June 25, 2011

Weekly Picture Project: Weeks 21-23 (U,V,W)

Well, I'm getting close to finishing this project--in fact, the "Y" week ends tomorrow, so after next week I'll post up X,Y, and Z. Today I'll get U,V, and W. It's been a good, fun challenge to get three or four letter-themed pictures each week, but I've gotten behind on posting them (although I've been good about keeping up to date with actually taking the pictures). So, here we go:


Unnecessary: "Whipping Cream" / "For whipping" / "The photography shows a suggestion of consumption"
Stop. Shut up. Shut up. You had me at "whipping."

Ughhhh: I was really full this evening, after eating a delicious meal at our Belgian friends' house.

Underexposed Underwear: I worked with the +/- button on the camera to adjust the exposure.


Vignette: Our blue camera has a function that gives pictures a vignette effect. This is the result when you point it at our napkin holder.

Vertical: A bar stool in our kitchen.

Vegemite: Thanks to Lucy for the Vegemite and for the modeling!

Vegemite: Ready for its close-up!


Weeds 1: A dandelion behind the Formerly Crappy Casita.

Weeds 2: More weeds.

Water 1: At a river near Berlin. This is the bridge.

Water 2: Sofie and Thijs' son Andres, splashing in the water.

So, that's it for the moment. Keep checking back for pictures and blog fun! Have a great day!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

June 23, 2011

Ride The Lightning

It was storming over the wrongly-named Pacific Ocean last night, so I spent about an hour taking (or trying to take) 183 pictures of lightning. It's not as easy as one might think. In any case, I put the 12 that turned out the best on Flickr, and there's something about each picture that I like. Feel free to check them  out if you want.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

June 21, 2011

Fathers' Day

In case you're interested (or part of the family), you can check out some Fathers' Day pictures on my flickr account. It was a nice evening!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

June 19, 2011

"The Gift That Keeps On Giving": A Play in One Act

Cast of Characters:
Jane: A charming young woman, with tragic taste in Fathers' Day gifts
Pete: A charming young man, swashbuckler
Orange Julius Crier
Beautiful Girl
Mall Patrons and/or Dregs of Society

Scene: "Suburbia, U.S.A."

Act I, Scene 1

As the curtain rises, we see a bench at a mall. There is hustle, bustle, and the sound of the criers at Orange Julius offering their wares. 

Orange Julius Crier (From offstage): Juliuses! Juliuses! Orange and Strawberry Juliuses, now on offer to tempt your taste buds! We also have hot dogs! 

(The voice of the crier fades out, and we see our two protagonists enter the stage from opposing sides. Jane is preoccupied sending a text message, and Pete gets temporarily distracted by a beautiful girl working at the Lady Foot Locker. As they move closer, they finally see each other.)

Jane: Hey Pete! Pete! What's up?

Pete: Oh, hi Jane! Not much. Say, what's that you've got in that bag there?

Jane: Oh, this? It's a tie that looks like a piano keyboard. It's Fathers' Day, remember? I'm going to give it to my dad later today.

Pete: Another tie that looks like a piano keyboard?? I hope you're going to be giving him some sort of alcohol first, to numb his senses and help him forget what a disappointing gift-giver his daughter's become!

Jane: Well, there's no need to be mean about it, but you're right, actually. I know that my father's a traveling magician and keyboard player, but I think he's been faking his enthusiasm about the last couple of keyboard ties I gave him. But I just can't think of anything better! What e'er shall I do?!

Pete: Gosh, Jane, looks like you've got yourself tied up, but I think I just might have the solution for you! 

Jane: Oh, if you could help me, I'd owe you so big time.

Pete: I have the perfect gift for you; why not get your old man a lovely set of German loanwords from the Sitzman ABC Platinum Collection?

Jane: Pete, that's the perfect Fathers' Day gift, obviously, but how will I ever be able to afford it? Will I have to sell my hair to get money to buy those German loanwords? They must cost a fortune!

Pete: Absolutely not--you get to keep that lovely hair right on your head! That's the best thing about the Platinum Collection at Sitzman ABC: It's completely free! So instead of giving your dad some crappy tie, why not give him something he'll use and enjoy? The Platinum Collection from Sitzman ABC has so many wonderful, elegant German loanwords, and they're all gathered together into one convenient package. It's got almost too many words to mention here, but you'll get beautiful words like kindergarten, delicatessen, realpolitik, angst, gesundheit...

Jane (interrupts excitedly): What about schadenfreude?

Pete: You bet your ass you get schadenfreude

Jane: I'm sold! I'd better get there soon--but where's there store? The mall maps are always so hard to read! 

Pete: Jane, that's the best part! The German loanwords collection from Sitzman ABC's Platinum Collection is available exclusively online at Sitzman ABC, which means that you won't have to go to the mall and interact with the dregs of society just to get a decent Fathers' Day gift!

