Monday, April 26, 2010

September Oktoberfest

Robb kind of solved our Frankfurt lodging dilemma, but we had to settle for a hotel. The good news is that it's right in the heart of the city, so we can walk to almost everything. It will be interesting to tour what used to be considered the main drag: Kaiserstrasse. Last time we were there, it was basically the heart of the red-light district. Since that was only a few years ago, probably nothing has changed. We shall see. When I was stationed in Frankfurt back in the fifties, Kaiserstrasse was the main street to which we all went. It was lined with beer stubes with oompah bands and crowded with people who obviously had downed a stein or two. Too bad we're going to be too early for Oktoberfest. Since we'll be there until 3 September, and since Oktoberfest is really in September, we might get to experience it for a couple days. I wonder why it's called "Oktoberfest" and not Septemberfest?
Thursday was, apparently, Earth Day. Our ex-neighbor, but still friend, Alan started a free public transportation service called Green Hopper. Green Hopper has two objectives; 1 - lower the number of fume spewing vehicles on the city streets and 2 - lower the number of drunk drivers on the city streets. Since its inception a year or so ago, it has been embraced by the community and it's not uncommon to see a Green Hopper driving by. Each year, on Earth Day, they have a little party at the Green Hopper headquarters. This year, since we're both healthy for a change, we went. I was quite surprised by the number of people who showed up for this event. I was thinking, "Maybe a handful." But there was a huge crowd. Furthermore, I seem to be on a winning roll for the moment. You know I won the free trip to Paris. Well, today I not only won a door prize (a bottle of champagne, no less), but after years and years of watching others get their picture in the local gay newspapers, today was my turn. Robb and I are in the South Florida Gay News. Now if the good luck streak would just extend to the Powerball.....
Is there any better proof that legislation is needed to protect gay men and women? You should be firing off letters and emails of indignation just from reading the headline: Sonoma County CA separates elderly gay couple and sells all of their worldly possessions.
If you think we're being ripped off by the TV, telephone, and internet ISPs, you need to read this: "the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that taxes its overseas citizens, subjecting them to taxation in both their country of citizenship and country of residence." Why More U.S. Expatriates Are Turning In Their Passports. Speaking of telephones, once again Europe moves ahead of the US in technology. Orange (ex France Telecom) is currently installing new public phones in the street They're doing that in some specific, touristic areas as an experiment. Why? Because these telephone booths have nothing to do with the good old pay phones of "the past"! This new model allows you to call, of course, but also to surf the web or find a restaurant/shop/theater nearby.
More telephone news. This just blows me away: Quad Band Bluetooth Touch Screen FM Watch Cell Phone. I had absolutely no idea there was such a thing.
Here's an interesting theory: Self-starter: Life got going all on its own.
Of course, we will never see it in our lifetimes: Quantum broadband becomes reality.
RIP Xena. Last but not least, the first pig cloned from fetal pigskin cells in Japan, Xena, has been euthanized after difficulty standing due to natural causes, reports Kyodo News. Xena was nine years and eight months at the time of her death, the oldest cloned pig in the world.
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No , this is how I dress when I go to work.
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher
À la prochaine, mes amis

