Christmas=Great, Travelling with amateurs…not so much

Day 11 - Oh TannenbaumLet me just say right now that I have had a fantastic Christmas.   I flew over to Blighty late on the 23rd and, after Dad had been robbed by the car park people for parking in the 15 minute car park instead of the short stay…30 quid for an hour!!!, arrived at my parents place at around 03:30.   Quick hello, quick bite to eat and a cuppa and then bed.   I had to set my alarm as Zak and Brandon were due to arrive at 10:30.

The boys arrive and we have a great day, we wander around Newark..do a bit of shopping for my Mum and meet Dad to walk home (after a mahoosive fish ‘n chip dinner of course).   It was great..tickle fights, drawing, watching TV, playing rugby in the back garden.   They saw the boatload of presents in the dining room, so I told them that Santas helper had been to see me in Germany, and asked if I could help get the presents to the boys.   This went down a treat and everyone was happy.   My Bro gave me a lift to drop them off, which was a drama in its own right…my brothers car is pretty small and this meant that some of the pressies went in the boot and the rest went…well, pretty much ON the boys.   Still, it gave them a giggle.

Getting back to my folks brought the Christmas Eve drinks…my Mum wasn’t feeling too hot and my other brother was at work (boo!), so it was left to Me, Paul and Dad to put in a good shift.   We did this by going on a pub crawl.   In pub 1 I can’t work out why I am so frickin’ hot…to the point of sweating quite a lot.   As we decide to move on because of the crap beer (British brewed Grolsch..eww) I notice that I have been stood with my head directly next to a 100w lightbulb…genius.   We head to another bar and discover Veltins (a regional brew from NRW in Germany).   I immediately settle in for a few bevvies and we have a great time.

Last orders is a little over 20 minutes away when Paul decides I must try Peroni, some Italian beer ffs!   Oh, and witness a Cider slushy type thing.   It was all going well until we see barmaid #2.   Holy frickin’ Mary mother of god…like Golums ugly sister that they don’t let out during the daytime.   Quite honestly it almost put me off my beer.   We escape to a corner of the bar where she is not in our line of sight and get chatting again.   When the next round is called, I decide that I can’t drink beer anymore thanks to this woman and tell Paul to get me a shot.   As he goes off to order it, I say to Dad “If he brings me a whiskey, I’ll punch him in the face”…sure enough, he brings me back a whisky.   I decide not to punch him in the face, but I can’t drink the whiskey..so Dad has a go…and it tastes foul..so he dumps it in his pint, thinking that will take the taste away…it doesn’t.   Paul then pours some of Dads beer/whisky combo into his cider.   This doesn’t kill the taste of the whiskey and we all say “sod it” and head home.   Paul and Dad wake up the next day with hangovers..I feel great (thanks German beer) and we settle in to watch a festive film.

After Die Hard finishes, we begin making Christmas dinner…screw turkey, screw roast potatoes and all that traditional crapola…what we wanted were steaks…steaks so big that you could only get 3 on a BBQ.   Oh, that’s right..we BBQ’d on Christmas Day.   Check out the results below.

Christmas SteaksBest Christmas Dinner EVER!

I met Pauls girlfriend, spent some quality time with my brothers and Mum/Dad, went bowling…had plenty of beers, built Pauls computer for him and basically had a whale of a time.

There is a subject I would like to mention though, and that is the “Amateur Traveller”.   Now, I place that in quotation marks, as this is my opinion based on…well…almost everyone around me both on the way to blighty and on the way back to Frankfurt.

I will do this rant’ette in bulletpoint form, so that hopefully this post doesn’t ramble on for too much longer.

1. Queues: Now, I know that it can be difficult to figure out who is next, especially when everyone else is in single file and directly behind the person in front of you, but maybe you could ask.   This is preferable to attempting to create a 2nd queue, when there is only one check-in desk.   Also, if a tannoy announcement comes on (literally) every 3 minutes to tell you to use the automatic check-in machines before queueing to drop your bag off….try not to look shocked when, after queueing for the better part of an hour, you are told to take your shit and find an electronic check-in machine and re-queue.

