Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Не мога да живея

October 30th, 2008

Oh Dear!

Joe was there first so why not wander over to his blog for the follow up videos. Its the Internet. Of course there are follow up videos!


October 30th, 2008

The Zeugnis for die Prüfung arrived today, well I had to collect it and pay €10.

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The important bit says

Die damit nachgewiesenen Fertigkeiten werden im allgemeinen nach etwa 300 Unterrichtseinheiten erreicht, Sie entsprechen im rezeptiven Bereich der Stufe B 1 und im produktiven Bereich der Stufe A 2 des Gemeinsamen europäischen Referenzrahmens für Sprachen.

The numbers bit says

In den einzelnen Prüfungsteilen wurden folgende Ergebnisse erzielt:
Diktat:                     23 Punkte von 30 Punkte
Textproduktion:      19 Punkte von 30 Punkte
Leseverstehen:     20.5 Punkte von 30 Punkte
Grammatik:             79 Punkte von 90 Punkte

So 141.5/180 which is not too bad. 120/180 was the pass mark.

Peaches and Cream

October 28th, 2008

This article at the Register made me laugh! I didn’t even know Peaches Geldof was a writer now…

Well, for her efforts, Peaches immediately attracted hundreds of comments, few of them complimentary and most now pulled by Nylon. One survivor of the editorial hate cull notes: “i think they were right to delete all the nasty, bitter comments that were based on no more than ignorant and irrational prejudige. however, the person who posted the word ‘c*nt’ 11,000 times made a valid point, one that was based upon sound reasoning and enlighted argument. i see no reason why that should have been censored.”

In comparison, I don’t think Dan has anything to worry about. Unless Sunday Times readers are a lot meaner then they let on!

Lazy German Mondays…

October 27th, 2008

Today is a Bank Holiday at home, but not in Munich. Personally I tend to believe that ex-pats should be allowed off on all their national holidays as well as all local holidays, and of course their birthdays.

I have a day off because the next German course does not start until Thursday and even then I will not be allowed join unless I achieved a satisfactory result in the end-of-course test last Friday. Results are out tomorrow and we get diplomas on wed, assuming all goes well. We only have 3 weekdays between courses this time (last time we had 1.5 weeks) to allow the next 8 week course to be squeezed in before Christmas. Well they say 8 weeks, but the first week is only Thurs and Fri.

So as I still have two more days this week to do stuff, I am using today to not do too much at all. A bit of shopping, some domestic chores and so on and so forth. Just like a Sunday or a Bank Holiday Monday at home.

Direct Democracy

October 26th, 2008

Dan has a piece in today’s Sundays Times

The population could be afforded a significantly greater opportunity to be involved. For example, why not allow citizens to submit parliamentary questions or to have ministers address their questions in committee? Or even participate in the scrutiny of legislation?

I wonder if after this weeks protests and climbdowns TDs have had enough of direct democracy for now!

Die Prüfung

October 25th, 2008

Gestern war die Prüfung schwerig. Aber ich denke, dass es genauso schwerig als die Hausaufgabe den letzten Woche war. Ich glaube dass, ich OK sein will. Am Dienstag komme das Ergebnis


October 22nd, 2008

Don’t keep all your eggs in the one basket.

Baskets are for chickens.

As are pianos…

Deutsche Exercises

October 2nd, 2008

For the long weekend we got a lot of homework. And here it is, some of it anyway, for anyone who wants to try. Viel Glück!

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Das neue Fahrrad

September 16th, 2008

I don’t have a great history with bikes. The last three have been stolen from a DART station (ein Tipp: Don’t leave your bike overnight in a DART station – even when free beer is involved), stolen from the apartment building when the front door was broken and abandoned in the University and subsequently vandalised and finally removed by security. I still feel sort of bad about the last one as I generously received it from Danny and never put the time into looking after it that I should have, which directly led to the whole abandonment and destruction thing.

Anyway, now I have a new bike, well new to me anyway. In reality its the family bike. Not my family; its been floating around the group here for a while and after I got adopted into the group, the three stooges rescued it from its on-street abandonment, and I inherited it. I missed out in the whole rescue effort, but apparently it involved a failed attempt to cut the chain with a bolt-cutters, the use of the same bolt-cutters as a hammer on the lock and the eventual liberation of the bike when the broken key fell out of the lock and the spare key became viable.

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In spite of its abandonment and subsequent rescue the bike wasn’t in too bad shape and all it needed was a new front tube and tyre. So Chuffy and I picked one up on the weekly shopping exhibition. That should have given us a taste of what was to come. Certainly I have never had to use a wire cutters or a garden knife to remove the tyre of a bike before. I even jokingly remarked that the bike was old enough that the tyre was welded to the wheel…

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A quick test drive revealed that the bike was rather heavy, the brakes were a bit flaky, the back wheel was bald and the gears were, at best, reluctant. So Chuffy decided a rebuild was in order. A trip to the bike shop later and we had shiney new brakes and a not-shiney, but new tyre for the back wheel and handlebar grips.

The first bit went fine, I dispatched my Mother to the airport and Chuffy went to make a monkey of himself in Ingolstadt. So I made a start on the back tyre. Just as I was putting the back wheel on and noticed the chain was kinked around the back gears. And so it began. The chain wasn’t much of a problem; OK we snipped off a bit of the back gear housing, but everything fitted together well and it all seemed to work. We got the shiney new brakes fitted, but they wouldn’t quite fit over or under the mudguard. So we quickly popped off the mudguard and all was well!

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Was it fuck! The stupid mudguard was attached to the frame in no less than 6 places. And every single joint was rusted shut. We ended up using a wide variety tools over the space of an hour and a half to unscrew, drill, prise off and eventually hammer away and otherwise twist and maul the damned mudguard off the damned bike. And then it turned out the mudguard was also attached to the carrier, which in turn was attached to the frame. Its not like the yellow and purple colour was off putting enough, someone built this bike to be indestructible, well at least for the rear mudguard and carrier to be unstealable. And it was someone with short awkward limbs and hands too most of the components seemed to be inaccessible to ordinary mortals and now the bike has some nice jagged edges where screws broke in position.

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Still, all the more fun to cycle; and the jagged edges can be fun for kiddies of all ages. In the end, alls well that ends well and a few days on I have a working bike. OK its still a bit heavy and the gears ain’t great, but it goes and it stops more or less safely. I am even plotting to get my hands on a better bike; one that also seems to be be unloved and abandoned. It I bet it won’t require as much work either.

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Class Photos

September 13th, 2008

Two weeks into a 2nd eight weeks of German seems like a good time to catch up on the first course.

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Looking back the course seemed more relaxed and less hectic than the current course. Lots of reasons for that, everybody started at the same level so it was easy to bond, there was no big exam (like there will be in October) and it was summer.

And summer in Munich means Beer Gardens. Hopefully we will get to a couple with the current class too.

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