Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I just wish..

... I had the time to go through all of these blogspots I love so much, but right now, we're both sooooo freaking tired. And it's not even mid-week, yet! The coming weekends are filled up (of which you can then read about in time). But for now, we need our evenings - well I do.

Next (real) holidays coming up in July. Seems so far away.

Zzzzzzzz. Will have dinner and snooze off shortly atfer. Maybe it was the heavy once a week lunch??

That's it for now.

NOTE: Written on Tuesday evening, put into drafts by mistake, and posted without change on Wednesday.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Dale's habits, signs and non-verbal communication

Sometimes words cannot explain as much as gestures or body language. We've been trying for a long time to capture our four legged friend in his way of expressing his wants. Saturday morning I finally succeeded in capturing one of his unspoken communications. It's nice how you get to know your pet and its habits. For every little thing he want he has a different meow or facial expression. He knows how to use his "manners" to make clear what he wants.

Isn't he cute (and big)? This is Dale's ultimate way of expressing his impatience after his morning stroll. I wanna come in, need take a sh*t downstairs and then you can serve me breakfast! Yes master, your wish is my command... but uhh, who cleans the window?

Friday night Bowling

Finding a date that suits most everybody is always difficult. A group of colleagues at work have been trying to arrange an evening out for quite some time now and we could finally agree on a date. Friday, February 17th was set. Not all could make it, but we gathered a nice bunch of 8 people and decided to go bowling and then play a game of pool.

Both OrangeX and I hadn't bowled since 2003 and the time before that must have been something like 1997 (in my case anyway)! So, Doni reserved 2 lanes for that evening and we all met at the Sprisse in Pratteln (about 15 minutes drive from Basel) at 8.30 pm.

Orange and I were the first to arrive, followed by Nelli (our receptionist), then came Eckhard (one of our sales reps for Switzerland and European product trainer) and little after that, Doni and Jasmine from Customer Service, Doug from R&D and Hasan from procurement joined us. We made our way to the bowling lanes and played a few games. It was Doug's first try at bowling. It was difficult to stabilize the wheelchair and keep the energy of movement in the ball until it was released.

Doni ordered a few pizzas to go with the beers. We had a good laugh because of the picts we took. We wanted to catch the different styles -many of which were ummm... unusual. And you don't want to stand in front of people when they throw, so we have quite a few "back views". But we all had lots of fun. The two teams consisted of: Nelli, Eckhard,Hasan & Doni and Jasmine, Doug, OrangeX and myself.

OrangeX and Doni (like the shoes?)

Nelli, Eckhard (sitting), Doni and yours truly

Jasmine and I

After playing two rounds of bowling, we decided to move over to the pool tables and brought back our bowling shoes. After a 20 minute wait, we could go to our assigned tables. Nelli and I decided not to play, but to take photos and support the players. Doug proved to play a mean game of pool although he said he was having a bad day. Doni, who had played with him before confimed that he'd usually clean up the table pretty quickly.

Doug's very concentrated, isn't he?

And Eckhard said he played only once before. Yeah, right.

Difficult shot, Hasan?

Going for the side pocket.

Jasmine also did quite well.

I had had a busy week, the air was quite thick in there and my contact lenses were drying out, so after the second game, we decided to leave. It was short after 11.00 pm and I was sure that, once at home, I'd be wide awake again, but this time, I was wrong. After 10 minutes of TV, I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore and hit the sack.

Getting up on Saturday - even after a good night's sleep - was tough. But although our muscles felt wrecked, we definitely had a good time and will join in next time again.

Modern version of "the Birds and the Bees"

Just to keep you busy while I complete my other post, here's a joke I recceived just recently.
Little boy goes to his father and asks “Daddy, how was I born?”

The father answers:
“Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom and
I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via
e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded
room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as
I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a
firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine
months later a blessed little Pop-Up appeared and said:

“You’ve Got Male!”

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Just couldn't resist

Stolen from Christina, who saw it at Ms. Mac's, who stole it form Naughty Antipo, who got it from....

I just couldn't resist....

Get your name encoded here.

... I think I like it! :-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What colour is your passion

I saw this on one of Xmichra's posts lately and I thought it would be a suitable quizzie for Valentines day.

Your Passion is Red!
You've got that spark - a good dose of intensity, power, and determination.
You do whatever you want in life ... to hell with what anyone thinks!
With so many interests and loves, you're always running around doing something new.
You have fire in your eyes, and it shows. Bet you're even wearing something red!
So what colour is your passion?

Happy Valentines Day!

