Monday, February 28, 2011

Februrary 28, 2011 - Seychelles Part 1

Ok this is a little weird typing this on my iPod touch so forgive my typos.

So where to begin? The resort is beautiful & hilly. So hilly it makes Kusnacht, Switzerland seem flat. Thankfully they have a workaround: "buggies" Which are really golf carts that they cart us around in. We're willing to walk down the hill to the bszch but not up the hill back to our room.

The people here are very helpful, I've been offered assistance twice now. Which really means I looked lost and the workers were offering to rescue me. Apparently I have perfected the confused American look to the point that it translates properly regardless of the country I am in.

unrelated but still travel news... While in the Dubai airport a Shiek zipped by us on his own personal Segway. I considered chasing him down for a picture but figured that would be bad form.

Ok this Internet connection is BAD so you may have to wait for pics and updates when we return

C.A. Bailey 2010, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 2010 - Vacation & Birthdays

We've dropped the boy off at camp and assured him we would be back in a few days.  Now are are packed and should be ready to hop a train to the airport.  Then we are off to our beach vacation.  YEA!

Now aside from that, have I ever mentioned how wonderful my Dad is?  He is wonderful and today is his birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

My Dad plays the piano and sings, so when we were growing up and it was time for bed, he would typically be practicing the piano.  Sometimes we would shout requests.... Although really the only request that I can recall is asking him to sing "Sugar my Tea."  I have no idea if that is the name of the song but that was what I thought the lyrics said.  Of course he also used to sing us "The Litte Red Hen" song.  Do you know that story about the Little Red Hen who got some seeds, sowed them, etc and then baked the bread all by herself because no one wanted to help?  Then Everyone wanted to help eat the bread....  Well, my Dad made up a song about that story of course at the end of the song she ate the bread all by herself, got overstuffed and died.  Ok that still makes me laugh, but what's really funny....  I knew the overstuffed and dying part was made up, but I didn't realize that the song wasn't a song that EVERYBODY knew... until college.  Yes, apparently I can be a little naive. 

My Dad would also tuck us into bed at night and we would make him sing a sing to us... yes a made up song.  He had one "Had and old dog, his name was blue.... sweetest 'ol dog you ever knew... ol' blue.."  Then we would make him change the color of the dog and he had to make it rhyme.  I think purple stumped him.
If I can I'll try and post some stuff while on vacation

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011 – Sacrificial Bunny

I like to think of myself as being a fairly intelligent, competent woman. I also know that there are people out there who are more intelligent than I am, but still I’d like to believe that in a pinch I could toast bread lightly with my brain power. Now I have to admit that this, starting a business thing and trying to get a handle on business taxes, sales & use filings, estimated taxes for the state and the federal government, quarterly reporting yada yada…. Has made my head spin. Seriously, I knew I was going to make some mistakes in 2010 and I planned on learning from them so that my 2011 business crap would be better.

What does any of this have to do with sacrificial bunnies? I sat down today with Turbo Tax “Business” trying to get organized for the tax hell that this year is going to be… to give you a small snippet of hell. We have to file individual federal returns, then we have to mock up a joint federal return so we can file our joint state return, but before that happens L and I have to file Swiss taxes. In the meantime I have to file estimated taxes for 2011… because I am self employed but I don’t have a clue what my estimated taxes should be but I can guess.

Needless to say all of this tax stuff has made me doubt the whole “I can toast bread lightly” concept and pushed me towards “I may need a legal guardian” concept. Of course this qualifies as an emergency. Do you see that little guy on the left?

He is the sacrificial bunny; my break in case of emergency bunny.