2.   Check-In: When you finally sort out your queue strategy and get to the check-in desk, please try not to be surprised when the (very) stressed out woman behind said desk asks to see your passport.   She will also want to see your booking confirmation….oh, and probably the passports of the people you are flying with.   Also, you are flying RyanAir…these are notoriously unforgiving when it comes to their weight limits per person and will want you to either pay, or take some stuff out.

#1 You booked, you knew the limit, don’t fucking argue about it.
#2 Move…if you fucked up, do not delay the rest of us checking in, just so you don’t lose your place in line…you fucked it up…get out of my way.
#3 Have your passports and booking information handy…not in one of the overweight suitcases that you are now desperately trying to repack…causing the passports to fall to the bottom.
#4 Now that you have managed to delay everyone else 15-20 minutes…under NO circumstances try to invite your friends (that have just arrived to the airport) to come to the front of the queue.   This may cause a large Englishman, with more than a passing resemblence to Uncle Fester, to lose the plot and physically block your friends from getting through to where you are stood.   This Englishman may also turn, growl and generally intimidate your friends.   This is probably not a good start to your holidays.

3.   Security Check: You will notice, as you walk towards the roped area (cattle-pen anyone?), that there is a kindly uniformed person there, asking to check your boarding card and passport.   This kindly soul is also asking if you have any liquids (or other items) that need to be bagged before going on the aircraft.   This person is merely trying to give you a chance to sort things out before you head into the security check area.   They are also another reminder to the signs plastered in bright yellow ALL OVER THE AIRPORT.   If you have such items, please follow the lead of the few people milling around the entrance to said cattle-pen and sort it out.   As you follow the cattle-pen to the security check itself, please pay attention to the 4 television screens that are demonstrating to you what you need to do.   If you are unable to see a television that is a mere 3 feet above your head, please feel free to watch the process, right in front of you, as it happens to fellow travellers.   You will notice that they are being asked to remove their jackets, watches, belts and contents of their pockets.   With the right person in front of you, you may even see them remove a laptop and place it seperately in a box.

As we are all around 15-20 minutes late now, thanks to you and your family…please try to follow the travellers in front of you and prepare for your encounter with security.   Do NOT blindly walk to security and moan when asked to take off your jacket, forget the watch and belt and be told to go back to take them off.   Then again to remove the mobile/change and eventually hat.   Try not to tell security that there is no laptop, only for them to see it and have to reverse the fucking conveyor to place it in a seperate container.   Oh, and thanks for being considerate and moving out of the way, so that the people behind you…WHO PAID ATTENTION…don’t have to wait for you to redress your fucking selves.

4.   On The Plane: It is a very narrow walkway, so try and have a little consideration for those people that are desperately trying to get their things in the overhead locker.   Also, if you are lucky enough to get to the over-wing, extra legroom seating…try and pay attention to the flight attendant when they tell you that no luggage or loose items can be stowed by the emergency exits.

5.   Passport Control: Again…you will need your passport here.   Try not to be surprised.   It might also be nice if you could use the 30 minutes you will spend in the queue…TO FIND IT.   Oh, and this one goes to Stansted Airport…there will be more people arriving that are EU Passport holders, this is to be expected…so we would really appreciate it if you could lay on more than, say, 3 members of staff for the EU Passport holders passport control…especially when you have over double that number looking after the few dozen Non-EU Passport holders…mmmkthanks

6.   Baggage Claim: This one also goes out to Stansted Airport.   When you have 5 planes land at roughly the same time, I can understand it being a little hectic…but it surely can’t take a friggin hour to get the bags onto the conveyors.   If it does…seeing as you have 9 conveyors..wouldn’t it be prudent to put the contents of each plane on it’s own…we have all seen Toy Story 2, we know that they all start at roughly the same place.   Try to avoid putting the contents of 3 different planes on 1 conveyor….

And a special mention must go to the bus driver that got me back to Frankfurt last night.   When I ask you, with packet of smokes in hand, how long before the bus leaves…if you tell me “Now”, please don’t leave 25 minutes later…I really needed that smoke after dealing with all these frickin’ amateur travellers.   Oh, and to the Indian pilot who ended up sitting next to me.   If you insist on eating peanuts (or whatever the fuck they were) for the ENTIRE 2 HOUR JOURNEY…please use your other arm so that you aren’t knocking me every 10 seconds for 2 hours…next time, I may do more than simply stopping your arm from hitting me…do we understand one another?   Good!

