Caribic

Yesterday we went to a store we normally don't go to, becasue this store had a sale on fire extinguishers and Jeannette thought we should get one. We walked there after work, and I was feeling hungry, so I popped over to the candy aisle to grab something to help keep me functional until we got home and could cook dinner.

I came across this bag of candy that had a nice picture of chocolate balls, a half coconut and a parrot on it. I immediately thought of the almond joy bites you can get in the states, and grabbed it.

After popping one in my mouth, I was quite surprised. Imagine, if you will, an Almond Joy, but instead of the almond in the middle, there is a pocket full of pure rum. That would explain the "Rum Coconut" on the bag. It is actually quite nice, when you are expecting it.

I am still trying to figure out what "Taste of Caribic", the other writing on the bag, means.