(They hold hands, and turn together and walk slowly towards the mall exit.)

Jane: Oh, Pete, that's wonderful! (Pause) And I know you'll make a great father, too!

Pete: A great... a great... whaaat?

Jane (quietly, looking down): A father, Pete.

Pete (perplexed, almost in a whisper): But how can this be?

Jane: I think you know how, Pete.

Pete: I told you that drinking coconut milk and chamomile tea wasn't a form of birth control! Ach, Scheiße!

(As they quietly walk out of the mall, the curtain drops.) 

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

June 16, 2011

What's Going On On This Side?

Since I know you've likely got a lot of time on your hands, I thought I'd mention my Sitzman ABC blog. Many of you have possibly seen it or heard me mention it, but if you've not checked it out yet, consider doing so. 

I originally made the site geared towards my students, so it had a lot of tips about the English language, but I've recently tried to make it more about languages and language learning in general, so there may be something that's interesting for you, even if you're a native speaker. I've talked about podcasts, the free Kindle program for your computer or cell phone, recommended web sites, and, most recently, loanwords (hence the picture here). Additionally, I've started to provide more resources for people who want to learn Spanish, German, or Swedish.

So, if you've not gone to the blog, maybe you should. What if you miss something incredible? Plus, if you have any suggestions of topics related to language I could write about, I'd be happy to hear from you. You can even "like" the page on Facebook or follow it on Twitter. Thanks for reading, and I'll hope to see you there sometime soon! 

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

June 14, 2011

Picture of the Day Catch-Up: May 2011

Wow, how did I get over a month behind on posting these Pictures of the Day? I guess I was busy tweeting. In any case, here are the Pictures of the Day from May. Enjoy!

May 1: I know I already posted this picture of Cristina, Ruben, and Andy, but I wanted to post the whole month of May.

May 2: This is a huge moth that was hanging from the step on our back porch. It was pretty impressive.

May 3: A medallion of John Paul II that my friend Dario had. Also a star of David.

May 4: Some tasty cookies that I baked up.

May 5: This is the view of Orotina and San Mateo from our house. It's not exactly the best picture of the day, but I like it 'cause you can see the Gulf of Nicoya. Once again, we had a ridiculously, stupidly beautiful sunset here in Berlin.

May 6: It was a long day. I had to plan for my Saturday classes after I got back home from my Friday evening class.

May 7: I had noticed recently that my flickr account was close to 100,000 views (which is nothing, actually, compared to many people who use it). But for a non-professional who mainly puts up pictures of his food and his cat, it was kind of an impressive-looking number for me.

May 8: The day I stop laughing at fat, bug-eyed dogs is the day I give up everything I believe in. I took these pictures on a day-trip to Heredia. We went there with Angela's folks to visit two of her aunts.

May 9: Angela's cousin Luciano came over for a few days to do some finishing work on the Formerly Crappy Casita. We made a little storage area in the back, and it looks great now!

May 10: I was waiting for Angela's class to finish up, and had neither book nor computer for an hour. So I looked through every single option on both of my cameras. I actually learned quite a lot.

May 11: Andy made this delicious dinner. We decided it'd show up as something like the "Fiesta Platter" on a menu.

May 12: Getting closer to finishing "The Stand," my 1,200-page Stephen King behemoth in German (thus the name "Das Letzte Gefecht"). It's good, just really, really long.

May 13: My father-in-law Honorio with a lunch Angela made (complete with a "pollito"). He came over and he and I built a fence in the back and part of the side of our lot. It was hard work, I tell ya!

May 14: Some students in my Saturday afternoon class. I was looking for "S" pictures for my Weekly Picture Project. I should have set a higher ISO to combat the fuzziness, but at the time it looked OK. Oh well. In any case, I've taught this group 4 times, and they're some of my favorite and best students I've had!

May 15: Andy and I watched "The Limey," and for some reason I thought it'd be witty if I took a picture of the title screen with two limes. It wasn't really. Terrence Stamp would probably beat the crap out of me if he knew about it.

May 16: I spent a good part of the day with these two things, unfortunately. In fact, I read 30% of "Red Alert," the book that "Dr. Strangelove" was based on, while on the toilet (I only know this because the Kindle uses percentages rather than page numbers).
You can now make your own joke about "dropping bombs," but it wasn't funny at all at the time.

May 17: "My arsenal." Still not feeling very good.

May 18: This is likely the crappiest Picture of the Day I've taken in the last year and a half. I started the project a year and a half ago, so you're looking at the crappiest picture of the day EVER! In any case, it's a cracked tile between our garage and entry hall. The crack came during the recent tremor, a 6.0 one earlier in the week.

May 19: I was looking for "T" pictures, so I got one with time (and a tripod and a timer!).