This has been a public service rant.   Travel safe everyone.

Men behaving badly?!?

2006AUG270910So the other night, it dawned on me that I am currently starring in my own version of Men Behaving Badly.   I decided to make myself a lovely cup of tea, except when I tried to pour the milk…let’s just say that it didn’t ‘pour’ out so much as ‘glup’.

I head to the fridge to get some more…to find that all I have in there is wine and beer.   No milk.   Being English, I couldn’t possibly drink tea without milk, so I went without and stormed back to the lounge with a glass of water.   I also pause to notice that there is no food in my fridge…none.   Actually, that isn’t entirely true…there was a packet of ham.   Unfortunately, this was now quite far through the development of it’s own life forms, and had achieved moderate technology advances (internal combustion engine and the like…no space travel though).   That, combined with bread that Alexander Fleming would have been proud to extract penicillin from…did not make for a potentially appetising snack.   So, disgusted at this site, I close the fridge door so I don’t have to look at it.   Well, I am not going to be responsible for the collapse of a fledgling civilisation…would you?

On the way home from work, for this was a school night once more, a few of us decide to head to the pub for a ‘swift pint’.   Cue lock-in at the bar and me stumbling upstairs at around 3am.   I remember eating a pack of dried chillis, but chewing them as DS had simpy thrown a pack to the back of his throat and swallowed, and I am nothing if not competitive (read stupid)… I also remember B52s arriving…complete with straws.   Mainly though, I remember that I couldn’t focus the next morning when I woke up.   In fact, I woke up at 07:55.   Trouble is, I am supposed to be at work at 08:30.   I managed to shower, shave, iron a shirt (sort of) and get into a taxi at 08:05…quite impressive.   The problems really started when I got to work and discovered that I couldn’t actually see my monitor…I look across the office at 08:25 and realise that I am literally the only person in at that moment.   Not a good moment for still drunk Dave.

Still, everyone showed up and I managed to (narrowly) avoid falling asleep in what felt like 100 meetings during the day.   I went home and pretty much collapsed.

Feeling fully refreshed the next day, meant heading to the bar after work..because yes, I am that stupid.

Still, it’s Christmas right?   So that’s ok.   Still can’t believe I went to work drunk…or that I still have no food in my fridge.

How was your week?

Oh, and the ham based lifeform launched their first test rocket today.

That's a bit personal isn't it?

~Woman Seeking Prince Charming~So…when you put yourself out there and write for the whole world to see (if you count the whole world to consist of 3 people), you get slated (a lot), compliments (a lot less) and requests.

I can handle being slated, have trouble taking compliments (a British thing) and am slightly bemused by requests.

It is the requests that I want to deal with here today.   My other request is still in development, and honestly…may never see the light of day.   Normally you write what you write with little or no regard for other people, you write because you find the subject matter interesting, funny, rantable…whatever.   Writing because you have been asked to tackle a particular subject makes it considerably more difficult.   What if they don’t like it? what if you took the piss a little too much…or not enough?   What if, what if, what if?

My latest request is not even for the blog.   I have been asked to write a personal ad for a friend.   She would like it to be funny (I think I see the first problem with asking me then) but also genuine, as she honestly intends to use it to find a partner.   No pressure then Eek!

If I am completely honest, within a couple of seconds of being asked, I already had possibilities running through my head..but I needed to research.   What are people putting in online personals these days?   Is it all GSH, WE, BB, RHD, ABS etc etc or is there actual substance?   Does the site she will use allow for the kind of wordy nonsense I usually write, or is it 4 lines and no more than 50 words like in the newspapers?

So I signed up to the site she mentioned to get some ideas.   The first thing you notice is that it is all in German….damnit, will have to search other ad sites.   Let’s see what we have then…

Craigslist:   Oh dear god, are these people serious?   I won’t go through the usual blog route of copy/pasting examples here…but christ on a rope…45 year old man seeks toilet sex…that, right there, was enough to stop me using Craigslist for ideas.   Also, an ability to spell the disgusting perversion you have would surely increase your chances of finding a likeminded soul.

OKCupid:   Much better quality of profile overall, although they want so much information that I don’t see a way to get ideas.   I wrote less at school…and certainly less in this blog on a (semi) regular basis.