Sure I only acquired him this afternoon when I realized I was spiraling into a crisis and needed a dead man’s brake. Do they still have that concept on a train? I actually spotted him AFTER I spotted the M und M’s so he has a reprieve until my next breakdown, but I think he knows that eventually he will die. I will be humane and bite his head off quickly so he doesn’t have to scream for too long.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

February 24, 2011 - Cranky Pants

Do you know that song “I’m a little tea pot short and stout”? Well, I’m feeling a bit shall we say cranky this afternoon and for some insane reason the tune for that song are running through my head “I’m a little cranky…” It pretty much ends there so it’s extremely repetitious and dull.

The Partridge Family has even popped up on my iTunes and that didn’t help. This could call for drastic measures. Oh wait, Ani DiFranco just came up; “Amazing Grace.” That’s helping, I think I can concentrate again.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23, 2011 – Montreux Part 3 – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

While we were in Montreux we wandered around a bit to take in the sights.

The Good:
A bakery, sure there are bakeries in every Swiss town but this one had chocolate shoes. I can’t imagine anyone eating them, or wearing them, but they were eye catching:

We were walking along the water when from a distance we spotted a sculpture and for some reason it looked familiar but I couldn’t quite place where I had seen it before. Then we got up closer and it came to me… Freddy Mercury! Of course I had seen this before, in 1982 I went to see Queen play at the New Haven Coliseum. That was a fantastic concert.

The Bad:
While walking along the water front we spotted this…. Honestly we had no idea what it was/is but it was amusing so I took a picture:

The Ugly:
Then it just went downhill from there. As we continued to walk along the waterfront we spotted more of these “sculptures” and it occurred to me, we’ve entered the demon zoo. Seriously, look at these things’ eyes:

 Then there were the demon rats:

I’m willing to bet small children have run away screaming.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22, 2011 – Road Trip Part 2 – Montreux

We arrived in Montreux Saturday early afternoon and immediately went to see the Chateau de Chillon. When I hear the word “Chateau” I think small pretty home. Obviously I am not well informed. The Chateau de Chillon is a castle, with a moat. Seriously, a moat. I looked but I wasn’t able to spot any alligators or piranha in the moat. However, there were a couple of big guard swans. I’ve heard that with the right training they can be better than a pair of Dobermans. Ok I made that last part up.

The Castle was pretty cool, and much larger than I anticipated.

After we left the castle we headed to the hotel we were staying at. I’ve affectionately dubbed the hotel “big Bird” because the entire outside is bright yellow. You’ll have to take my word for it, because I failed to take a picture. Except for the outside color this hotel was pretty amazing. With all of L’ travels she had earned points at a sister hotel so we were able to stay overnight here for free. Free is very nice. For my b-day L set up a massage at the hotel spa, so we took a walk over to find the spa and take a look around. Now, I’ve had massages before but not at a hotel spa. They explained that I could either, wear my bathrobe and slippers from our hotel room or I could carry my robe down and change in the women’s locker room. I have to admit that wandering around a hotel in my bathrobe fills me we a certain amount of trepidation, but this appears to be the “norm.” So when it was time for my relaxation massage I decided to go with the European flow and wear my robe and slippers to the spa. It is a little strange riding down the elevator with people and their luggage and me in my robe. I felt a little bit better when a guy in a robe joined me for the rest of the ride. Wow, I didn’t think there would ever be a time when I would say I felt better on an elevator when a strange man in a robe joined me.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21, 2011 – Road Trip Part 1 - Vevey

This weekend L and I took a road trip to Montreux. Along the way we decided to stop in Vevey. We had to stop there, the guide book says it’s “the home of Nestle” and I have taken it as a personal quest to find Nestle Chocolate Chips. You would think stopping in a small town known as THE HOME OF NESTLE that would be easy to do. Um, not so much.

We wandered around the town, stopped at an outdoor market, walked along the water, also spotted Statues of Sea Horses:

but the closest thing I could find to anything Nestle, was ….. Seriously disappointing and it was closed.

