28 April 2006


This just in!

I just found out where wankers come from.

20 April 2006

Me: On "The Simpsons"

Coming next season to "The Simpsons", a new character known only as "Allanimal". Just a lowly engineer at the Nuclear Plant (the only real industry in Springfiled), but nobody is sure what in he really does at work (kind of like Lenny and Karl). He plays a minor role, making slightly witty quips that are always overshadowed by the Homer (who isn't). His future on the show is uncertain after a bizarre late-in-the-season incident at the Springfield Tire Fire involving McBain's Canyonero. But I have said too much...

I'd say the animators were quite generous when it comes to my hair.

17 April 2006

Furry Happy Monsters

I just found this excellent Sesame Street video. REM and muppet monsters singing "Furry Happy Monsters" and had to share.

And now back to more stuff about Bologna.


The Easter weekend in Germany is on one hand nice, because both Friday and Monday are holidays, but bad in that so much is closed the entire weekend.

So on Thursday, Jeannette asked me after work what we were going to do for our long weekend. I had no clue, so for fun I popped open my bookmarks of cheap european airlines (each in its own tab, of course) and checked out cheap last minute flights departing from Stuttgart to anywhere with:
1) Warm weather
2) Warm Weather
3) Warm weather

We chose Bologna, Italy as our destination after Jeannette determined that there were reasonably priced hotels. And the next morning, we were off. As soon as our plane crossed the border into Swiss airspace, the clouds disappeared and I knew it was going to be a great trip. The photo above is the view from the plane, looking down at the Alps. It is one of the many great things we experienced this weekend. More to come!

09 April 2006

Happy Weekend

As I mentioned last time, I broke my camera and it will be 6-8 weeks before it is repaired. And I have a vacation coming up, and I really want a camera for this trip. It is quite important for me, really. So I decided to get a new one. Trouble is, the new one that meets my criteria is so badly backordered that finding one is only slightly more likely than winning the lottery. I must have been lucky, because I found a place with one in stock, so I ordered it. After a dreadfully long-feeling week, it finally arrived on Friday. And it is quite the awesome camera, too. I am very happy with it.

So yesterday some friends from Heidelberg came down to visit us, and between the excellent weather and some wonderful restaurants, we had a great time. The picture above is a combination of those two things - the brilliant sun shining through the wine glasses & bottles made incredible colored shadows on our table. I think I captured the essence of it pretty well.

03 April 2006

6-8 Weeks

Today, I took my camera in to the shop that could send it off to Nikon. We were told that it would be 6-8 weeks before it could be repaired. Ouch. I don't have a cost estimate yet...

I have a vacation coming up... I need to consider my alternatives.

02 April 2006

Really, My Camera is Broken

Really, that wasn't an April Fool's joke. My camera is broken...
Since I can't take new pictures, I will enjoy the pictures I have already taken. Here are my most "interesting" photos on Flickr. I am kind of surprised (and embarrassed) by several of them, others I am quite proud of. Can you guess which ones are which? Also, I am amazed, shocked & disappointed that some of my other photos are not ranked on the "interestingness" scale.

1. Infinite Blue, 2. Lenin Lives!, 3. Pigeonholed!, 4. Humped Zebra Crossing, 5. Friedhof, 6. Heuchelberg Vineyards, 7. Pez Machine, 8. Slide On In Babe,

9. Darth Vader, 10. Color & Texture, 11. Signs in Heilbron, pt 2, 12. Come On, It's Funny!, 13. Burg Stettenfels, 14. Vinyards in Flein, 15. Grapes, 16. Frauenkirche, Dresden

01 April 2006

April Fools...

Well, on April Fools day, it turns out, I am the real fool.

We decided to hop on the train to Karlsruhe, a nearby town that has some cool stuff we hadn't seen yet. The day was mostly beautiful, and we didn't really mind that we were on the slow train - we were out of the house and enjoying ourselves. The 1 1/2 hour train ride didn't seem all that long, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous when we arrived in the Marktplatz. We wandered to the big yellow house -- I mean, palace -- near the Marktplatz, and I started taking pictures of the great architecture with the beautiful blue sky (enhanced by the nice polarizer I got for Christmas). We wandered into the gardens behind the palace, and found a small lake. There were tons of frogs and ducks hanging out, so I decided to snap my rarely-used super zoom lens on the camera and try to capture some nice duck images. Well, I must not have had something lined up right, because the camera would flash "Error" in the viewfinder every time I took a picture. I tried to re-seat the lens, and something just didn't feel right. I tried putting my normal lens back on, and as I was twisting it into place, I could just tell something was wrong. I pulled the two pieces apart, and sure enough, there is a metal whatchamacalit that is bent out of whack. It seems to have scraped up some of the gizmos inside the mega-lens, though my normal lens seems to be OK. But my camera is no longer happy...

There are no Nikon shops in Heilbronn. The best I can do is take it to a department store that sells Nikon point & shoots, and they can send it in for repair. I have been dreading this day since I moved to Germany. The day I try to have a foreign camera and/or lens repaired by the local Nikon service center. I have heard the horror stories of people that were refused service in a country because they bought the camera elsewhere. We'll see on monday what they say...

Well, on the plus side, at least I got a picture of two frogs that thought I was a discovery channel photographer or something. Enjoy this, because it may be the last picture you'll see from me in a while.