Then I started to fall down, too many of these sites are pay per play (so to speak), meaning you can only see limited profile information unless you cough up some hard earned moolah for the privilige.   Gone are the days of SWF seeks WE man with GSH and own car/house…etc.

The other issue is that what I say will be translated into German.   I therefore have to be careful with any clever (or not) puns and statements.   Seeing as German humour is essentially Benny Hill….I could have my work cut out here.

Still…Fun loving, large breasted woman seeks fastest milkman in germany for delivery of 3-4 pints a day..

What?!?   It could work…. ok, back to the drawing board

Enough with the spam!

spam with cheeseOk, I can take a joke.   I don’t mind recieving 1001 different spellings of the words Viagra or Cialis.   I am happy with them poking fun at my lack of hair, ever increasing belly or decreasing penis size.

I don’t mind King Abdul Jameers son contacting me about how he has gone underground, hiding from rebels trying to kill him, and the only way for me to save his life is to accept 10% of a gazillion euros.   I am always happy to hear that I have won yet another lottery that I didn’t enter, and that various banks that I don’t have accounts with are concerned and want me to verify my details with them.

All of these people are just showing an interest.   But today, enough is enough.   Honestly, they crossed the line here.   Frankly I am astounded as to how they thought anyone would be interested.

I ask you!!!!

Well Alan or Ian (don’t you know?) of Prestige, let me tell you.   I am reporting this to the highest authority.   You know what they say…or at least the well coiffed Lionel Richie says….When the going get stuffed.   Or was that gets tough?   I forget.

Is nothing sacred anymore?   I would have preferred to have received Anthrax in the post…and inhaled…than receive this.   I mean, this is the guy that sang “Hello, is it me you’re looking for” and then goes and puts a   blind girl in the video.   Hello…one insensitive bastard right there.

What next?   A singing Take That O’gram at my door…Neil Diamond does The Red Hot Chilli Peppers? (Although that just conjures up the idea of the weirdest porn site ever…admit it, you thought that too).

I am going to fight back, as I type this, I am also typing (yes ladies..I multi-task) a reply.   I am considering inviting them to the new Joe Joe Concert…Joe Dolce and Joe Pasquale singing the hits of Milli Vanilli.

Thinking about it, that might just have legs… has anyone got the number of the Burger King that Milli Vanilli are working at these days?

Gotta go, I got me a concert to promote.

Paypal…aaaaaaaargh

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Whilst I don’t consider myself a typical guy most of the time, I am accutely aware that I tend to be around Christmas time.   My usual Christmas gift purchases occur on or around Christmas eve, if I am completely honest.   Being single and away from my kids though, means I had to be more organised this year.   Unfortunately, that just meant I would start at the beginning of December instead.

Obviously, it is easier from here to get things on Ebay and get them delivered to my parents place, so that they can wrap and post them for me.   Getting them sent to me here, only for me to ship them back to England just makes no sense.   Plus, the availability of what the kids want is greater in the UK.

So far, so easy right?

Wrong.   My credit card is, shall we say, unavailable at the moment…which leaves me with the time honoured tradition of using the paypal direct debit facility.   This has worked for me for years and makes an instant payment (with the occasional couple days delay for random security checks).   It worked for me a couple of weeks ago when I sent my son his birthday present.   It even worked for me a few days ago, when I bought my nephew his present.

Then it stopped.   Paypal is now insisting that I use a credit card (which isn’t on my account) and won’t allow me to choose another source of payment.   Emails to paypal and ebay have resulted in them explaining to me how to add a credit card, telling me that I need to talk to my bank and then explaining how to add a credit card.   It is ok though, because they understand my frustration whilst offering as much help as a chocolate fire guard.   I will have my rewengy though, they sent me a survey for how helpful they were….I will now get to spew my vitriol into a webform that will be … COMPLETELY … ignored by Paypal management…I know I feel better.

So last night, LA came up trumps and let me use her paypal account to pay for everything…which means the pressies are winging their merry way now.   Thank fook.