Sure I admit I had envisioned driving into Vevey and finding something along the lines of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Yes, that expectation is ripe for disappointment. Eventually we gave up on the Nestle hunt and decided to head on out and continue to Montreux. That’s when it happened. We were driving out of Vevey when we spotted the Nestle complex. Well we assumed it was the complex and because I was driving I couldn’t take a picture so you’ll just have to believe me.

Tomorrow... Montreux

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011 – Friday

I’d like to say that I have something exciting to tell you, maybe that I have had some sort of life changing epiphany, but that would be a lie. So for now I’ll just tell you that work is crazy, I’m crazy and we are going away for a quick overnight trip tomorrow to Montreux Switzerland. I think that is how you spell it. I think that this will be fun and it will definitely be an adventure for both L and I and the beast.

We’re trying a new “dog sitter” Saturday. His name is Carlos and he’s not really a dog sitter, but he helps clean the apartments of two of our neighbors so he is at least trustworthy. Here’s the trick. Carlos doesn’t speak English, or German. He does however speak Spanish (shocking) and as it turns out my Spanish is actually better than my German. As a matter of fact when I am trying to think of how to say something in German… it comes out as Spanish in my head. Which is shocking; because as I remember it, my Spanish experience was very similar to my German Lobotomy Language experience: 8 years of Spanish in school (25 years ago) and I can say Hola, Como estas, Bien, and most importantly Cerveza. I think I also remember the words for “The beach” but I could be wrong I might actually be recalling the words for “The Bathroom.” There is a significant difference. This is another reason why all language except English stays trapped in my head. It’s safer that way.

Anyway I got sidetracked. Carlos is going to dog sit Saturday and Sunday for us so the beast can stay home and have some company. If this works out then we have another option available to us for quick trips that don’t involve putting the beast into the kennel… I mean “camp”

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February 17, 2011 – Counting Down

Yes there are lots of things I could be counting down to:

½ Marathon – 65 days

Go home for a visit 58 days

Tax Day – 55 Days (sort of)

The Release of Kim Harrison’s New Book “Pale Demon” – 5 Days

But really the thing I am counting down for …. Vacation 9 Days. A real vacation, honest to goodness vacation. Sure we go on real vacations every year, and sometimes if we are lucky a couple of times a year. Most people around her go on ski vacations. L and I are bucking the trend. We’re doing a beach vacation. Now not everyone is cut out for the strenuous beach vacations that we typically engage in. There is a certain amount of prep time that is required to make sure that you can handle everything we pack into a single day. Our days can really be crazy, for example: Get Up, go to beach, lie down, nap, read, nap, roll over, read, nap, eat, read, nap, get up, go for swim, lie down, nap, read and repeat.

Along with my countdown I have to compile the e-books that I want to read during that week. I’m a little bummed that Radclyff/LL Rand’s Scifi will not be released in time, no matter.

Here’s my list of to be read so far:

Pale Demon – Kim Harrison (there is a very good chance that this will be completed on the plane ride)

Port Mortuary – Patricia Cornwall

Justifiable Risk – VK Powell

That’s only 3… I need at least 4 more books, I'll read almost anything except historical stuff… any recommendations out there?

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15, 2010 – Adventures in Baking

Yesterday I decided that I would bake a chocolate cake, actually what I wanted to do was bake cupcakes except that I couldn’t figure out how long I would have to bake them without burning them. You would think that would be easy except that (a) I don’t really like to bake and (b) my idea of baking from scratch is scratching the box as I open it. I do like baking apple pies but that also requires a pre-made pie crust.

Anyway, I decided that I would bake L a chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day. I was prepared: I found a recipe online, had all the ingredients, a mixer, and the pans. So yesterday I started this cake in the morning. “They” said prep time + baking time 1 hour 10 mins. Ummm, yeah no. This took a lot longer than an hour and 10 mins. First off I was trying to make sure that I read the directions properly. Combined that with the fact that the last time I baked a cake from scratch I think I was 13 and taking home economics in school. Does that class still exist? Then add in the fact that European Ovens are SMALL. Yes I am generalizing but come one, I had to cook one 9 inch round pan at a time because they wouldn’t fit in the oven together.

