Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010 - Bee's and Truces

Did I mention that there is no air conditioning in Switzerland?  At least none that I am aware of, instead the apartments have these HUGE windows that slide/swing open.  For example, our apartment, that wall of window contains two huge sliding glass doors, the kitchen and my office also have them.  Very nice, yes.  Well yes.  The interesting thing.  No screens.  No screens on any windows anywhere and it's not just us, when I look at the houses around here.. no screens.  Now someone tried to tell me "We don't have bugs here like you do in the United States."  Yeah, right.  Since I have been here I have become a spider killing machine.  The "Arnold Schwarzengger" of killing machines.  Sure none of the spiders I have killed were any bigger than a pin head but considering my phobia, its a VERY good start.  Oh and "No Ms. D I did not drown them in Raid"  (I still haven't found any).  Anyway that's not really my point, I got sidetracked.  Screens.  No screens and open doors = ..... not just bugs but bee's as in WASPS in the freaking house.  You hear that distinctive "Bzzzz Bzzzzz BZZZZZZZZZ I"M STUCK IN THIS HOUSE LET ME OUT BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" and you know by the time you get to them they are frantic and PO'd. 

It seems like we are on a one a day, big freaking angry Bee in the house trial.  I finally pinpointed where they are coming in (I think, this could change).  We have skylights, and they open.  It's nice to have them open because the allow a cross breeze.  Well the other day I opened one and in flew a damned bee.  I managed to shoo him out the door but one of these days someone is going to die and it's not going to be me!  Anyway I was concerned that maybe there was a bee's nest on the roof or near the skylight.  Nope.  That's not the issue.

This is the issue:
Dandilions on the roof (I told you it was the national flower)

Now that's not our roof but it is the roof on the apartment building across the way, and I've seen our roof.  Add skylights and its a duplicate.

So I've made a deal with the Bee's, I'll leave the skylights closed during the day but open the doors with no screens.  You stay OUTSIDE and I wont try to kill you with the Zurich Times Newspaper that I can't read.  In the evening when you go to sleep, I'll open the skylights (then known as nightlights... ok fine I made that up but I like it) and you sleep OUTSIDE. 

Hopefully they'll abide by this truce.  Keep your bee's knees crossed. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29, 2010 - The Swiss Alps

Today is an incredibly clear day.  You can see for miles (although I need my glasses).  While I was walking the dogs I realized that I could see the snow capped Alps from one of the hill tops I was on.  It's really breathtaking and I've never seen them up close (yet).  Then I wondered if the Swiss just take them forgranted.  Not necessarily in a negative way but more in the "it's an every day occurrence way" so they lose some of their wonder.  Right now I'm still in the breathtaking mode.

This picture doesn't do them justice but I thought I would try and share a little of what I got to see outside of my balcony today.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27, 2010

Not alot going on here this morning - I have to really get my butt in gear and knuckle down on the work thing this afternoon.  I did call the housesitting/pet sitting lady - she's going to stop by Friday to meet me and the dogs.  (1) Let's hope she is available in June because I have a dessert 1st night planned with friends that week (2) Let's hope she isn't crazy expensive, apparently she house sits for "celebrities".  Maybe they are D-List celebs.  I have also continued to talk outloud, to myself, about the kennel option.  I suspect I'm going to have to get over it because we need options and lord knows I don't want to cart the dogs back and forth every time we come home.  I'm pretty sure Ernie doesn't want that either (as evidenced by the trip over).

L is in Paris for the day, she took the train to the airport (literally the train in town has a direct connection to the airport).  She comes home tomorrow.

I need to find a way to do some stuff just for me, without the dogs, like go jogging.  I haven't figured that out yet but I've reached out to an expats group and have gotten a couple of suggestions on how to find someone to run with me.  Although my "running" is more like a wicked slow jog.

I also need to start working out again, and just need to screw up my courage to ask the woman Risa I met to tell me again where she works out.  It's apparently close by.  Oh, why do I need courage for that?  I haven't bumped into her recently and I'm considering ringing her doorbell.