A weekend with Jaap and Patricia

After doing the groceries, cleaning and racing to the theatre to make it on time, we dashed back home - not having had any dinner at all - and made a quick stop at a McDonalds to pick up some food. Not exactly my favourite, but considering that I have it once or twice a year, I can live with it. We got home around 11 pm and Jaap and Patricia arrived at a quarter passed midnight. Thanks to Mrs. TBF, I was more than happy to fill Jaap's empty stomach with a plate of steaming pasta Aglio and Olio. (HA! And all we had food from the big M). We chatted a for a while and went to bed around 2am.

On Saturday, we went to Basel to pick up our passport photos and a printout of the portraits we had done, and did a bit of shopping & groceries. Once we got home, we asked Jaap and Patricia to help us pick the best shot of the portraits. Actually, quite a few were very nice, so I guess we’ll have more than one done in 5x7”.

Later, Patricia noted that Jaap was actually thinking of buying a new ski jacket, but I think the Swiss prices scared him a bit - anyone whos been in Switzerland would understand that! So we had him at least try on Orange's jacket. One size too big, but he managed. Jaap loved the hood! Cool!

All of a sudden, OrangeX had one of his pyromaniac attacks and decided to start up our beloved Caminero. Men tend to have those, you know. Grilling probably also belongs to that family. If they can’t burn something, they feel helpless. But who cares. If it makes them happy and we can profit from it?? Anyway, the weather was still so beautiful, and so we enjoyed a drink and sat outside by the warming flames.

As we couldn’t make it to Jaap’s birthday party in January and Patricia’s B-Day coming up next month, we decided to invite them out to dinner at the Atlantis. We had a great time there, but unfortunately, had somewhat of a loud neighbour. It was probably close to causing deafness to anybody closer than 10 meters away when she laughed – and she was a very happy person that evening. Remember ALF from Melmac laugh? Or maybe ever see the movie “Amadeus”? Well make it a female voice and about 50 db louder – with screech – and you just about got it. At some point, one of her girlfriends even fell off her chair! Now that I think back, we should have applauded for the extra performance. But anyway, we still had a wonderful dinner and a lovely evening. We took a taxi back home around midnight, had a last drink at home and enjoyed each other’s company – without screech! Here are a few pics.

After a good night’s sleep, we had a few coffees and decided to take a nice walk up the hill and through the woods to a nearby (30 min walk) restaurant called the Predigerhof for some lunch. It was quite relaxing and we just enjoyed the fresh air. Once we got back home, Jaap and Patricia packed and drove off again to Holland. Next time will be out turn and we are already planning a trip to Utrecht (NL) in the coming weeks.

You’ll hear about it; I promise.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Please be patient

I've been trying to post my next blog, but Blogger is really acting up and I can't post pictures.

Bare with me. I'll upload as soon as I can. I've just spent the last 2 hours trying and my patience - not one of my best assests - has run out.

Thanks for understanding. Love y'all.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Despite Oscar Wilde

Okay, so I haven't posted in a while. But we've both been more than busy! I'm sorry. I'll try to do better.

Orange-X had to drive all the way up to Hanover twice in the past 2 weeks (always on a friggin' Monday morning, mind you!). So 670km both ways and that twice on Mondays to be there for meetings around 1 pm. That meant for him, get up at five kinda thing! UGH!

On Thursday, Orange told me that he got a message from your friends Jaap and Patricia asking us if we would drive up or if they should drive to us this weekend. We figured that Orange had been doing enough mileage the past weeks and offered them to come down for the weekend.

I left work early (5:30 pm) on Friday to get some groceries to feed our lovely guests whlie Orange drove home from Zurich in a frenzy to get a bit of house cleaning done.
The thing was that we had tickets to go to a theatre run by students ( one of which works part time for our company and who was also directing the play) that evening. I was absolutely delighting. "The importance of being Ernest by Oscar Wilde"... Or may I quote: "Despite Oscar Wilde". The actors are mostly students from the English seminar in Basel and formed a theatre group in the early 40’s called The Gay Beggars. They play in English and they're really fabulous. Their theatre is in the cellar of and old Basel house and although they usually have very tight budgets, they manage to really give the play its essence. The Performance was a joy to see and experience. I was amazed and certainly will return.

Read more later about our weekend.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Oops! I did it again...

Unlike last weekend, when we woke up spontaneously at inhuman hours, we had to be woken by the alarm clock on Saturday morning. CS and I had to get our passphotos taken at Fotohaus Wolf. CS arranged for an appointment earlier in the week and also asked to have a few portraits taken. We got up at 7.30 and took our time for our morning coffee. After that CS jumped into the tub and I got into the shower, that is, after CS told me to get ready as it was already 9.10 a.m. Darn, I was just completely concentrated on my game of Sudoku on the internet. That's when I got into the shower...

