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Everything posted by knotheadusc

  1. I second this advice.  Traffic near STAUgart is absolutely nightmarish.  Pforzheim gets pretty backed up, too.  I recommend finding a place as close to your husband’s work as possible.
  2. Will be getting mine next week.
  3. Looks like the photos are distorted to make the rooms look bigger/longer than they are.
  4. abuse of nominative pronouns?

    That makes me cringe.
  5. I had a great time reading that list.
  6. Personally, I prefer Hamburg to Berlin.  But I've only gone to either city once each, and we had my mother-in-law with us when we went to Berlin.  I love my MIL, but we didn't get to see or do as much as we might have.   There are things I miss about living in BW.  Our dentist is still down there and we are way overdue for a checkup.  I'm looking forward to booking a weekend at the fabulous Waldhotel in Degerloch, getting a cleaning, and hitting a few favorite restaurants.
  7. This neverending lockdown has given me the blues...

    I just made a new video starring Noyzi.  Last fall, just after he came to live with us, he tore a huge hole in the already holey flyscreen on our door.  We just replaced it with a new screen and Noyzi was really scared of it, at first (and kinda still).  I filmed him trying to figure it out and it occurred to me that it might fit well with a Beth Nielsen Chapman song, "I Keep Coming Back to You", so I decided to pair Noyzi's attempts to master the new screen with a new song.  Keep in mind, I'm a total amateur, especially at making videos.  :D   Here's the end result...
  8. My husband had to leave town yesterday.  He's on business in Bavaria and will be gone for three weeks.  I'm stuck at home with our two dogs as the COVID-19 lockdown stretches on.  I usually get pretty bitchy during these long absences, but last night, I watched a livestream featuring Lyle Lovett and Vince Gill.  They sounded so good, that I decided to make a recording.  Over the past year of German COVID-19 crapola, I've been learning guitar.  I'm not quite ready to do a video of my guitar skills, but I do okay with vocals.   Some of you might remember that last year at around this time, we tried to adopt a beagle.  Unfortunately, the pet taxi driver who was hired to bring him to us didn't have the dog properly secured, so he escaped and ended up being hit by a car.  A few months later, we adopted Noyzi, the big dog in the video.  And Noyzi has made friends with the lab puppy next door, who is determined to invade our garden.  Noyzi is from Kosovo-- he was born on the streets of Pristina.  But he cleans up nice!  I'm glad to have him during these solitary days.  He and Arran give me a reason to get dressed.
  9. Transnational family in a pandemic world :-(

    I haven't seen my mom since 2015.  Luckily, she's okay with it.  We do Skype once a month.   I haven't been to the US since 2014.  Don't miss it that much.
  10. What made you cry today?

    A Facebook friend, who used to live in Stuttgart when I did, went from the States to Uganda to meet her husband, who is working there this year.  Before she went, it was clear that her father, who had gone blind and deaf and had been very sick with dementia, could end up passing.  Her mom insisted that she go see her husband, anyway.  So she went to Uganda to see her husband, taking their kids.     Sure enough, her father did pass away.  But while that was sad enough for her, that wasn't the worst part.  While she was gone, she'd left her beautiful spotted Croatian dog, Phoebe, in the care of her sister.  Phoebe was adopted from a shelter in Croatia and I had watched her nurse the dog back to health and turn her into a loving pet.  Phoebe was my inspiration for adopting Noyzi from Kosovo.   A couple of days after my friend lost her father, Phoebe inexplicably collapsed, and my friend's sister and mother had to take her to the vet, where she was euthanized.  They aren't sure what happened, since Phoebe wasn't that old.  They speculate she may have survived a poisoning in Croatia and that had weakened her kidneys.  Anyway, when my friend explained how she got all of the bad news from home while she was still in Uganda, she added in this imagery of how she thought of her father waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for Phoebe.  And the thought of that just sent me into tears.  
  11. Robot lawnmower

    They bump into things and go another direction,  I also like ours because it’s safe around the dogs. The blades are way under the mower.
  12. Robot lawnmower

      We have the McCulloch 600, I think.   Here’s a video I made of it.  It works fine and is easy to use, as long as everything is properly connected.  Looks like Amazon isn’t selling it anymore.  It will be even better when the boundary is redone.
  13. Robot lawnmower

    We have one.  It’s nice, although our yard is small enough that a regular mower is more practical.  Also, our dog broke the boundary wire, so we have to fix that before we can mow.  I wanted to redo the boundary anyway, but that is a pesky chore.  But I do like that it’s very quiet and runs on clean energy. 
  14. Daylight saving time - Germany

      Yeah, I knew that they quit changing the clocks in Armenia.  It's probably not a bad idea.    I remember in 1996 asking at my school when the clocks were going to change and they said they weren't.  I never found out why.  I didn't have access to much local news at that time.
  15. Daylight saving time - Germany

    Fair enough.  I did learn that DST year round wouldn’t please me from that experience.  And now that I’ve been in Germany in the winter, I guess I’m used to darkness in winter now.  
  16.   The Dunkin’ didn’t last long.  Last time I was there, it was closed down.     We lived in Pfäffingen, which is about seven kilometers west.     We now live in a suburb of Wiesbaden.
  17. Daylight saving time - Germany