So now for a random question:

Do you really need this sign:

To tell you not to climb this?

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010 - Weekend Round Up

Friday Night Sunset:

I’ve always considered myself pretty self-contained and in control emotionally. Certainly I get distressed or upset (generally that means I want to snap the head off someone); but “emotional” me? Never. I’m the calm rational one. Cry? In front of people? Never!

So I’m not sure when it happened, but suddenly I’m the emotional one. I swear so much so that I’ve looked around the apartment to see if someone put a pod in here like the invasion of the body snatchers (the black and white original not the horrible remake). Except that this pod will have stolen my emotional self control.

What am I going on about? Saturday, we went to look at kennels for the dogs. We need a safe place for them to stay when we travel. We saw this very nice, new kennel. There is enough space in one area for both dogs to stay together. There are two little doors that can be raised so the dogs can go out into a small area to do their business, and there is a fenced in “play area” that they take the dogs a couple times a day to run around on the grass. Deep breath, I cried. I have no idea if L was going to ask for more information or not, but once I looked out the little door to the area they go outside to do their business I started to tear up. I did managed not to completely bawl until we got back into the car, saving a tiny shred of dignity, but I couldn’t look at the nice lady who runs the place. I couldn’t help it. It reminded me of the dog pound and all I could think was that the dogs (the beastly boy) we’re going to think we abandoned them. In PRISON.  :(

I know they are “just dogs” and Jesse has been kenneled before, but Ernie has never been kenneled. Ever. I’ve always been lucky enough that my parents could take him when I traveled or one of my friend D’s daughters would stay at the house with him/them.


On a happier note, Saturday evening I put the new power supply into the desk top computer. This was not as easy as I would have liked, I had to remove the hard drive and some other doohickey. The fact that I have to call it a doohickey is partially why I wasn’t thrilled when I figured out I was going to have to remove it to get at the last cable for the power supply. Regardless, I got it in, remembered to change the voltage setting. Tentatively plugged the computer into the power strip; imagine someone who defuses bombs, that’s what I looked like. If I could have been behind a protective barrier and plugged the thing in with the power of my mind I would have. No explosions. Yeah. Turn on the computer… woo hoo it booted up.


We took the train to Felsenegg which is a very short trip outside of Zurich.  They have a cable car that takes you to the top of the mountain and I wanted to go.  Cable cars remind me of ferris wheels but not a scary.  Yes I am afraid of the ferris wheel.  No idea why.

The view from the cable car on the way up

Switzerland's National Flower... The Dandilion (ok that is conjecture on my part)

After we got to top we grabbed a quick bite to eat and decided that we should walk down the mountain using the paths.  These seemed like a good idea.  I should know by now that seeming to be a good idea does not always equate to BEING a good idea.
Of course as we are carefully working our way down the STEEP trail this guy is coming UP

Again put to shame by an Octarian.

I would have taken a picture of the guy running up these stairs but he was too fast and I was worried he might collapse and have a heart attack the way he was breathing.

Needless to say we made it safe and sound to the bottom and overall a fun time was had by all.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23, 2010 - Here kitty kitty

I’ve been pondering this for a few days now, fine more than a week.

Initially I didn’t notice the steps to the side of the cat door, (FYI the cat door is on the 3rd floor) and I wondered:

What the heck do they just shove the cat out the little hole and hope for the best? Sure cats are supposed to land on their feet and everything and 3 flights up would certainly give it time to twist around, but 3 floors? Can they land safely from 3 floors?

Then I spotted the stairs, they spiral all the way down. Which again makes me wonder, do you just shove the cat out the hole and as it flops through the air say: “Hey grab a hold of one of those stairs.”

It’s kind of ingenious if you think about it, no unwanted pests coming through the cat door at that height, at least I don’t think so. Can raccoons climb spiral staircases? ARE there raccoons in Switzerland?