I also learned that there is a certain amount of finesse required when using a mixer in a big bowl of coco powder and flour. A lack of finesse = a coco cloud wafting around the kitchen. Did you know that if you inhale coco you can kind of “taste” it. Take my word on that.

The other thing I learned but should probably been aware of…. OMG there is A LOT of sugar in a cake and then even more in the frosting. Diabetic coma inducing amounts of sugar in the frosting. That has to be why it tastes so good.

Al, in case you are reading... we gave our neighbors 1/2 the cake, there was no way we could eat all of it on our own.  Today, we went running.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011 – Weekend Roundup/Sledging

This weekend was pretty quiet except Sunday we took a trek to Engelberg go sledging. Sure most people were skiing but we’re not most people. In case you are wondering I have been skiing when I was much younger and thought I was invincible. Now fear of getting injured prevents me from trying again; which is kind of amusing because as I was hurtling down the sledging trail on a sled that you steer by jamming your feet into the snow I was thinking quite a bit about death and destruction intermingled with an occasional curse word. This was especially true when I hit a straight away that was mostly ice. That combined with the, oh so comforting, randomly placed wood rails that are supposed to keep you from flying off the side of the mountain sort of freaked me out. Then again, when several small children passed me making no effort to steer or brake I thought maybe I was over reacting. Not really, I’m older than they are and bruise easier and can actually remember the last time I felt like I was hit by a truck. Small children have no sense of time, space, or pain. Heck you can kiss it and make it better for them with the offer of a cookie. Come to think of it, that works for me too.

Anyway, I think the sledging trail is just a bit longer than a mile, which is really cool, and after the 1st trip down I decided to try it again. At least this time I knew what the course looked like and could spend more time flying down the mountain and less time worrying about what was coming around the next sharp turn.

This is the mountain (Mount Titalis) we were only about 1/3 of the way up for the sledging.  Skiers and snow boarders go higher.  What was surprising is the "lack of snow" so I'm glad we went this weekend because unless there is a dramatic change I don't think there will be many other opportunities.

L and I in our snow pants. 
Me at the end of my 2nd sledge run.  I am quite the fashion plate

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11, 2011 – Primal Scream

That’s really what I have the urge to do today. Scream. I can’t pinpoint a specific reason, but I can feel it stuck in my throat, making my eyes water. I really want to scream. I wonder what my Swiss neighbors would make of a crazy woman standing on the balcony letting loose with a guttural scream. Who am I kidding, someone would call the polizia. I should have gone running today. Then I could have let loose with a primal whimper.  Don't misunderstand, I'm in a good mood.  I just want to scream.  Contradictory - yes but then again, that is who I am

On another front it is Friday and I am very pleased about that. Friday’s = Good; Saturday’s = Better. Monday’s – blah.

Cowboy Junkies – They are a band, not a state of mind; although I do have a thing for cowboys. I haven’t listened to them in a while but yesterday the desire struck me and considering there are 113 of their songs on my iPod, I’ve been listening to them for more than a day now. My favorite song(s) of theirs: In order:

‘cause Cheap Is How I Feel

This Street That Man This Life

Cold Tea Blues

Rock and Bird

Black Eyed Man

There are so many others but those are the ones that come immediately to mind

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011 – Shoes

Ok so you know how I have said things are expensive here? They are, and I have to admit I’ve lost some of my ability to compare cost of items here versus at home in the US. However, every time I walk to the grocery store I am reminded of just how expensive certain items really are here. Specifically, shoes: I am never buying a pair of shoes here. Seriously, if all of my shoes suddenly fall apart I will go around barefoot until my next trip home.

