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About alderhill

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  • Location Niedersachsen
  • Nationality Canadian
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth

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  1. What's got you flummoxed today?

      I'm thinking today of the ca. 60 children, mostly little girls, blown up by terrorist bombs in Afghanistan. Hard to tell which government is more inept or which citizenry more sewn with violence.
  2. Marmite vs. Vegemite

      I'm Canadian but do like (UK) Marmite. On buttered toast, yum.   It wasn't common when I was young AFAIK, but nowadays you can actually find it in bigger "more fancy" locations of some grocery chains in big cities (at least in Toronto, not sure about elsewhere). My English-born great-granny usually had a jar in her fridge, and I remember liking it then. I guess it's an odd unknown thing for most Canadians, but clearly it has fans if they stock it.   I have in the past bought Marmite from a grocery store in Germany (believe it was a large especially well-stocked "flagship" Edeka), and was surprised to see it, but that was long ago. Haven't seen it in a while.    Haven't tried vegemite. Bovril is of course tasty, which is hardly surprising for a meaty MSG paste. 
  3. Working parents with little children

      I remember my mother-in-law saying there was nothing back then, mid-80s. Daycare only started for 3-4 years old... So she and a few other moms she knew, a couple also teachers, a friend, a cousin, etc. shared child-care duties among each other. Whoever had a free slot between working hours would watch theirs plus a few other kids. Grandparents were nearby and also took their turn, and they had an elderly neighbour who just liked kids and offered now and then, pro bono. I feel like there is definitely less of that today. Not really an option for us, even without corona.    
  4. Working parents with little children

      I've been surprised to encounter this notion in people who otherwise consider themselves progressive or liberal or whatever, but it is certainly a strong cultural belief here. It is hardly a surprise that Germany's population is rapidly shrinking, despite decent child benefits and labour schemes.   I once had a colleague here -- a single mother of 3 girls -- who was 'indirectly' called a Rabenmutter here, by a woman, a school director in fact, at one of her city's more prestigious 'posh' schools. She was told in a meeting something like "only a Rabenmutter wouldn't take my advice...", because the single, divorced (dad in another country), full-time working mom had to commute 60ish minutes to work and couldn't be home at 1pm to immediately help with homework, etc. 
  5. Coronavirus

      I am not a 'conspiracy nut' (even remotely, lol) and I wouldn't read that so literally. I mean quite simply that the government "produced" (note square quotes) it as a result of its policies and actions, or inaction as the case may be. You can change it to a similar verb of your choice, it is besides the point, and I won't bother to ninja edit it now.    In my opinion, ultimate responsibility falls at the feet of the Chinese government. The likely animal-to-animal transmission is a result of turning a blind eye to the wholly unhygienic wet markets and trade in wild animals, which were already theoretically banned after SARS. There are several other mis-steps the Chinese government (federal and state) took in the early months that made this a global pandemic. The Chinese government still refuses to accept responsibility, peddling genuine conspiracy that it was an American plot to make China look bad.   If the point you're dancing around is that you find the Chinese government approach admirable, you can also do us all a favour and save your breath.
  6. Coronavirus

      The wonders of a police state!  Where the government can do and requisition whatever it wants, literally no questions asked. When you produce both the virus and then sell a large global portion of various protective gear, that's a silver lining if ever there was one. (I would in any case take any Chinese government figures with a pinch of salt. It is also in China's economic interests to say 'open for business')
  7. Coronavirus

      In different ways, yes, though comparisons with China veer off widely I think. Even Brazil or South Africa, though quite basketcase, have some semblance of democratic responsibility. Western governments have fewer concentration camps, official government ethno-nationalism and xenophobia, publicly burning foreign products, and 'No foreigners allowed' signs and policies, but for sure more crony capitalism and election-cycle myopia. Hard to say who exploits its workers more.
  8. Coronavirus

      Obviously they do to varying extents, but China waited a few months, in the meantime they were busy covering-up and denying, hounding and imprisoning whistle-blowers.   They also count their dead in different 'official' ways, so without an official autopsy death of covid, it's not a covid death. It's nigh impossible to independently verify anything in China, but way back there was quite a lot of circumstantial and anecdotal evidence that China had for more deaths than normal
  9. Coronavirus

      I agree with everything you say, especially India's irresponsible government, not far off from the equivalent of AFD. Just to add... having only been to India for a mere 4ish months a decade ago, it seems another plain obvious fact is it's just so densely populated (especially in the cities). There are people everywhere, almost constantly on each other's heels, and as you know, people don't live quite the same the isolated, individualistic lives of Westerners. You're barely allowed to go anywhere on your own. Humans living in small tightly packed flats or chawls or worse is all an infectious respiratory virus' dream situation. I am only surprised that this latest wave didn't explode sooner.     FWIW, surely China's "official" numbers should all have an extra zero or two after them, because it's quite similar. The main difference there was an enforced lockdown at literal gun point. 
  10. Why are you unhappy today?