Then it hit me, what if it’s NOT a cat door at all. What if it’s a small child door? Although I can’t imagine why a small child would want to crawl out onto the ledge of the window and go down the spiral staircase. I can think of even less reasons how a small child would rig the whole thing in the 1st place. So I’m stuck with an adult rigged it with the intent that some small-ish animal would make its own trips to and fro. Maybe, it’s a Bobcat door, hey it could be, bobcats have made a comeback in CT why not Switzerland?

Wouldn’t that be something; “Here Kitty Kitty….. OMG YOU’RE NOT KITTY”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22, 2010 - Success

Today I got my very 1st Swiss Haircut.  It's swiss because as the hair was falling from my head you could hear it's tiny little screams and they had an accent.  It seems my hair is acclimating faster than I am.  So, I went to the Coiffure (which makes me think of coffee more than it does a hair cut) and met the very nice woman named Lea who was going to cut my hair.  Turns out Lea speaks a bunch of languages including english so we did not have too much trouble communicating.  I do like the end result, not as much as when Daniel does my hair but that could just be because I have a rappart with Daniel and when you have a really good person to cut your hair switching is worse than changing doctors.

So I've decide to break with my own personal "thing" and post an after picture.  Sorry I didn't think about it soon enough to show the before.  Just imagine... longer.  Oh and ignore the bags under the eyes.  Unlike all these celeb's I don't have photoshop to make me look "perfect"

On another note:  One thing I have noticed lately.  I've started to speak in clipped sentances.  It's strange, it's like my brain thinks if I speak in broken english people will understand me better.  I am however, getting better at substituting alternate words that have either the same or similar meaning.  Which seems to help people in understanding me.  I will say, at least I haven't started shouting.  Have you experienced that phenomenon?  I haven't done it "yet" but I have witnessed it.  Two women speaking english to two completely non-english speaking Russians.  At one point the women start to speak more slowly and louder.  As if that is somehow going to help.  LOL

Oh speaking of language, I had intended on learning Swiss German (I already started the Pimsler series and its good) but I have had at least 5 different people tell me I am better off learning High German, despite the fact that High German does not translate to Swiss German.  It seems anyone who is Swiss can infact speak High German, although they seem to prefer not to, but not the other way around.  The woman in the hair place said that its not difficult to translate the high german to the swiss german.  Decisions, decisions.  I'd like to learn whichever is the easist to learn and go from there.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010 - The Hair Dilemma

For those of you who know me, I have short hair; really short hair. If I had Halle Berry’s face or Annie Lennox’s I’d have my hair even shorter, but they have their faces and I have mine. So, I like to wear my hair as short as I possibly can without looking like a boy (or unsightly). Now there will certainly be times when people will spot my hair and assume I am a boy but that’s their issue.

The issue I am facing is, I’m 4 weeks into this haircut, my hair is now too long for short hair. I won’t be in the US until June. I don’t think I can go that long without a haircut. Well I could but it would not make me happy. So today I have to find a place to get a haircut. In a foreign country. Where people don’t speak English fluently and I don’t speak Swiss German even half assed. Well I can speak it 1/4-assed, but not well enough to say. Can you cut my hair? I like it as short as you can without making me look like a boy. I like to spike my hair. So off I head to the center of town to check out the “Coiffure CAiAN hair care & design”; the fact that there is some English in their sign give me hope. I really don’t want to pantomime a haircut.

My goal: get an appointment. Well step that back a bit, ask if they speak English, see if I feel comfy, then get an appointment. Worst case I have until June for it to grow out and I can get it cut at home.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20, 2010 - The Burning of The Snowman

Now you may be raising your eyebrows in a bit of wonder at that title, but let me be absolutely clear, we went to watch the official “burning of the snowman” yesterday; otherwise known as the burning of the Böögg.

It’s a holiday in Zurich with a parade of all of the guilds (I did notice however that the lollipop guild was NOT represented) and then the burning of the snowman to signify the end of winter. I’ve never seen anything burned in effigy before but I’m pretty sure this counts. You would think that people in Switzerland liked their snowmen, but after yesterday’s display… Frosty had better avoid hanging out in Zurich. He could be next.