I saw a very nice pair of flats in the window of this shoe store 450 CHF. I’ll make this easy, it’s almost a 1 to 1 conversion to US dollars but 1 US dollar won’t quite get you a Franc. Oh and the cost of the shoes isn’t what shocks me every single time I walk by the shoe store. Nope, it’s this:

Yes a tiny red shoe tape dispenser. Which btw reminds me of this woman whose blog I read “GREG” – she really likes shoes. Anyway, it’s a TAPE DISPENSER and its 15 CHF. Seriously, who would pay 15 dollars/francs for a tape dispenser? Yes, it’s cute, but does that include the tape? If I’m going to buy a red shoe tape dispenser I want to get a complete pair for the 15 francs. Not only that, I want them to be magical like Cinderella’s slippers or Dorothy’s red slippers; click the heels together and chant “There’s no place like home” or “There’s no place like the beach.” That would cut down airfare, but if all it does is dispense “tape” what’s the point?

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9, 2011 – Runner’s High

Today I really did not want to go running. If you can call what I do “running” it’s more of a slow jog. I could probably wog faster but that just looks ridiculous. So today, I was having an internal debate about getting off my butt and going for a run. It’s a sad turn of events when you lose a debate with yourself. Needless to say I went running. Turns out I was pretty pleased with myself. I went slowly but managed to not walk until the 49 min mark. Then I walked and ran so I could at least psychologically say I was out there for an hour… but… yes there is a but… I started to wonder during the course of today’s run about the infamous, or is that famous? Runner’s High.

How far do I have to run before I get to experience this supposed endorphin rush? Does it kick in before or after you want to collapse? Maybe it’s really a byproduct of the sudden realization that you’ve lost your mind and that all this running is just a wee bit crazy? Is it the same sense of euphoria you get from a really good piece of rich dark chocolate; or a piece of moist chocolate cake with that soft creamy chocolate frosting? It has to be better than those things. Doesn’t it? It HAS to be better than Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk Ice Cream. I mean really, if it’s not better than those things why on earth would anyone run for that feeling? Obviously, I’ve not experienced it yet so I’m still running so I can experience that same sensation through all the above mentioned items and still fit into my pants.

Truthfully now, has anyone out there actually experienced a runner’s high? What does it feel like?

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8, 2011 – I’ve Been Scanned

A week or so ago I mentioned that L and I had to renew our Resident Permits and working papers. This morning we got up bright and early, alright fine, dark and early and took a ride to some government building whose name I can’t pronounce, spell, or remember, but you don’t really care. What you do care about is that this top secret building is where they produce the new “biometric” resident cards.

When you first walk into the building there is a flashing red light and a flashing green light. The red light leads to the Information Windows and the Green to Biometrics. There is also a “greeter” of sorts giving some sort of direction… in German. We had a paper that contained the word “Biometric” so I assumed we skipped the info lines, but when faced with a greeter saying something that could in the furthest realm of reality mean: “Make sure you are in the correct line or we well behead you.” It’s always good to flash your piece of paper and get a nod and waive to the correct line; which we did.

Now in typical Swiss fashion, or Stop & Shop Deli Counter Fashion, you take a number and wait to be called. Unlike the Deli Counter experience the service is much faster. There are rows of bank teller like windows and outside each is a photo booth like the ones you see where you and twelve friends can climb in and take group picture. No I have not been in one of those booths with 12 friends; just with my sister and our friend Andrew, but that is another story.

Once again I have to admit that I was a little nervous and saying a silent prayer that the person who would be helping us spoke some English because I don’t think my ability to order 4 pieces of chicken breasts would help in this matter. Once again the Swiss pull through and the woman who helped us spoke enough English to get us through the process.

“Sit in the booth, look at the camera, move to the left… no showing teeth. Ok good. Do you like the picture?”

Um, sure I don’t look any more psychotic than I do on my US drivers license. It’s all good.