We drove off to Basel and parked the car in the Storchen, walked over the Marktplatz, where the market had already come to live, and arrived at Fotohaus Wolf at 10.00 sharp. Perfect timing! (Maybe I could have finished my game of Sudoko anyway ;-)) in no time we had the pictures and the portraits taken. It went amazingly fast. Now I am curious about the result, but we'll see that next week when we're going back to pick up the passphotos and pick out the portraits for print. We got out and walked into a still fairly quiet city. It was cold and humid but I had seen a nice black Boss coat a few weeks earlier and regretted not having bought it at that time. I saw the coat at Pfauen but CS and I decided to have a look at my favorite clothing store, Herren Globus, first. By the way, TBF gave me the tip to have a look at the Boss Outlet Store in Wetzingen, close to Stuttgart, but I didn't feel like driving 600 km back and forth for a coat. Will do that some other day when we suffer from unexpected early awakenings again. Anyway, we walked into Herren Globus and CS already noticed strange sounds coming from pocket. My credit card was already protesting, even though we hadn't even reached the 1st floor (Boss department) yet. As soon as our faces were noticed a smiling salesman walked in our direction. I told him what I was looking for but unfortunately the wanted coat wasn't available here. No coat, BUT...he was kind enough to show the recent arrivals of the Boss collection. Bottom line: we walked out with bag filled with a pair of pants and 3 shirts. So, still looking for the coat. This couldn't be too hard as Pfauen is just opposite of Herren Globus, so we hopped over and went up to men's department. CS immediately found the coat, I tried it on and the deal was done. Once more my credit card cried out loud.... (Oops, I did it again...)

We went down to the Coop super market located in the basement of Pfauen to have a nice snack at the counter. After our snack we left Pfauen and walked back towards the parking. In teh meantime Basel had come more to live and the streets started to fill with people. We drove back towards home and did our groceries. For dinner CS made a wonderful pork roast which we had in fromt of the TV, watching The Island. A very nice movie from the makers of Bad Boys I & II.

On Sunday morning we got up around 9.00. Pretty early and the awakenings were tough for me. I even had trouble speaking properly while we enjoyed our morning coffee. After the coffee we started the obligatory laundry (yes, we do the laundry on Sunday! Shame on us...:-)) and followed the daily bath and wash ritual. As the weather was nice we decided to go out for a drive to the canton Jura. CS proposed to drive up to a small village called Porrentruy.(Sorry, only available in French, but worth while checking out for the pictures) We found a parking in the old town and faced the old castle. We walked up to have a closer look at this old castle and enjoyed the view from the courtyard over the village. In the 14th century this castle served as the residence of diocese for the region. During office hours guided tours can be made, but unfortunately on weekends you will have to let your imagination speak. No tours available on weekends! Nowadays the castle serves as the home of the justice department as well as a museum. Walking around the courtyard, we read about the efforts made over the past centuries to preserve the castle's characteristics. After enjoying this tour we walked down to the old town for a stroll with the sun and wind in our faces. After an hour or so we walked back to car and drove home. We enjoyed seeing this old village...

....the courtyard..... ................................. ....view over the old town....

Now it's time to think about dinner. We'll probably have a simple but tasty Swiss meal: Rösti with bacon and eggs! That's it for now Bloggers! By the way, this is my new coat! Like it?

To TBF: I hope you're satisfied and see there's no writer's block, and to all of you: have a good start of the new week!!

Cheers ,

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Hanging Man??!!!

I've been tagged by Rob!

So this is who I am when I type in "CanadianSwiss" (just for the fun of it) . The hanging man??? Hmmm.

You Are The Hanging Man

You represent the seeking of enlightenment and spiritual clarity.

You tend to confuse others, but your oddities seem deeply satisfying.

Self sacrifice is easy for you, especially if it makes you a better person in the end.

You are the type of person who is very in touch with your soul and inner spirit.

Your fortune:

Right now is a good time for reflection and meditation.

You should stop resisting the problems in your life, and let yourself be vulnerable to them.

You may need to sacrifice something important to you to move ahead in your life.

Accept your destiny with courage, and learn to let go of what you think you need.

... and this is what I am described as I am when I type in my real name:

You Are The Sun

You represent the best of life - vitality, success, and and truth.

You tend to have a strong, centered, balanced personality.

Inspiration and discovery are your fortes. You are very mentally strong.

A talented mind, you tend to excel at math, philosophy, and music.

Your fortune:

As well as you have done in the past, the future is going to be filled with more success.

A new creative project is coming your way. Feed it, and it will grow into something huge.

Great riches, recognition, prosperity, or happiness is coming your way.

And it's possible that a fantastic vacation, or a new baby, is coming sooner than you think.

HA! You bet! I prefer the second. I guess the first just confused CanadianSwiss being two different worlds. ! ;-) But... what baby are they talking about?? I'll take the vacation!
You guys try it out and let me know the outcome.