They build this GIANT pyre and put the snowman on stop – it also seems that he is randomly filled with explosives. Especially his head.

The Snowman: Doesn't he look all happy?

Let the fire begin

Oh No Mr. Bill!!!



Did I mention Explosives?

If you want to see all the photos go here: 

Update - Watch the news video on this site, the Snowman's head explodes at about 1 min left of video

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

Sunday was a lazy day of reading, napping, and of course walking the dogs.  That part pretty much goes without saying.

This is the beastly boy himself:

Oh and remember those hills I was complaining about?  The ones that suck the life out of me?  Well since I've given up dignity and self-consciousness for lent.  (Sure lent is over but a girl can keep trying).  I was heading down one of those hills yesterday.  Grateful that gravity was lending a hand and keeping my momentum forward, when I see this older woman.  Not an ancient woman but a woman easily in her 60's.  JOGGING!  Yes you've read that correctly, jogging UP the hill.  As if that wasn't bad enough she's wearing a backpack.  Come on, I was already feeling old and feeble and here comes this woman who is at least a decade older than I am putting me to shame.  Ugh.  It's like that advertisement you used to see in the comic books when we were younger (that is if you were born before the 70's) where the skinny guy is on the beach and the big tough bulky guy kicks sand in his face and gets all the girls.  Yeah, that's me, the weakling.  I can't even claim the skinny part.  The woman shamed me so much I have a game plan on restarting my running regime.  I'll show her, and maybe next time I might stumble and "accidently" knock her into the ravine.  (Did I say that outloud?)

Oh and just for fun, here's the stairs the dogs drag me up.  I am getting a wee bit better at these.  Sunday I only stopped once to catch my breath and stop my heart and lungs from exploding:

I think I took this at the 1/2 way point.  Where I needed a breather.

One last parting thought.  Why would anyone need to post a sign telling me that leeches are absolutely forbidden?  Really, who keeps leeches as a pet anyway?  Unless this sign is saying leeches on your abdomen is forbidden.  Frankly either way I'm good with it.  Next thing you know one of those crazy Housewives shows is going to be using leeches as a form of liposuction.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17, 2010 – The Train to the Plane…

Ok well not quite to the plane, but apparently if I wanted to I could take the train to the plane.

Today L and I walked into town and took the train to, I forget the name of the part of the town, but its on the other side of the city of Zurich. We had two goals.
(1) Teach me the public transportation system and
(2) Get an inexpensive pair of speakers (like computer speakers) that I could plug into my iPod so I don’t have to listen to music etc with headphones on while I work. The key word is inexpensive.

I have a set of speakers that I used to plug into it but, no surprise here, they can’t handle the 220 voltage. So we took the opportunity to go to the Apple store in Zurich. Yes everything is exactly the same in this apple store as anywhere else except with accents. Even the layout is essentially the same. It must be a marketing strategy. I did find out that I could but a set of apple “speakers” for $299 Swiss Franc’s – they were Bose so I guess I can understand, but all things considered my iPod is one of the original ones and I paid less for that than I would the speakers. I was thinking more along the lines of 25 – 30 SF. That may be unrealistic but it’s time to search the internet.

I am happy to report that we were at least successful on the 1st part which is probably more critical.

Oh the other thing we did today was complete the registration process for Ernie and Jesse. (at least I think we did – I may still have to go to town hall. Congratulations are in order they each have their own “Swiss Pet Passport” which we need to carry with us/them should we decide to take them to one of the other European Countries. Which could happen.

Here are some pictures in Old Town:

There are several churches in the area, I'm not sure which one this is but it's clock was so big I had to take a pic.

I wonder how long this guy and his horse had to hold this pose before the sculpture was complete.

Have to seen the movie "Extraordinary Gentleman"?  This reminds me of Captain Nemo and the submarine.  although L said it reminded her of the "Italian Job"

I have no idea who this statue is of or what it represents but it looks kind of alien under that bag.  Could be why there is a bag over its face in the first place.