“Ok, now for finger prints, put your fingers on the shiny glass. Press down…. Harder please…”

You can actually see the thing trying to get your finger prints. It would seem my left forefinger was not cooperating because that just looked like a faded smear despite all the pressure I was applying. Eventually, she got the picture she needed and I was able to confirm my name, birth date, and that yes, that is my face I see there. Sign the less shiny screen and then it was L’s turn.

L’s turn was very similar to mine, maybe the shiny screen was defective for the left finger, but what I noticed was when they took her picture her eyes were crazy bright blue. Like X-Men Cyclops bright. Which makes me wonder exactly how this biometric thing really works; I know there are versions that use eye scans so I sort of wonder if this is a combination of eye and fingerprint scanning technology and what the heck would they really use it for?  Yes I realize I am ending mid thought, but that was all I had with that one.

Anyway – if everything turns out well we are done with the resident and working permit thingy for the next few years and as long as no one tries to implant a chip in my neck I think we are good.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011 – Weekend Roundup

Where to start? Friday/Connecticut, I called a friend/business associate who set a crew to the house and shoveled … the roof of the house. Yes, really and thank goodness. I have no idea what he is going to charge me and frankly I don’t care. I’m just glad to know that I can stop worrying about the roof over the screened in porch and the one over the ½ bath. They aren’t “flat” but they don’t have the same pitch as the rest of the house. Now all I have to do is hope that all that snow doesn’t melt too quickly. My sister sent a picture of the roof cleared of snow and the snow mounds that are clearly over my head.

Saturday Morning
My neighbor and I did a long run into Zurich Saturday morning. 6.8 miles (the last mile or so we walked and ran). We also planned well. We took our bus/train passes. Ran out, hopped the train back to town. Running is so much easier when you are riding a train.

Saturday Afternoon
Ok the beastly boy seriously smelled like a dog. Now I know his reaction to that is “I’m a dog what else am I supposed to smell like?” I also wanted to give him a haircut but cutting his hair with a scissors is not that easy. So off I went to the store and bought a hair clipper. It has this really cool guide so you can cut different lengths. Um, did I happen to mention the other day my problems with the metric system? Well…. European guides are a wee bit different from their US counterparts. Me I assumed that if I used the guide with the really long teeth that it would not cut so close. (Yes I know what the means, but in this case it made an ass out of Ernie and Me… mostly Ernie). I mean really that’s how it works at home, how different can it be? Apparently, quite a bit; you use the guide with the long teeth AND you have to slide the guide further away from the blades. Needless to say there are a couple spots on the boy where you can see skin. A couple on his legs where the elbow (??) would be, and one on his chest which I really makes no sense to me. The bright side, he got a bath and smells MUCH better.

I told my neighbor I would practice a few more times on the beast before I offered to practice on her 5 year old son.

I woke up Sunday morning with the realization that some old decrepit lady who had to be about 100 had snuck into the apartment over night and stolen my legs and replaced them with hers. Seriously, I was fine as long as I didn’t sit down and stay still for more than a few seconds. Now I know we ran further than we have in the past on Saturday, but we ran flats, no hills. How could I be this stiff? Advil is my friend. We also forced ourselves to go out and run again… just a short run. The only thing that got me to do that was pure fear that if I didn’t I wouldn’t have been able to move today. I’m sure by tomorrow (Tuesday) I’ll feel good as new.

I will wont I?

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 4, 2011

February 4, 2011 – Over Thinking

Ok so this isn’t an adventure, unless you count trying to figure out CAB’s world. I have been described as being very self aware. I suspect that is a very accurate statement. It’s not because I have always been self-aware but rather a result of spending an inordinate amount of time being introspective.

When I was younger I was also described as not taking anything seriously. That was an extremely inaccurate statement made by someone who thought that they knew me but didn’t. The fact of the matter is or was that I take everything seriously. Every statement; every word; every look someone gives me. I tend to take that into myself and analyze it. What does that mean? Why did they say that? Why did it make me feel X? Sometimes that analysis happens in the blink of an eye. Other times, when I’m feeling insecure… or there isn’t enough chocolate around… it takes forever and I can’t quite figure out if I am manipulating my own emotions about a situation or if my reaction to whatever is going on is legitimate.