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wake Up Sonata

I'm feeling a lot better, but there's very little else going on in our lives at the moment. We are wondering if the Iceland volcano is going to interfere with our trip to Europe this year. That does bring up a point about which we're also concerned. We very much wanted to spend some time in Germany this year, but it seems that German accomodations are even more expensive than Paris. The available sites for apartments are extremely limited and those that are presented, are very expensive. We're thinking about cutting out the German portion of the trip, even though we've already made our travel arrangements and it will probably end up costing us to make the changes we propose. I don't really see why it should be a problem, we're not even thinking about leaving until August. That should be more than enough time to re-sell our seats. They've probably over sold the flight anyway. They usually do.
Will Americans EVER wake up to how badly they're being ripped off? "In the last couple of years an Internet connection through a land line has become very reasonable in cost. We now use Neuf Telecom for our phone and Internet connection. For 29.90 euros ($40.34) a month, we have a ADSL line, 70 TV channels, and free phone calls to French fixed lines and to many other countries including the US. We call to the US, to both fixed and cell phones, for free. They do charge for calls to US 800 numbers. Several other companies offer the same type of service." For that exact service, I'm paying almost $200 per month, and I don't have any premium TV channels. My ISP is Comcast and they're getting worse and worse with each passing month. I won't even discuss the telephone ripoff.
And Speaking of Americans waking up: Health Buzz: Health Insurers Invest in Fast Food.
Could I be any more surprised? Secret US memo urges war on Iran!
Cassini Captures First Video of Extraterrestrial Lightning
Video: Get a Closer Look at GM’s Electric Pod Car
The pill: secret of immortality Several readers noticed two inspiring sentences in the London free newspaper Metro last month. An article on the contraceptive pill assured: "Taking the pill cuts the long-term risk of dying from any serious illness including cancers and heart disease, new research suggests. Women who take the contraceptive are 12 per cent less likely to die compared with those who never have." Sarah Fellows asks: "If the entire female population began taking the pill, would a lucky 12 per cent of us become immortal? We think this kind of side effect would surely be worth investigating further and can't understand why pharmaceutical companies have not caught on to it."
This has to be one of the funniest ideas I've ever encountered: Shoes for people who want to run barefoot but don't want to do it without wearing shoes. I wonder how many millions they've sold? Barefoot Running Without Freaky Footwear
Confucius Says: War does not determine who is right, war determine who is left.
ATTORNEY: The youngest son , the 20-year-old , how old is he?
WITNESS: He's 20 , much like your IQ.
À la prochaine, mes amis

Saturday, April 17, 2010


After Robb's stomach problems, he contracted some kind of bug which I managed to fight off for a week or so, before it finally got me. I stupidly figured I could overcome it without going to the doctor. Obviously, I was wrong.....again. So this is going to be a very abbreviated post.
Confucius Says: Crowded elevator smell different to midget.
TEACHER: Clyde, your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's.. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. It's the same dog.
IDIOT SIGHTING #4: My daughter went to a local Kentucky Fried and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for 'minimum lettuce.' He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.
À la prochaine, mes amis

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ricky Crisis

Okay, gossip time. You've seen the name Geoff on here several times, and you know we consider him a friend. What you didn't know is that Geoff is a bit of a loose wire. He frequently gets pissed at us for reasons that no other person in the world would find annoying, and will not speak to us for sometimes a couple of weeks to a few months. Then, one day, he'll show up at our door as though nothing ever happened, which in our opinion is true. We have come to another of those incidents. At his urging, I purchased an antenna to pick up HD signals on my TV. But the antenna only picks up local stations. Robb and I don't watch much TV, but when we do, it's usually CNN, MSNBC or the Comedy Channel. About the only regular watching we do is during football season. Needless to say, even though the picture is really great with the HD antenna, it isn't practical for us because, except for football season, we don't watch the local channels. For reasons that still don't make sense to me, Geoff became incensed at that. He shouted at us and walked out, slamming the door behind him. A few minutes later, we got the usual "I hate you. You're typical Americans and I want nothing to do with either of you" email. We're not so sure we want anything more to do with him, either, but we'll see how it works out this time. We have a new friend named Pascal, who was born and raised in Paris but now lives here. He also has suffered the Geoff tirade and was profoundly shocked at such behavior. Of course, they are once again best friends because the cooling period has passed.
I thought this picture of Obama editing his speech was very interesting. It just keeps getting better, doesn't it? Obama to allow gas and oil drilling off Virginia coast. The conspiracy people are already talking about Obama as being hand-picked for the job. I'm beginning to believe them.
"Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults" The insurance industry has only four years to line their pockets, surely you didn't think they were just going to sit by and let this opportunity pass them by?
Catholics find ties to the church tested by crisis. I don't understand all the fuss. You mean, just because a "man of God" stands in front of you, extolling the virtues of morality and then goes back to his office where he fondles the altar boy du jour, you're going to doubt him? Next thing you know, someone will say you have to be really stupid to be Catholic.
Auto industry group spent $1.4M on lobbying in 4Q. Excuse me, isn't this the same industry we bailed out with about 15 BILLION dollars?
Ricky Martin Comes Out. Is anyone else shocked?
PINOCCHIO had a human girlfriend who would sometimes complain about splinters when they were having sex. Pinocchio, therefore, went to visit Gepetto to see if he could help. Gepetto suggested he try a little sandpaper wherever indicated and Pinocchio skipped away enlightened.
A couple weeks later, Gepetto saw Pinocchio bouncing happily through town and asked him, "How's the girlfriend?"
Pinocchio replied, "Who needs a girlfriend?"
À la prochaine, mes amis