52 States in 8 Months

Adventskalender: Was steht morgen bei dir auf dem Tisch?

Posted in Adventskalender, East coast trip by Ulf on December 28, 2008

As the question was posed on Dec 23, it should be more like “What do you have as dinner on Christmas Eve?”

Alex and I had “Geflügelgeschnetzeltes in Sahnesauce“. It was really tasty!

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Adventskalender: Was schaust du Weihnachten? — Revisited!

Posted in Adventskalender, East coast trip by Ulf on December 27, 2008

Now the true answer to the older question is: We actually watched both an action movie and kind-of a fairy tale! There was “Ice Age 2” on TV, but at some point we switched to “Tomb Raider”.

PS: In the Atlanta TV ads you find things that are usually only in you spam mail folder: They had a 30 second spot for some penis enlargement drug. I could not trust my eyes!

Adventskalender: Wie sieht der Christbaum bei dir zu Hause aus?

Posted in Adventskalender by Ulf on December 24, 2008

How does the Christmas tree look like at home? My sister just arrived in Staffhorst, and I asked her to take both a picture of our Christmas tree and a picture of our grandparents’ tree. Here is what she sent me:

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The picture on the right hand side looks like the Christmas tree in the living room of my grandparents (although it will look much nicer once the candles are lighted and both the room light and the flash are off). But what’s about our Christmas tree? The label on the car from Hanover on the first picture says “Kampfmittelbeseitigung”. It’s something like a “weapon disposal service”. I don’t really know what my parents (they stand next to the car) did with our Christmas tree, but I guess it was too much this year…

Adventskalender: Wofür spendest du / würdest du spenden?

Posted in Adventskalender by Ulf on December 21, 2008

What do I donate money for?
I must admit that I have not donated any money this year. Well, that’s not completely true. The Comdirect Bank gives me 1 Euro each month which is, one or two days later, transferred to “Médecins Sans Frontières”. So I have already donated about €5 this year. Thats about £5 or $7 ;-)

But now I will donate some more money. It goes to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is my favorite list of formulas, a great source to copy foreign characters from (like our umlauts or Greek letters) and it is also a great place for random reading (while I should be working instead).


The German Wikimedia Verein offers a nice form where you can donate money by Bankeinzug. That’s the easiest way to donate money in Germany. I have now donated my €20 of the $6,000,000 which they want to collect this year. Now they only need 214,285 others who spend €20 :-)

Adventskalender: Was schaust du Weihnachten? Märchen oder Actionfilme?

Posted in Adventskalender by Ulf on December 20, 2008

What do you watch on Christmas? Fairy tales or action movies?

rtl-weihnachtenI have three things in mind. The first one comes from my childhood. RTL (a German TV station) usually had catchy trailers in their broadcasts. This applies both to Christmas and Easter. I think their Easter bunny even was the better one because they always had new action movies during the Easter days. That’s great for a teenager, and I would even prefer the action movies today. One reason might be that you don’t have to be completely attentive, so you can do something reasonable at the same time.

weather_new_logoIn the last years I have not watched that much TV. Although I even have a TV set in my room here in Delaware, I just don’t care about it. Mary and Bob however have their TV running all the time. But normally they don’t watch anything interesting! They have already proposed a couple of times to turn on Channel 2 in my room, which seems to be “The Weather Channel”. But I don’t care about the weather! I mean, I guess I could change the weather (by emitting even more CO2), so this channel offers a great amount of audience interaction, but I try not to do that. So what makes the weather channel interesting then?

275px-topgearlogoBut there is something which I might watch during the Christmas days. Simply because I watch it almost every day. Well, there are two things that I watch regularly. That’s the “Tagesthemen” (I prefer them to the “heute journal” because the ARD offers a nice Download button), and “Top Gear”. That is a very amusing BBC production. Some colleagues at GETRAG told me about it, then I started watching it. I’m currently in the 5th series which was produced 2004.

Edit: Just for curiosity, I turned on my TV set today. It works, and Channel 2 is really “The Weather Channel”.

Adventskalender: Ist Weihnachten für dich ein religiöses Fest?

Posted in Adventskalender by Ulf on December 19, 2008

santa-jesus-776984_white1Does Christmas have a religious meaning for me?

No. Absolutely not. I’ve expressed my ignorance towards religion and similar stuff before. For me Jesus, God, the bible, religion and church is all the same. But Christmas is not among them. Christmas is different.

My cousin says Christmas is “n haufen fressen, n haufen stress und n haufen geldausgeben is fuer n geburstag von nem toten” (Christmas is a heap of grub, a heap of stress and a heap of blown money for the birthday of a dead).tannenbaum

I agree with my cousin as far as Christmas does not deal with religion. For me, Christmas means something like holiday, going home, seeing the family (well, not this year). And the feast :-).

Looking for a different perspective? Click here or here.

Adventskalender: Hast du schon alle Geschenke beisammen?

Posted in Adventskalender by Ulf on December 18, 2008

geschenk Do I already have all Christmas presents?
Yes, sure. I mean, Christmas is next week and would have to send them over to Germany (or to any other place in the world). Actually, there are not many Christmas presents this year. I only have some little thingys for my family, nothing else.

I know that my lessor Mary will give me a Christmas present, so I might want to return something. However, I have no clue what to give her. Any hints from your side?

Adventskalender: Werden bei dir an Weihnachten die alten Lieder gesungen?

Posted in Adventskalender by Ulf on December 15, 2008

goodyearchristmasvolume5frontAt home? No. Nobody ever sung at home. My grandfather takes care about the music, but he justs turns on some Christmas cassette or Christmas LP. I’m always astonished about the sound quality of old analogue hardware. And as far as I know, they only use their sound system on Christmas! At least, I don’t remember having ever seen it running during the rest of the year.

But if you’re just asking about old Christmas songs… there is a discussion in the blog of a friend of mine who is in Georgia right now. I have to listen to some American Christmas songs one day so that I at least know the titles. But I’m in the institute right now, so I can’t.

Adventskalender: Hast du am 4. Advent noch mehr als zwei Kerzen?

Posted in Adventskalender by Ulf on December 14, 2008

How many candles have you left on the 4th Sunday in Advent? Do you manage to have more than two of them?
First of all, isn’t this question a bit early? I mean, today is only the 3rd Sunday in Advent!

zuendkerze_ngk_lang_web1The only candles I have are the “Zündkerzen” (spark plugs) in my internal combustion engine. And as I have an R4 engine (four cylinders in a row), I have exactly four of these “candles”. There were four of them on the 1st Sunday in Advent, and there will still be all four of them after the Christmas time. So spark plugs seem to be a bit more reliable than those normal Advent candles.

Have you ever thought about driving your car with only one cylinder during the first week of December, and then adding one more cylinder every Sunday? ;-)

Adventskalender: Welche Kindheitserlebnisse verbindest du mit der weißen Pracht?

Posted in Adventskalender by Ulf on December 14, 2008

What childhood memories come to my mind if I think about snow?

schneeball_towbson1One time when a friend of mine (I think it was Sven-Sebastian) was at our place, we spent the afternoon at a little creek which passes through our property. leather_trousersWe were both wearing denim trousers which soaked a lot of water. It was very cold, so the water in the trousers froze. This made the trousers very stiff, at least in the area of the lower leg. It’s really funny to wear stiff clothing, that’s so different so what clothes usually feel like! I was so overwhelmed by my stiff trousers, I decided to also wet my other clothes, hoping the water would also freeze and I would end up with a whole costume of stiff clothing. Well, it did not work.