What the heck am I rambling on about? I’m spending too much time in my head; too many conversations with myself over thinking things that may have some basis in reality but are getting twisted in the process. I need some sunshine and to let things go. This is me giving myself a kick in the pants.

I’m going to make this a good day for myself.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 2, 2011 – Air Raid Horns

Ok so consider this a two-fer. If L hadn’t casually mentioned to me last night that the entire country of Switzerland would be testing their emergency air raid horns today I might have freaked out a moment ago.

Here I am sitting quietly when all of a sudden these warning horns go off. I guess it’s like the test of the Emergency Broadcast System on the TV and Radio at home. Except that there is no announcement ahead of time saying “This is just a test” and if I am honest if there was some crazy loud speaker announcement ahead of time that might really have freaked me out. Seriously, a loud speaker announcing something I can’t possible understand followed by crazy loud horns; that’s the making of America’s funniest home video’s when the crazy American panics, sprinting down the stairs dog in tow screaming “WHAT DOES THAT MEAN????”

Fortunately none of that occurred, but it would be nice to know what I am supposed to do if those horns ever go off when it’s not a test. Do I go to the bomb shelter (yes there is a bomb shelter in the building). The family whose keller attaching to the bomb shelter is responsible for keeping it stocked. I think he uses it as a wine celler. Which when you think about it, is probably a good thing, because if I ever have to go into the bomb shelter I’m going to want wine, of Jack Daniels, and a working bathroom. Seriously I have my priorities. Running water is one of them.

So now I have questions… oh here they go again… testing testing…

Are they really air raid horns or just general “OMG THERE IS SOME UNKNOWN EMERGANCY” horns.

How do you know when the emergency is over?

What would trigger the horns to go off?

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

February 2, 2011 – Temperatures

My sister, and L, can attest to the fact that math is not my forte. Certainly not math on the fly in my head; if you were a betting woman and someone was gambling on my ability to divide a lunch check by 3 with a tip included… without counting on my fingers…. Always bet against me.

Which brings me to today’s story, everything here is in metrics. I recall a brief period of time in elementary school when they tried to teach us the metric system. Something about the US converting metric system to be like everyone else. I also remember thinking to myself “How can people say this is easy????” I was perpetually stuck on the conversion factor, how many centimeters make and inch, kilometers to a mile… and so on. I suspect the point was to not do the conversion but heck I was a kid and this was torture. Considering this was in the 70’s and in 2011 we still measure in inches, and Fahrenheit I think it’s a safe bet that there was a lot of other people with the same thoughts I was having.

So here we are present day, living in Switzerland where everything is metric, people know what meter elevation they live at and the temperatures are discussed in Celsius. In a nutshell, here’s what I know. 0 degrees Celsius = 32 degrees Fahrenheit; 20 degrees C is a comfortable temperature and 30 C is hot. What throws me off is when people start talking in negative numbers. When we run and Meri points out that it’s -2 C I automatically think, wow that’s wicked cold. Then I look at the temperature on my computer (which is in Fahrenheit) and find out that it’s really 28 degrees. Then I think, well that’s not that cold. We can run in this. -15, THAT would be cold.

It's all in the perspective.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 1, 2011 -

I am officially declaring that my birthday month has arrived.  This year I am determined to celebrate the day of my birth (and my sisters) all month long.  I don't know exactly how I will celebrate but there will be brownies.   Oh and because it's my birthmonth there are no calories in brownies.  It's a rule.  All brownie calories are relegated to broccoli.  I'm pretty sure I can avoid broccoli during the month of February.  Heck I could probably avoid it for March as well, although that would be pushing it.

Brownies and running or running and brownies.  Either way it's a win.

Happy February

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.