We ate lunch here.  There's a long line that moves extremely quickly because this is pretty much an assembly line at it's best.  This guy wraps the keilbasa or the "worst" (why would someone eat something that's name tells you its the worst?) in wax paper, you grab that, a small container or wicked hot mustard, a piece of bread, and find someplace to stand and share a table.  I was pretty surprised at how good it was.  The mustard (think gray poupon on steriods) seriously clears the sinus'

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16, 2010

This might not seem like much, but this morning I actually got in the car and drove to the Coop.  It's actually kind of cool because usually I walk.  Partially because I am nervous about (a) driving, (b) getting lost - although the GPS could certainly get me home (c) Finding a place to park.  I was going to put off driving to town until I looked up on the web what all the different street signs/symbols mean but I realized that was just me being chicken %&* and that I should just get off my duff and give it a whirl.  I'm not really sure what I would have done had there not been a parking space but worst case I guess I could have driven home and walked.  But that is beside the point.  There was a space and I went into the grocery store, talked to the man behind the meat counter.  I sort of ended up buy two pieces of steak for either tonight or tomorrow's dinner.  I hadn't really intended on buying it - I'm not a big steak girl and without a grill I'm not sure how to cook it.  LOL Hopefully L knows how.  Why did I buy it?  Well I was trying to decide what I wanted and the meat counter guy was trying to be helpful and I just sort of acquiesced.  I was really considering pork but didn't see any.  Fine, fine that will be the NEXT hurdle ok.  At least this time I talked to the guy.  Next time I'll ask for what I'm looking for.  Sheesh... so picky.

I did go back to the farmers market today.  I saw the brownie lady, she seemed pleased to see me but that could be because I bought a brownie.  She actually might be the bread lady but I have my priorities straight.  If she also sells brownies that's how I know her.

The vegitable guy had "fresh pressed apple juice" which I bought for L.  At least I think its fresh pressed apple juice.  Lord knows it might be something else, but it looks right.  If I'm wrong I'll report back as to L's reaction and if I had to call poison control.  Is there a swiss poison control?

Did I mention that the other day I met two women who live in the 1st floor apartment.  Bucky (that's her nick name but its how I was introduced) and Mary.  They stopped their car to introduce themselves.  Then this morning I ran into Bucky while walking the dogs.  She chatted with me for a moment from the safety of her car (seems she's a little afraid of dogs) and said she and mary would like to come up to formally say hello.  I assured her that if she showed up I would toss the dogs in a room so she could be comfy.  Later I ran into Mary who told me that if I/we needed anything at all to just knock.  Frankly it made me feel good.  I wonder if we could invite them to dinner or drinks or something.  Mary has a beautiful 1 yr old daughter and a 3 yr old son (who Jesse is desperate to get a hold of his red cleats).

Oh hey I also got my Swiss Identity Card today, which I think means I can stop carrying around my passport everywhere I go, I just have to carry around the card.  Which fits much nicer in my pocket.

Nothing exciting - just standard every day stuff.  Oh except..... this morning I almost stepped on a SNAIL.  A big freaking UGLY snail.  Really a giant slug with antenia and a home on its back.  Ick. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010 - Random

This is Jesse on our balcony.  In a spot that she has not moved from in forever.

What is she watching so intently?  Children Playing?  A Squirrel?  A Cat in the Hat Perhaps?  No.  She's watching:

A roomba for the lawn.

I swear had I know there was something like this that would mow the lawn on its own, randomly bumping into obsticals and changing direction I'd have looked into one for my own house.  The only issue? When it disappears from sight Jesse cries and then if its gone too long she barks and I have to drag her into the apartment.

See this tree......

I have no idea why but my 1st reaction to it was: "Hey that looks like Heat Miser from the Christmas Special A Year without Santa Claus"  Really I expected it to suddenly burst into song.  "I'm Mr Heat Miser, I'm Mister Sun..."  Ok fine, its the hair really.  My second impression is that its the inspiration for those trees in the Lord of the Rings Movie.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010 - The woods

The Dogs and I went for a walk today. I decided to be adventurous (this was my first mistake) and take them around the “Fitness Trail” that runs behind the little park we go to in the mornings, you know, the one with the “hounds”. The start of the fitness trail is further up the road so we went there and “started.”

The 1st time I spotted this “fitness” trail I laughed because I saw this sign outlining one of the exercises.

As best I can tell you rock back and forth on the heels of your feet. Then you bend your knees and “jump” up. Well today I actually got to the sign in the correct order and it no longer surprised me the exercise was rock back and forth and then jump. What it’s really telling you is, “We know you are about to faint as your heart races in your chest about to explode from walking up this long steep incline. So maintain your balance, and if you faint/fall down… hope back up.

No kidding this “hill” had me thinking the same thoughts I did on a couple of the Hawaii bike tour hills. “Lord, please kill me now.” I swear I used to think I was in decent shape. I know that over the last few months leading to the move my stamina suffered, but lord help me, walking up these hills is going to be the death of me.

Anyway, it gets a little easier as we go and I have time. Heck how long can this take? Um, no idea. Mistake #2 I somehow ended up on the extreme fitness trail and way the heck on the other side of the river, heading down. I’m still telling myself. Really it’s ok. It HAS to loop back on itself. Doesn’t it???

I was doing ok until I had to cross this really narrow bridge and then had to descend down a steep, narrow path with both dogs. I was a wee bit worried that I would lose my footing and have to tuck and roll. Sort of like being on fire… but not.

90 mins later I’m back on the correct side of the river but haven’t a clue how to get back up to the top of the canyon. I’m starting to think, this is the reason L wants me to have a cell phone, because if I get lost out here I am screwed. Sure I could turn around and retrace my steps but that is something I only want to do as a last resort.

Then I see a sign “Kusnacht” 25 mins. 25 mins???? Is that by plane, train, or automobile? I keep walking and I’m walking downhill. Which I don’t quite understand because I live uphill but I have also resigned myself to the fact that I might in fact be walking into the center of town and will then have to turn around and walk uphill another 15 mins to get home. Better than being lost. I also ran into a woman who I asked if I was heading in the correct direction for town. After confirming I was I stalked that poor woman to keep her insight. I just felt better knowing someone else was on the path.

Then I spot them; the wicked steep stairs that lead to the little park behind the apartment. This has been one of the few times when I was grateful Jesse pulls on the leash because she pulled me up those stairs. I would do this again, maybe a little differently, but mostly because I hope to be able to walks some of these hills without praying for death. As for the dogs, they are both sleeping from the adventure.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13, 2010 - The Hounds of the Baskervilles

Every morning, afternoon, and evening, either I or we walk the dogs through a park that is near the apartment.  Being a park it also butts up against woods. I don’t exactly know when I spotted this sign hanging on one of the trees but every time I see it I wonder what it says.

Now considering I have an over active immagination its not hard to imagine that the 1st time I read the sign I just nonchalantly tried to sound out the words to see if I could get a gist of what it meant. I didn’t get very far and then I forgot about it. However, in the evenings, when we walk the dogs in the, I need a flashlight, dark; that's when this sign intrudes on my every thought. Sounds etc can get kind of creepy in the dark. As a result, my mind goes into hyper drive and translats this sign to be something out of the Hounds of the Baskerville’s:

Wild Rabid Hounds in the Forest!
If Spotted call the Warden.
Death May Occur

So now I have this creepy, I’m going to get torn limb from limb episode running through my head, every night. So I automatically run through a series of scenarios: Ok what would I do if a crazy rabid hound leapt out of the woods at me?

  • (1) Let go of the leashes – Ernie and Jesse would protect me… Jesse would smother the hound in shedding hair and Ernie would drown the thing in submissive pee.
  • Run
  • Panic

  • Panic then Run… whichever.