May 20: I wrote a review of three albums, so I wanted an image to go with it. This is a reflection of me in my computer.

May 21: A basil plant in our kitchen.

May 22: My sister-in-law Antonieta (Toni). She's very nice, and she came over today to give us some tacos and breadsticks she'd made. They were delicious!

May 23: A fan that we have in our living room. I believe we got it in Madrid, strangely enough.

May 24: These two words are difficult for some English learners to pronounce correctly. Words like these two are called minimal pairs. Thanks to Andy for wearing the bag!

May 25: I read this book at the beginning of the year, but then I wanted to find what Klosterman mentioned about Garth Brooks. I ended up re-reading the book.

May 26: A Bougainvillea plant in our yard. Here it's called "veranera."

May 27: A roasry-type thing in a classroom at the school where I work. During the day there's a 5th grade class there, I think. Definitely no separation of church and state.

May 28: Angela's sitting at the end of this hall after teaching all day. It was a long day, and there was a childrens' fair (hence the used-car dealership-type ribbons).

May 29: Two pairs of shoes that recently got mold. Surely not the last pairs that will get mold before November/December. I hate this rainy season.

May 30: Some underwear. I was looking for "U" pictures this week, but had trouble. The leftover today is underexposed, too, so I guess that counts as another "U."

May 31: This bar stool that we have reminds me of a droid... or maybe it's Johnny 5. Either way, some robot from a movie.

So, that's it for today. Hopefully there was something interesting for you! Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

June 12, 2011


Lately I've been enjoying Robyn's latest album, Body Talk. I got it as an Amazon download, and it's got some great tracks. However, I'd not seen any of the videos until yesterday, when I came across this one:

I guess her outfit and haircut are a bit unfortunate, but her dancing's actually pretty great, and the song's as good as any Swedish girlydancepop that I've ever heard. So hopefully it'll make your Sunday a bit better!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

June 9, 2011

This Planted an Idea in My Head

The other day I was reading a bit of Stern.de. It's a German magazine that's sort of a cross between The Economist and US Weekly, in that it has both news stories and occasional pictures of boobs (it is German, after all).

In any case, I saw this article about Wayne Rooney. I don't really care about soccer, football, or fútbol, but in this particular case, Wayne Rooney turns out to be a soccer player in England (not a comedian, as I had previously imagined; that's Mickey Rooney). Nevertheless, the point of the article, and this post, is that Rooney got a hair transplant and put up a picture on the internet. And it doesn't look half bad.

Rooney before and after; Picture from article on stern.de

Now I'm wondering if I might be able to work out some sort of deal like this with my own head. After all, as part of my "Hair Plate Tectonics" theory I originally presented in the year 2002, I've got more hair than necessary on the back of my neck, but not nearly enough in the front. As I explained at an impromptu medical conference on a balcony in Regensburg, Germany, this is due to the shifting follicle plates on my skull. However, a transplant might be able to reverse that effect. 

So, if you know anything about this procedure, feel free to chime in in the comments (unless you're a blog spammer). I suppose that living in a so-called "medical tourism" country like Costa Rica could also turn out to be a blessing, but we'll have to see... Thanks for reading, and have a good one!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

June 4, 2011

"Denver International Airport" is an Anagram for "In An Introverted Proletarian"!!

I GUESS it could look like a swastika, but I'm just not seeing the penis.
I came across this interesting page the other day when I was reading Gizmodo. It's called "Proof That Denver Airport is one of the Most Evil Places on Earth." With a name like that one would almost expect traveler horror stories, but instead it's got quite a few videos about conspiracy theories related to DIA. It's a good way to kill some time on a lazy summer weekend (if it's summer where you are).

Personally, I've always liked DIA. In fact, my friend Mike and I once spent the night there while in high school, just for fun (Note: those freaking security advisories and "Warning! Moving walkway is coming to an end; please watch your step!" announcements keep going all damn night long). All of which makes me realize that we must have been pretty starved for fun in high school. 

Anyhow, one video talks about how the airport is full of phallic symbols, another talks about the evil blue horse statue with glowing red eyes (although that one is pretty well based on the truth), and there's also a great one with Jesse "The Body" Ventura investigating Masonic and New World Order connections to DIA. Yet another one talks about the "secret" tunnel to Concourse A, which helps travelers avoid long security lines (another point for truth). Still, these videos are worth checking out if only for the entertainment factor they offer. Then again, if these and some of the other sites are correct, come December 21, 2012, we'll all look like dumbasses if we get caught outside during the apocalyptic solar flare that starts the New World Order, while all our government leaders are safe and warm inside their deep underground base below DIA.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

June 3, 2011

Can't You Hear, Can't You Hear the Thunder?

Yesterday a woman from a land down under smiled an offered me a Vegemite sandwich.
Wait, why does this scenario seem so strangely familiar?

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook