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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Inconvenient conveniences: Roadway services in Germany need to see your money

German-resthof-toilets

All roads lead to groan…

Traveling down the autobahn near Stuttgart and having a few coffees on the way, I thought “Ich muss pinkeln”.

I stop at the next Resthof, follow the signs for “Toiletten” and… uh oh: A literal barrier to my mission.

Luckily I have a bag full of small change and insert my 0.70 Euro cents.

In older days, there used to be  elderly lady cleaners who worked for tips and it seems these have been offloaded. It was a bit weird that you had these old dears walking around while you splashed and dashed, but I am sure they didn’t care at all.

The bright side is at least you get 0.50 voucher to spend at the Resthof with your 0.70 cents but this sucks big time if you don’t have the money or change.

Bird watching

Aiu Wei Wei's snapshots from around the world

Aiu Wei Wei’s snapshots from around the world

Dahlings, Augustus sent me this picture that he had taken in the library of Blenheim Palace.

His presumption was that this was another contemporary art exhibit by Ai Weiwei.

Looking at this, I would have called this “Yellow pages 2014”.. Letting your finger do the walking talking.

At least I think it was Mr Weiwei as I was about to say I would very surprised to see a Duke – almost top posh dog in British aristocracy- doing this in public. And then I remembered the Duke of Edinburgh.

Ciao for now, Cleo.

 

If your crabby and you know it, snap your claws: Blenheim palace gets surreal

Old vs new at Blenheim Palace: An Ai WeiWei make over.

Blenheim Palace: Makeover by Ai WeiWei.

Being a relatively new Winston Churchill fan, I decided to visit Blenheim Palace the place of his birth where he was a grandchild of the 7th Duke Of Marlborough.

Walking inside, I was surprised to see a number of plastic crabs placed in one of the formal rooms.

I was not seeing things where it was one of the exhibits by Ai Wei Wei, the Chinese contemporary artist, that were placed around the palace.

I thought how very apt and wondered if Winston’ Churchill’s”We will fight them on the beaches” speech, was a simply a premonition of the invasion of crustaceans that would one day infest Grandpa’s living room.

Talking the TSA Walk.

I am at IAH on my way to Europe and it is pleasantly quiet being off season and mid week.

After going through document matching checks, I had the choice of two empty security lines to go through. I picked the right one where there were eight TSA staffing it. Two TSA were either side of the conveyor belt, talking.

After unpacking everything – shoes, belt, laptop, metals out of pockets etc – and loading it into 3 boxes I push them up the rollers and on to the conveyor. After a while wondering why nothing is happening, a supervisor shouts the line is closed and I am dumbfounded. There are 8 TSA people there looking as if they should be working ! The two at the front stop talking, look at me and go back to talking.

A TSA worker from the left lane saw what had gone on and without saying anything came across and picked up all my boxes to load them into his line. Thanks, I think.

As I walk through, I am standing in the  ‘Hands up, lets look at your bits’ equipment now waiting for the “ok, now proceed”. And I wait. Thinking they must be admiring my genitalia (I can’t blame them if they did) but alas no, the screener is instead talking to a TSA collegue and eventually stops talking to “ok me to come on”.

Finally, I am stopped for a pat down of my leg cuffs and yet another TSA person gestures to me to wait. Wait for important security screening equipment to come ? Nope, to wait for him to finish his conversation with another TSA talker.

Total Recall

An event bigger than the GM ignition issue is occurring with faulty deployment of airbags. From Bloomberg:

Toyota is advising U.S. owners to keep passengers out of front seats until defective Takata Corp. air bag parts are replaced, four months after following the same procedure in Japan. Takata faces investigations into whether exploding shrapnel from its flawed parts are to blame for at least four deaths involving vehicles made by Honda, including a Florida crash that was initially investigated as a homicide because of deep gashes to the victim’s neck.

The growing number of air-bag recalls also raise doubts about whether carmakers have learned to address defects quickly and comprehensively after General Motors Co.’s bungled ignition switch recalls and Toyota’s failures in 2009 and 2010 involving unintended acceleration. Honda is under separate probes over whether it under reported fatalities and injuries in the U.S.

This is interesting part. Continue reading..

Air today, gone tomorrow : Paris art attraction gets dysfunctionality

What a let down..

Dahlings, well that didn’t last long.

I refer to the contemporary art piece of work called “Tree” that looked like a thingy – see our previous post.

It turns out some Parisians who were upset that it ‘humiliated the city’, vandalized the so called piece of Art at night. [Source Daily Mail].

The same artist had a previous exhibit that was a tad bit controversial:

At a 2011 exhibition in London he displayed an identical pair of clay anamatronic sculptures of former president George W Bush having sex with pigs.

Oh, I just can’t wait for his next inspiration.

Ciao for now, Cleo.

The I fill tower: New art work in Paris is a rude awakening

Ohhh Christmas Tree! Ohhh Christmas Tree! Much pleasure thou can’st give me;

Dahlings, French maybe the language of love butt those Frenchies are ‘ow do I say it, sex maniacs.

In the Place Vendome in Paris, US artist Paul McCarthy has put up a 24ft inflatable green Christmas tree. It is simply titled “Tree”.

Except it looks like a thingy.

You know a thingy that you insert in your uhm.. Let me start again, it is a thingy you use to expand your uhm horizons.

Oh sacre bleu. I ave’ad enough of zis: I’m not going to give this a free plug.

Ciao for now, Cleo.

I can see for miles

This was easy. I will go to London using United points for 30,000 each way where I am flying in two weeks time. The dates I wanted to fly would have cost me $1300. Both flights will be midweek.

A look at the seats shows the planes are relatively empty and looks like I will get rows all to myself and so far, there is nobody in the 3 rows ahead of me.

Don’t mind if I do !

Tickets to Ride : Police of a Notorious Speed trap city gets disbanded

In a follow up to our post  “Ghosts of Waldo” where the Waldo Police Department was disbanded, AAA is reconsidering the need for a billboard to warn motorists about Waldo being a speed trap. [Source Daily Mail though the Mail does mess up the road. It is 301 not 310].

However, one commentator “grneyedmnstr, Tampa, United States” to this article said:

I drove through Waldo Thursday night and again on Sunday afternoon coming back from my trip. Both times there were lights and sirens every few blocks with people pulled over–mostly tourists. The whole town is about 3 miles long and you crawl along at 30 miles an hour. Lawtey is just as bad. Nothing has changed.

Meet the new boss.