I am looking to get some stuff from ze vaterland for the adults I will be visiting, but due to flying on the 23rd…I actually have to plan.   That means recovering and being compus enough on a Saturday to actually get to the shops…honestly, I think HMV gift vouchers from the airport when I land seems favourite right now Wink

The problem is what to get?   Let’s face it, I live in the land of pork and beer…but I don’t think that people will appreciate a string of sausages and a can of Warsteiner….plus the sausages would go off, unless I get pre-cooked ones..which I am then certain to consume at the airport…along with the beer.

Do I get Lederhosen and Dirndls?   I could do without the inevitable beating that would take place.   I could go for something that is already available in England…just with German writing on it.   I have already been told, on pain of death, not to bring Lebekuchen from the Christmas market…what is a guy to do?

Looks like I will actually have to trawl the Christmas market looking for actual and traditional German christmas gifts.   I wasn’t aware that growing up was so bloody tough…I mean, who buys proper gifts, that people can put on display?   Old people, that’s who.   No fair.

So, 5 Kilos of Lebekuchen, a few bottles of beer and a couple pound of Bratwurst it is then.

Enjoy Smile

What are friends for?

IMG_8118Taking the piss and general abuse apparently.   I mean, I know that my usual modus operandi is just that, and I am pretty good at it generally.   I also know that you shouldn’t dish it out if you can’t take it, but still…

On Friday night at the bar, a good and merry time was being had by all.   Much drinking and frivolity were abound as they generally are down in my living room.   The dynamic duo were heading off to warmer climes for a short while, so everyone was in good spirits..and I think it is also fair to say that good spirits were in everyone.

So at some point, I am told that Bohemian Rhapsody has been requested in a fit of Old Skool nostalgia…of course, nostalgia isn’t the reason.   A number of years ago, I got into a comedian called Lee Evans, and he ended his first (I think) live show with Bohemian Rhapsody, and did a “routine” to go along with it.   It was genius and I have never forgotten it.   Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I try and recreate this routine when the song starts playing.   So, on Friday night I am being asked…ney told…that I have to do said routine again.   Here it is for the uninitiated (not me doing it I hasten to add)

Just as I start getting into the actions, I get accosted by a lady of Norwegian extraction, who decides that she wants to slow dance to this…and wanders right through all of my “audience” to grab me.   Being the fine friends that they are, everyone shoves me towards her and thus begins the strangest slow dance in the history of the world.   I am of course, deeply embarrassed but trying to get it over with.   It wasn’t helped by a chant going up…that seemed to get taken up by the entire bar..lead of course, by Z.   I believe it went something like this…”MILF MILF MILF MILF MILF MILF”.   I hope I remembered the words correctly.

Now, having 30 people chanting MILF over and over, and clapping in unison, really doesn’t help with the embarrassment factor and I tried to extricate myself from the situation as quickly as possible.   However, it was like the fight scene in a hollywood movie, everytime I tried to get through the crowd to my cigarettes and beer, I was shoved back towards “she who will forever be known as MILF”.   Resistance was futile, especially when Z started passing over free shots in an effort to “help” me, by saying they were from me.

I have also been informed, by the dynamic duo, that this embarrassing scene was well deserved thanks to my deciding to throw a condom at a couple that really needed to get a room, and inspiring a round of applause at another couple that actually thought that they had found a room.   In my defence….it was bloody funny.

I eventually get back to my beer, and the redness of my face starts to dissipate as the embarrassment leaves me, when I get accosted by a second woman.   Now this rarely happens, so I am only recounting the story for it’s strangeness in relation to how I am generally percieved.   Now, on Thursday and Friday night, there is a woman in the bar..an asian woman, with quite a strong face (read jaw)…I was guilty in my mildly inebriated state, of asking people if it was a guy.   All of the women in the bar were convinced that she was in fact a she, so I chose to agree with them.   Anyhoo..a few moments after getting away from “MILF”, I am leaning on the bar to get another beer.   Up walks the asian woman and grabs me for a cuddle…simultaneously telling me that she had seen me the night before, and that I was “Much fun and very funny”.   Being British means it is difficult to accept a compliment, so I return the hug as it looks like she is leaving and mumble a “Thank you” before trying to get back to the important act of beer acquisition.   At that moment she full on kisses me, and sweeps out the door.   Someone said something to me but all I could muster was “I am not sure how I feel about that”.   It goes without saying that I am now absolutely convinced she was a woman…the alternative just scares the crap out of me Wink