      Our 8-year old avocado tree died in early March, too. It was indoors all winter as usual, then we put it outside as it was warm enough (theoretically) at nights. I kept in a sheltered corner of our terrace and wrapped it in bubble wrap at the base and a big burlap sac up the the middle of its stem. Then we get some snow and a few cold nights, and I just kinda forgot to bring it in, lots going on... The leaves fell off, and I got a bad feeling... burlap sack pulled back to reveal a peeling (unusual) brown stem and I just knew it was done for. The base of the stem connecting to the root ball looked mushy, and that was that.   It was really just a kitchen experiment that went on for several years, but I still felt sad slicing it up into into the compost.   Ivy is the devil in the wrong spot, but at least it's not kudzu.
  11. What are you cooking today?

    If you have a garden space or even a sunny balcony, grow some lettuce. Markets also sell plugs of young sprouts, for your convenience. We've grown romaine and buttercrunch the most. It's an easy sprouter, and if you stagger planting, you will buy minimal lettuce in the summer (depending on the space and your salad habits). We have salad of some kind every night, either lettuce or cucumber based, and have gone several weeks without needing to buy them.
  12.   Tell me about it! 😔 Canada sends all applications to one single processing centre. Just before that, when I actually applied, it said 6-8 months. Now they don't even give an estimate in numbers. They had a message a while back that they were prioritizing those needing to get back to Canada urgently, on account of corona. I fear that's become a blanket excuse for inaction...   Either way, I would not have expected a 14-month delay with zero personal confirmation/information. What's especially annoying is that there is NO WAY, NONE, ZERO to find out what is happening. Normally, once they start to process your application, they enter it into the system and you get a receipt number. You can enter this in their online status-check system. It may all still take several months, but you at least get a receipt. I haven't even got that.    Want to contact someone to ask? NOPE, F U. The embassy here politely shrugged and said it's out of their hands, they sent it on and don't know anymore. The processing centre and government body in Canada itself is purposely devoid of contact info, which I can understand or they'd be inundated with daily petitions. I read reports online that even if you manage to get a local number for the processing centre and call it, if they actually bother to talk to you, and if they then find you're calling from overseas, they'll hang up on you. Orders. I mean I get it, but still I find it absurd that there has not been a single word since I sent it over a year ago. My application is pretty straightforward. Even if they confirmed receipt and said it would take 12 months I'd be half as annoyed.   #FirstWorldProblems but it still so friggin' exasperating.
  13.   The Canadian embassy will simply forward your stuff to the IRCC office in Canada (for citizenship, it's in Nova Scotia). If you got married in Germany, hopefully you just got the 'international' marriage cert that already has English (among others) on it. Otherwise, yes, you will need to get translations. If you got married in Canada, it's a moot point. This is all on the info website for the application package, and they do say anything not in English or French needs to be translated. 
  14. Ketogenic Diet Anyone?

    Well, it's known that cold/settled starch has a lower 'glycemic index' than piping hot. So potato salad from taters left in the fridge overnight will cause less insulin spiking versus hot mashed potatoes. I don't know more about it, just that basic effect. The starch 'gels' again and becomes more complex, sort of like how jello melts in your mouth versus its setting in the fridge. Of course carbs will generally be absorbed, but more complex carbs will need slightly more/longer enzyme action.    A banana is a better energy boost than a can of redbull, for example. Believe it or not, but the overall effects last longer and are just as comparable in overall 'energy', just without the spike of the green stuff.   Might be interesting:
  15. Mexican grocery store / Masa Harina (near Kiel)

      Note that standard corn flour from a German shop is (usually) not the same thing. Masa harina is nixtamalized, treated with lime/calcium hydroxide/e259. You can use standard corn flour, but it's not the same and tastes different IMO.