    I hope they don't stay on DST.  In 1996, when I lived in Armenia, for some reason they didn't change the clocks to standard time.  I spent the whole winter walking in the dark every morning to the school where I taught English.  It would be 8:00am and still dark outside.  I hated that.
  18. Oh yes... now Tübingen is an awesome town.  I used to live about ten minutes from there.  Loved it!   Most recently, we lived near Nagold, which kind of reminded me of a small version of Tübingen without students.   Stuttgart is kind of industrial and homely.  We mainly went there to go to the dentist and have the occasional fancy meal... or attend concerts.  But we could find nice meals out in the villages, too.  I notice Wiesbaden, Mainz, and Frankfurt are a lot more international.  
  19. I lived in the Stuttgart area in two stints-- for two years 07-09 and for four years 14-18.  I mostly enjoyed living there, but Swabia is a "special" part of Germany.  I have heard this from Germans themselves.  We are now in Wiesbaden and there are things about Stuttgart we miss... like the areas around it.  You're near the Black Forest, which is extremely beautiful, and there are a lot of cool towns nearby, like Esslingen, Nagold, and Tubingen.  And while people in that area can be either very reserved or "in your face", you get used to it.     That being said, we don't miss the horrendous traffic at all.  Wiesbaden is also kind of nice because people here seem to be a lot more laid back.  I'm glad we moved up here, but I didn't mind Stuttgart at all.  I wouldn't say no to moving back there, although I'm not pining for it like I did when we moved away in 2009.
  20. A landlord tale...

    Some of you might remember that I recently posted about having to sue our former landlady from when we lived in BW.  It was a painful process for a lot of reasons, but she eventually settled with us.  In the wake of that experience, we've been left kind of traumatized.  Our ex landlady had us thinking we were terrible people.  She told us we were the worst tenants she'd ever had, accused us of trashing her house, and also bizarrely accused us of stealing a refrigerator from her and dumping a dorm sized American fridge.     Fortunately, I had taken a picture of said "American" fridge (which was actually a very cheap European fridge from the Real) on the day we moved in in September 2014 and posted it on Facebook, with the comment that we would have to buy a new refrigerator.  All of my American friends, who are used to American sized fridges and know of my love of beer, had a good laugh.  In the States, I have a full sized fridge used for beverages that I call the "fridge of sin".   A few days ago, our current landlord paid me a visit.  He lives next door, but he's a much less intrusive and annoying landlord.  He's also a good neighbor.  He asked to speak to my husband, who was away on business.  I told him my husband would be back on Friday, noticing that the landlord looked perturbed.  He said he had our Nebenkosten Rechnung, which he had never gotten around to reconciling last year.  I thought maybe we owed him money.   Last night, the doorbell rang.  My husband answered it and found himself facing the landlord, who was armed with paperwork.  He stepped outside and they had a chat.  I braced myself for a negative confrontation, just as many of our encounters with ex landlady had been, particularly in the last year we lived in her house.     My husband was shaking his head and said, "Unbelievable" as he set the bills down.  It turned out there was a 1200 euro discrepancy.  But it was in OUR FAVOR!  We had been overpaying Nebenkosten by about 50 euros a month since we moved in.  The landlord apologized profusely for not reconciling the Nebenkosten sooner and wanted to know if we wanted a cash refund or a discount on next month's rent!   Our ex landlady would have just kept the money, like she tried to keep our entire Kaution.  In our four years in her house, she never once settled the Nebenkosten with us.  That was one reason she wound up settling when we sued her.   Just goes to show that some landlords are awesome... and HONEST!  We're still smiling this morning.  
  21. A landlord tale...

    We have had three landlords in Germany so far.  Two were in BW and our current one is in Hesse.  Landlords one and three were excellent.  Until our current landlord experience, we considered number one to be the best landlord we have ever had.  Landlord number two was abusive, petty, and mean, and she treated us unfairly.  Then she had the audacity to threaten and bully us when we asked her for accountability.   It was not my intent to imply that all landlords are bad.  We had a few in the States who were annoying, but when we moved out, they gave us back our deposits and didn’t falsely accuse us of a crime.  What I meant to convey is that our last landlady left us pretty scarred and untrusting.  It was a pleasant surprise when our current landlord was honest and apologetic, rather than passive aggressive and accusatory.
  22. A landlord tale...

    There’s no doubt in my mind that some tenants are horrible.  We are not among the horrible, though. None of our other landlords have blatantly ripped us off, falsely accused us of theft, and forced us to sue them to get back what is rightfully our money.  And those landlords are the only ones we’ve ever had who have given me a tutorial on flushing the toilet.  
  23. A landlord tale...

    Yes, that's exactly why I posted.  There is a lot to love about Germany, even though things can get aggravating in a hurry.  Plus, we were just flabbergasted!  Our landlord is a really good guy and his honesty last night proves it.     Our former landlady really did a number on us.  I compare it to our new rescue dog from Kosovo, who is a total sweetheart, but is terrified of men.  I think he knows my husband is a good person, but he still reacts with terror around him, although he's slowly improving.  It takes time to get over trauma and realize that not everyone is out to screw you.    
  24. Chat about Ireland and things Irish

    I remember one man in particular was arguing with the guide about the British perspective, that Brits had suffered and sacrificed and implying that the Irish were ungrateful for all that the Brits did for them.   As I say, as an American, it was strange to observe and understand.  I don’t know that much about Irish history myself.  My husband is older and has studied Irish history and literature, so he was even more impressed.  I just remember a lot of people were upset about the guide’s comments, which I think they considered anti-British.