Sunday, February 27, 2005

Gumbo Night

Sunday was a lot of fun. After breakfast and a nice morning with Mom and Dad - we slept till 5 a.m - we spent some of our Euros on clothes.
We when visited a brewpub Pizzeria Uno Brewery, whose beers where average, nothing to exciting. We then made our way to JoeH and Janice where we spent some nice time chatting and drinking tea with them, Josephine and the kids.

For the evening we were invited at Dave and Jess' house. The new kitchen looks awesome and it is amazing how much bigger the room looks now.
We enjoyed Dave's delicious turkey Gumbo and drank good beer. Dave's ability of Gumbo improved the last years a big time.
He also got great Chef's clothes!

This was the best Gumbo I ever ate. My mouth still waters when I think of it.

It was a great day - very relaxing and filled with all the good things: beer, great food and the best: Great quality time with our family!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Insulting on command

So, we are in New Jersey. While Jim had to fly via Frankfurt and Montreal with Air Canada, where he claims the crew was wearing lumberjack shirts and served only pancakes, I flew via Amsterdam with KLM, where the crew was wearing wooden clogs and they served only cheese. I didn't buy anything from the duty free hash cart though. :-)

When I arrived I had to go through the immigration procedure and as some of you know nowadays you have to give fingerprints and be photographed. So I pressed my left index finger on the machine and nothing happend. The immigration officer told me that my fingers were too dry and that I should rub my left index finger on my forehead. I looked at her with big disbelievement. I guess she doesn't know that pointing your index finger on the forehead means "You are crazy" in Germany. So there I stood making a gesture to the officer as if to say "Think, man, you are nuts" least in German. I wonder if the Germans behind me were suprised that I got waved through after insulting her.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Pimp My Flat - Volume III

It is official - Keys for the flat a month earlier - so we can move in in August! Yow-zah, that's great news.
They built in the third dormer and also started with the rooftop terrace. So things are moving.

Jim says that they are finished earlier is very German - I don't know what he means :-)


Saturday, February 19, 2005

So, George is coming!

What an honor. And while Germany prepares for this visit I learned the following from an Interview George gave on German TV (here ARD) yesterday:

He and Schröder are now so close that he refers to Schröder as Gerhard all the time ...the relationship between Germany and America could only be better if he would say Jerry!

Jerry, äh, Gerhard knows nothing about the NATO and needs some serious coaching, but thanks to George (you don't mind that I call you George, do you - we are friends!), he will give him some private lessons!

The question if he supports Germany's demand for a permanent seat at the security council is funny - it should be answered with a deep and hearty laugh!


Friday, February 18, 2005

Nat's February Books

Imre Kertèsz, Detektivgeschichte *****/*****
Haruki Murakami
, Gefährliche Geliebte/South of the Border, West of the Sun****/*****
Imre Kertesz,
Fiasko/Fiasco ***/*****
Primo Levi,
Das periodische System/The periodic Table ****/*****

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Will Fischer resign?

I can only hope that the visa procedure affair does not lead to Joschka Fischers resignation. It will be very interesting how and if things clear up. For those of you who are interested what German papers are writing about this topic a summary in English.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Pimp My Flat - Volume II

Yesterday I got a phonecall from our construction manager who asked me to come by the apartment. Jim was unfortunatley in London. They raised the roof, built in the first dormer, and wanted me to take a look before they tie the roof and dormer.

I was flabbergasted at the progress they made in such a short time. Actually, they started to raise the roof the day before yesterday. They used hydraulic jacks and torsion proofs as you will see in the pictures. They ripped the chimney and all wooden walls out and started to build up the walls.

I found two old bolts on the floor, which were attached to the old rafters. They are around a hundred years old and of course we will keep them.

Where the spiral staircase is going to be

From Nat's room towards the livingroom

Nat's room

Dining room area - ceiling

In the kitchen - hydraulic jack and torsion proof and leveling tool

From kitchen towards living room and Nat's room

Old roof parts

From Nat's room - there will be a window soon

The upper part of the dormer

The hand-drawn plan for the builders

Old bolt (approx. 5 inches long)


Short Trip to London

What fun. We met JoeT this weekend in London. We had a real cool time together. It only would have been better if Jen could have been with us.

Fun in the Tube

Abbey Road :-)

Besides a smattering of culture, such as quick visit to the British Museum, we enjoyed sitting in various cafes and pubs just chatting. Mostly we made fun of British English especially in terms of food (tiny cheesy bits!), talked about the Little Tuck, and all the world and his brother.

We met a lot of Ratebeer users we already knew, plus a few new ones. We had a good time with them rating several new beers. It is amazing where all the users at all ages come from: We had three Australian, three Brits, two Americans, one French and one Kraut; the youngest in the group was 18, the oldest 49.

SilkTork, Chrissie, Jim and Spiesy

Chris and JoeT

Kook and Duff

Sorry for the bad quality of photos, we forgot our digital camera and had to buy a snappy snap.


P.S. Speaking of Ratebeer, I just found out that Em aka cb - has a blog too. How cool! - We emailed back and forth several times and I very much hope to meet her some time too. We are only a handful women on that side, maybe we should have a Ratebeer-Women-Gathering (RWG).