Did you know Microsoft has this nifty although not entirely accurate translation feature in Word 2007? It does. So Microsofts translation is something like:

Caution: Wildlife protection, Please keep the Dogs on a leash. Failure to do so is punishable.

Sure not as exciting as my scenario

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 11, 2010 – Kyburg Castle

Sunday L and I decided to try out the navigation system and drive to a little town about 20km from here. How far that is I don’t know and I’m not entirely sure it if it was 20 or 60. I suspect it was “supposed” to be 20 but we discovered that (a) the book I have on Switzerland says the castle is in an completely different town and (b) when we did get the name of the correct town from a nice woman/girl at the train station in the wrong town, we discovered that the GPS works much better if you plug in the postal code versus the town name. Sure that sounds easy enough but figuring out HOW to punch in the postal code was a trick and frankly we managed it by accident. Our ability to replicate that in the future is not assured.

So here are some of my favorite Pictures:

The Castle

The crest over the 1st Arch leading into the Castle Grounds

Sundial (I couldn't figure out how to tell what time it was, there are two shadows one for each hand (plus it doesn't account for day light savings time )

This is the door to the cell in the dungeon.  Either people were wicked short or they crawled in. (Maybe both)

Oh and we spotted the roaming gnome and a friend.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 10, 2010 - The Scent of Death

Did you know that desktops have a little switch in the back of them so you can switch it from US power to European 220 volt power? 
Did you know that laptops make that little change all by themselves without any human intervention?
Did you know that when you plug a desktop into a power supply that is 220 volts and you don't flip that switch that there is a fairly significant BANG even when you have not turned on the computer?
Did you know that while trying to investigate what the heck just happened you can actually be foolish enough to replicate the EXACT SAME THING a second time, except with the added smell of something melting?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I would greatly have appreciated a heads up before I discovered ALL of them on my own.

New computer - on life support - a new power supply is on its way.  Say a prayer I did not kill the motherboard in the process of my own stupidity.  Ugh

On a happier note, L and I drove to Zurich and went to the bookstore.  The big feat as that I managed to not get lost, and I managed to park.  Then we went to the hardware store and bought a vaccum and lamps, and finally we went to the grocery store to get some food for this evening and tomorrow.  (Nothing is open on Sunday's).  We were very proud of ourselves.

Tomorrow we are going to pick a place and take a drive to test out the navigation system.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 09, 2010 - Apartment Pictures

So the day we moved in, L and I arrived early and took the beasts for a walk.  No kidding we hadn't even gotten around the corner before someone was yelling at us.  We knew we were heading to the "woods" where we are allowed to walk the dogs, and although Jesse , ahem.. went before we got there, we did clean up after her and she had gone on the grass in the apartment complex we live in.  So for the life of us we had no idea why this woman was yelling at us.  For that matter we had no idea what she was saying, since it was in a language neither of us speak, but her intent was clear.  She was upset about something.  Frankly this was a real downer to the start of our life in Switzerland.  We did run into a nice woman named Gabriella who lives in the apartments across from ours and explained what happend.  She couldn't imagine what we did wrong so L and decided to put it behind us (oh and to avoid that ladies house as much as possible). 

Ok now to the good-ish stuff:  Apartment Pics (Empty Apartment Pics).  I'll get some pics of what it looks like now that we have "stuff" in it

This is facing where the living area will be.

Standing in the dining area - the kitchen is to the right, master bath directly in front, 1/2 bath next to that, and the entry from the stair is to the left.


Living area Fireplace (I haven't a clue how to use this so its good its spring)

Facing the dining area

Balcony (it runs the length of the apartment and then has a small walkway that continues around the sides and back)

View from the Balcony (Yes those are the Alps)

The same view just zoomed

I think this is a picture of the balcony from inside the kitchen

Another view


The view from the balcony at night, hey I tried.  LOL
(Someone tell me how to get a good night shot - the lights on the hills across the lake are pretty)

P.S.  We've been told not to be surprised if "The Policeman" shows up at our door at least once or twice during the next 3 years.  Apparently its common for the neighbors to complain about something and call the cops.