This was also the night where DB was introduced to the joys of my living room, and after a few bevvies, was telling me…every 5 minutes…that it was the best bar he had ever been to.   DS genuinely thought he had pulled SL, despite her telling him very clearly and slowly…to his face..that it would never happen.   DS is also responsible for the best drunk walk since John Cleese did “The Ministry of Silly Walks” in Monty Python…oh, and for actually managing to embarrass Z when we ended up in Club Keller.   Club Keller was actually great on Friday night, it had so many people that it actually reminded me of the opening scene from Blade…I kept looking up and half-expecting there to be showers full of blood ready to pour down on us all.   Also, what is it about Rage Against the Machines “Killing in the name of” that makes a place go insane?   Seriously, properly insane.   There aren’t many songs that are 16 years old that can do that….

Good times

Christmas Market Frivolity

Gluhwein!Feuerzangenbowle, Gluhwein with Rum shots, Hot French (whatever in the blue hell that is), Baby Guinness, Beer, a birthday meet-up, a trip to the Anglo…last night had everything.   Well, except sleep…there was no sleep.

Ok, there was some sleep…but not enough to really qualify as anything more than a nap.   Did I mention I was drunk too?   Because I was…very very drunk.   Never mix the grain and the grape..I think I have said this before…every year I say to myself over and over “Dave, you are drinking Gl??hwein..this is a red wine…this means no beer tonight” and then end up ordering a Pils as soon as I walk into the bar.

Gl??hwein is a wine…wine and beer should never be mixed.   Dave=Mess.

Oh, there may also have been Vodka Jelly.   Don’t judge me.

On a THURSDAY night people….seriously, what the hell was I thinking.   I’ll tell you what I was thinking, I was thinking “Hey, it’s 17:30…I have to meet MK and the rest at 19:30, why don’t I just go straight to the Christmas Market with a couple of the guys from work.   That way I don’t have to mess around, that’s a great idea…borderline genius in fact”

I am easily convinced..especially if I am the one making the argument.   Cue much feuerzangenbowle fun later and I stagger off to meet MK and KH, where we then immediately go back to the feuerzangenbowle stall.   Oh, I may have offered to sleep with MKs Dad…I had good reason though, he had funded the beer for the whole night….so if he takes me up on it….totally worth it Shock

It’s a funny thing, I didn’t realise how bad I would feel.   And it is deceptive too, when I woke up I felt like I had been out on a hard night…but by the time I had showered, shaved and got to the Tram stop to head to work..I was feeling pretty good.   Unfortunately, I am now sat here feeling like crap and writing this in between phonecalls and emails in a vain attempt to stimulate my mind out of near catatonia.

The camera of doom made a brief cameo appearance last night, much to the dismay of PM (SSA) but I seem to recall being captured on video doing my best evil laugh…twice…which was then shared around…and may end up being used as a ringtone…and will definitely end up on Facebook.   Damn you alcohol, damn you to hell.   MKs glasses became community glasses when she took them off to bury her face in Vodka Jelly…people were feeding each other in various ways akin to something you would see in a hotel room…late at night…for 12.99.   All we were really missing was the ring full of vodka jelly and a series of scantily clad, white t-shirt wearing ladies…maybe next time.

Major plus point though of last night was calling my Son on his Birthday…before I got completely ratarsed and discovering that he was wearing the Liverpool shirt that I sent him Smile   It was great speaking to him, and I got to speak to my Daughter too…I miss my kids so much, so even a brief phonecall is always welcome.

Yipes..went all soft there for a second… ah well Wink

You can't make this up

Mad ScientistNow..I know that people will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid getting into trouble with the law.   There are even those that will go to extraordinary lengths to help other people avoid getting into trouble with the law…but seriously, how can you create a company that sells a fake penis, containing a heating element and synthetic urine, and not expect to get into trouble.   I mean seriously, there is no way that you can think this is legal.   Check it out for yourself… The Whizzinator.

I have to say that I admire the ingenuity of the inventors that decided to fill a niche market… hehheh I said fill a niche…

Sorry, where was I?   Oh yeah, it got me thinking about other daft inventions.   Now, admittedly, I don’t think that some of these have made it into production, but here are a few things that people have spent good money on in the US to patent them as ideas….

