Germany (and France, Belgium, Luxembourg)

Over the weekend, I had some work to do in Germany.  I decided to drive so that Cyndi and the kids could come with me.  But, one advantage to driving was getting to drive on the autobahn.  I’ve always wanted to do it…man, it was great.  Here’s a few pictures related to that:

Driving in Germany

Entering Germany

Driving in Germany

Driving in Germany

End of the 130 kph speed limit. Unlimited allowed! Speedometer at 100 mph


Spring has Sprung….finally.  Back in March, the weather got really nice for about 2 weeks but then it turned cold and rainy.  But yesterday, it started to warm up.  I think that today it will continue.


Skyline Chili

Skyline chili Dayton Ohio typical lunch

Yesterday, I opened a can of Skyline Chili, made spaghetti, sliced an onion, and had skyline.  It was good.  Not quite as good as being there, but it was good.

If you’ve never been to one, you should–can’t believe I’m saying this–head to Ohio and have some.  I’d recommend the 4 way with onions (and don’t forget the hot sauce).

Image from TheSeafarer via flickr

Living Abroad

This morning, while on the way to work, I saw a truck.  Not just any truck mind you, but a truck that looked like it carried fuel.  As I got closer, I saw it was a fire truck.  I snapped this picture with the intent of blogging about this later today.

Fire truck

In my mind, this truck epitomises what I’m going to write about.  Look at the truck and imagine seeing it from a distance.  What is the job of the truck?  By its general shape, I first guessed that it was a fuel truck (don’t ask me why I thought a fuel truck would be parked along the road in a residential section of town).  But then as I got closer, I saw the words FIRE on the front.  Obviously, the truck is meant to carry water so a fire can be put out.  But it doesn’t look like it.  It looks like a truck one might use to start a fire.  :^)

This is where much of the stress of living overseas–or for that matter just moving to a different town–comes from.  Things that look like one thing turn out to be something different.  And if you go looking for something, you may not find it because it doesn’t look like you expect.

This brings me to something important:  after moving over 21 times and living overseas for more than 5 years (as of 2012), moving is moving is moving.  Within the US you move and have to learn things:  where the hospital is, where the store is, what place has the cheapest gas, how to live without Skyline Chilli in a place where they’ve never heard of it (I know…can you imagine a place like that).  You just simply have to adjust.  Moving overseas is the same.

Before you say something like”but you live in a country where they speak English” let me remind you that we spend 2.5 years in Serbia where they didn’t.  Sure, that added a bit of stress, but, in general, the skills I learned moving 21+ times in the US helped me.  They also helped me help Cyndi.

TheArtOfCrossingCultures_StortiThis leads me to the best book I’ve ever read about moving abroad:  The Art of Crossing Cultures by Craig Storti.  In this book, Storti points out several things….my point being one of them.  Sure, there will be some extra stress brought on by what I mentioned above; however, once I remind myself that this isn’t America and things will be different, I’m good to go.

Storti also talks about other things.  I may write about that in the future.  If I do, this post will have a link to the new article.

The image to the left is from Amazon.

Lydia’s School Program

Lydia’s school had a program yesterday to show parents what they’ve learnt this year.  Isaac, Cyndi, and I went.  Here’s a few pictures:

Lydia school program 2 Lydia school program
Isaac Watching Lydia’s England Class “dancing”

Frappuccino Mocha Cookie Crumble


I got an email around the beginning of the week from Starbucks telling me I could try their new Mocha Cooke Crumble Frappuccino before it was released tomorrow.  Well, Cyndi and I popped in yesterday to try one.  

It was good; however, I don’t know if I’ll get one again.  While it had a great chocolate flavor, I was hoping for a more creamy milkshake/thickshake mouth-feel.  Overall though, if you like chocolate, go for it.

P.S.  No, I didn’t get it for free…I had to pay for it  🙂


Striking members of the Rockettes and Corps de Ballet picket outside Radio City Music Hall, October 1, 1967.

I’m getting back tomorrow (10 May 2012) just in time for this strike.

[Update 2012-05-15 11:14:32] Entering the UK was very easy.  The queue was about 1/2 of normal for those from non-EU countries while it was about normal for the EU queue.  The IRIS scanners were operational.  There was more of a queue there; however, I was in and out in less than 5 minutes.  I think the UK Border Security shot themselves in the foot here.  They go on strike and we get better service with fewer people??

[Update 2012-12-26 17:10:16] The link I had to the Washington Post went stale.  I’ve removed it because I couldn’t find the article.  It used to point here:

Image from kheel center via flickr