Showing posts with label Living in Germany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Living in Germany. Show all posts

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mushroom Mafia

Beware of people who collect mushrooms in the German forests! Many times it is forbidden (verboten) to do so.   Lately, organized gangs of criminals -- barbarians and vandals, literally -- have been discovered "pillaging" the forests of basketloads of prized mushrooms.  Rangers who have confronted the pillagers have been threatened.  Poor Germans, they still haven't recovered from the Grimm Brothers, and now they have one more reason to stay out of the forests.  If you read the linked article, however, you will note that the German woods already are crammed with hunters, forestry workers, and non-criminal mushroom hunters.  This is a heavily-populated country.

boletus edulis (Porciono or Steinpilz, also available in
grocery stores here.  (Wikipedia)

To date, I am not aware of any Canadians among the pillagers.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Barking Dogs

Reason number two why working at home is beneficial:  my dogs are free most of the time.

From Wikipedia:  The Hush Puppies name and mascot were coined by the brand's first sales manager, James Gaylord Muir. Initially, the company's advertising agency recommended naming the product "Lasers". Then, on a selling trip to the southeastern United States, Muir dined with one of his regional salesmen and the meal included hush puppies, traditional fried southern cornballs. When Muir asked about the origin of the name, he was told that farmers threw hush puppies at the hounds to "quiet their barking dogs." Muir saw a connection to his new product. "Barking dogs" in the vernacular of the day was an idiom for sore feet. Muir surmised his new shoes were so comfortable that they could "quiet barking dogs."

As a former southerner, I don't like the term "fried southern cornballs" to describe what certainly is one of the great southern delicacies: the hush puppy.  Hush puppies go well as an appetizer to just about any fried fish (served with cole slaw, of course) and also with shredded pork barbeque.  In the old days, in certain establishments, the hush puppies were all-you-can-eat, just like bread in other places.

I digress.  In the warmer months, I rarely have socks on at home, preferring to walk around in a pair of comfortable shower sandles.  I cannot sit for any length of time at home with socks on.  Once your dogs have tasted freedom, it's hard to keep them in the dark.

Not  my Feet

Monday, February 25, 2013

Frankfurt Grey

I'm always joking that there is a special shade of grey called Frankfurt Grey because of the long, dreary winters and frequent cloudy skies.  I also joke that, in a bad year, the sun disappears behind clouds at the beginning of September and rarely emerges until April.  Well, I'm not far from the truth this winter.  Just yesterday I was complaining to Frau Bloggerboy about how little sunshine we have had lately.  This morning, the local paper reported that this winter is on its way to becoming the dreariest winter in the past 42 years.  There have been less than 100 hours of sunshine in Germany since December 1.  Even though the winters are relatively mild here, they sure can be depressing.

1970 war mit durchschnittlich 104 Stunden der bisherige Tiefstwert erreicht - wird er unterschritten, ist der Winter 2012/13 der trübste seit Beginn der flächendeckenden Aufzeichnungen im Jahr 1951. Normal seien 160 Stunden Sonnenschein in den drei Monaten des meteorologischen Winters, sagte DWD-Sprecher Gerhard Lux.

Shades of Grey -- Winter in Frankfurt, a color photograph

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saturday, April 21, 2012

German Efficiency

Earlier this week I had to call a German service hotline.  Not only was it a service hotline, it was a taxpayer-funded hotline.  From my experience with government hotlines in America, I know that a long wait may be required.  I frequently wait for twenty minutes when calling certain US federal agencies, assuming there is even a live person willing to talk to me.  Sure enough, after I had dialed the German hotline number, a computer voice notified me that my call might be recorded AND that a wait would be required.  The voice went on to state that the estimated waiting time was ( there followed a long pause during which the computer calculated and estimated the wait time) thirty-nine seconds.  Not one minute.  Not forty seconds.  Thirty-nine seconds.  Hardly had I recovered from the shock and amusement of this information, when a friendly public servant was on the phone to answer my questions.  She was competent and helpful and I was able to accomplish what I had set out to do.  You can moan and gripe about the high prices, the high taxes, and big government here in Germany, but things work here and, often, they work pretty well.  I know, I know, Mussolini made the trains run on time in Italy, too...