Electrified Table Cloth – The idea behind this is to keep bugs away from your food…obviously ignoring anything that flys and doesn’t land on the cloth itself…or Granny and her sensitive pacemaker who likes to lean on the table for stability….that said, it could totally help with table manners for people that constantly eat with their elbows on the table (very rude, or so the beatings of my youth lead me to believe..thanks mum!)

Animal Toy – Quite a vague title for a patent…but apparently someone thought it appropriate, at the US patent office, to allow someone to patent …. wait for it …. a plastic stick.   Obviously the damage being done to the planet by using sticks that fall naturally from trees can be completely balanced by the creation of man-made plastic ones.

Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force – There are no real words to this…all I can tell you is that when I read this, I instantly flashed back to the scene in Spies Like Us (Chevy Chase and Dan Akroyd) where they are put into the G-Force machine (or something) and rapidly span around.   I kind of imagine that scene, but with stirrups and the woman laying down as it whips her around and around, and then…sorry, I’ll stop there.

Then, you find some that are actually on sale..

Anti Theft Car/Bike Stickers – In an effort to make your car/bike unappealing to potential thieves…you place these realistic rust/scratch stickers and make the car instantly… unappealing to you aswell…great idea.

Rain Sensor – This thing has 2 units, one you place outside and an alarm that sits inside.   When rain hits the sensor outside, the alarm goes off….genius, because I would never have considered looking out of a window.. Why bother when you can spend money so you don’t have to.   Might work with the lesser known “Invisible Rain” though…

Bulletproof Bed – Essentially, you get into bed and this thing surrounds you like a coffin.   I can almost write the episode of CSI for you now…let’s face it, one power cut and the next time anyone sees you it will be because your neighbour upstairs is complaining about the strange smell… Also, the picture of it shows that it is wooden…not the most bulletproof material in the world

Anyone got any inventions they want to get patented?

My first thanksgiving

Feuerzangenbowle......GeniusSorry for not posting so regularly, my bloody social life is getting in the way.

So after 35 years on this planet, most of them spent watching American films and TV shows…I finally got to my very first Thanksgiving dinner.   Ok, so it was in Germany..with 4 Germans, an Aussie and a Brit…but there were two bonafide Americans there too..so that was good Smile   In fact..there is probably an episode of How I Met Your Mother in there somewhere, if you put your mind to it.

It was a lot like a British Christmas dinner, but with specially made gravy (based on JDs mums recipe) and American style stuffing.   There was even pumpkin pie…something I have avoided like the plague my whole life, seeing as I have hated pumpkin in every other form I have tried it in.   Pumpkin pie is to pumpkin as carrot cake is to carrot.   In short, bloody lovely.

Great conversation was had and serious quantities of wine were drunk…after the symetrical table was photographed (thanks to K).   The whole thing was topped off with a German stylee…thanks to the biergarten table and homemade Feuerzangenbowle.

Ahh feuerzangenbowle…how I love thee so.   Copious amounts of red wine, various spices and fruit with rum soaked sugar melting into it via serious flames.   Un-be-lievable.   A drink that is traditionally drunk outside in the freezing cold winter to warm you up…drank inside..after a seriously good and, dare I say, big turkey dinner (I had 3 helpings) coupled with lots of wine…and the effects were, instantaneous to say the least.   I honestly don’t get why people call it “Pot of Evil”, or maybe it just made me forget…

JD says she enjoyed the first thanksgiving that she had prepared on her own, but she was struck down partway through with a really nasty headache type thing…being the caring and warmhearted dinner guests we were, we made our excuses and left…approximately 3 hours after we found out.     Sorry JD Oops!

I am definitely looking forward to my next thanksgiving Smile although my more immediate concern is getting to the Christmas market here so that I can get my hands on some more of that wonderful feuerzangenbowle..hopefully drinking it in the cold will stop me falling up my stairs (oh, and almost off the tram onto my face) this time.   I make no promises however, especially with the quantity I intend to drink.   It is MKs birthday on Thursday, so we are all meeting at the Christmas market….not that I need an occasion.   To quote Ed Byrne…”You are drinking again Dave, what’s the occasion?” – “I’m sober”

Then I get to go back to the UK for Christmas in a few weeks and spend it with my family.

Good times…genuinely good times Smile