Sunday, April 29, 2018

Even A Dog Can Learn Norwegian

Most of the daily food preparation in our household is done by me, and especially supper. From our many year's stay in Norway we have maintained the custom of calling out "MAT" (Food) when supper is ready and everybody can come to eat. So I usually call out "MAT" when Bea can come to the table.

Our smart dog Dixie has noticed that when ever we have eaten she also gets her bowl of food. So she has combined the word MAT with getting fed. This learning process has taken place without our intention. We never thought that she would snap up a word like that and combine it with something happening afterwards.

So now, whenever I call that magic word, Dixie runs into the living room making Bea drop everything she has in hands and get to the table pronto, knowing that afterwards it'll be her turn to get served.

But it has gotten even further. MAT has now become the emergency call if Dixie needs to come to us right away. Of course, we better make darn sure that we have a goodie for her once she has come.

If you are one who knew our previous dog Molly, you would also know that also Molly knew certain commands in Norwegian or even German. The ability of dogs understanding our commands and language makes me personally feel insufficient as I cannot say that I always understand what my dog is trying to tell me, at least I believe it is only a fraction of what I am able to understand. And maybe that's one of the reasons why dogs and humans have this very special relationship of living together in the same house.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sunny Days Are Here Again

Having a dog, and a young one in particular, one has to be committed to do the daily walking. Besides of getting you a balanced dog, daily walking is healthy, much healthier than spending the day on the couch. Besides, I am far too active to spend days on the couch. Like right now I have no choice but to do it - despite the sunny weather. Two days ago I jammed a nail into my foot and it went far into my left foot. The pain was --- excruciating. So yesterday I saw the Doc and got Tetanus and antibiotics. "Put your foot up and don't walk", said the Doc. Yet, my foot is swollen up and red with an inflammation. Having me on the couch is a pain in the butt for Bea. She knows my patience as a patient is very limited.
So right now there are just memories for walking the beach with Dixie and Bea. It's only a few days ago that we had the most wonderful hike along the beach. Just look at the blue sky and ocean. Those days are the best, a treasure in the memory box.

Some times when I drive down to the beach the wind blows right off the water, making it really cold. Then I rather take the trail through the woods. Dixie enjoys it even more. Last time we did that, I couldn't see Dixie anymore. I knew she wasn't ahead of me, so I turned around and started calling her. But she didn't turn up.Then, after several more minutes, all of a sudden, she shot out of a stand of little spruce trees, crossing our path and taking a stance 12ft on the other side of the trail. Out of her mouth I saw the remains of a little animal cadaver hanging. She was eager to eat the whole thing. I shouted "NOOO DIXIE", but she couldn't care less. I heard bones breaking and, make no mistake, she was enjoying her self-found meal.
Leaving the trail, I ran over to her to put her on the leash, but my left foot stepped through the mossy ground cover, landing in a swampy hole 1 ft. down. Pulling out my leg I lost my shoe which now was slowly filling with brown water. 
Standing on one leg, I grabbed the shoe emptied out the water and put it back on. Brrr...was that cold. Meanwhile, Dixie had finished off her supper, licking the ground just a last time, before I got her on the leash pulling her away.

Back home she laid herself down for a prolonged rest. In fact, she slept through the entire evening.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Eating A Pear

The other day I purchased a bunch of pears. They looked so good and seemed to be ripe and ready to eat. So in the evening I took one, cut it up and enjoyed it. It didn't take too long until Dixie smelled it and came up beside of me. What does it look like? Are we eating a pear together or is it me eating the fruit? Don't worry, she got a bite of it as well.

Monday, April 16, 2018

An Example From Canada

Gerald Stanley to pay $3,900 and receive 10-year ban on gun ownership for improper firearm storage
The Biggar-area farmer was acquitted in February in the shooting death of Colten Boushie
CBC News · Posted: Apr 16, 2018 8:39 AM CT | Last Updated: an hour ago

Gerald Stanley pleaded guilty to improperly storing firearms. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Gerald Stanley has been fined $3,000, plus a $900 victim surcharge, and banned from owning firearms for 10 years after he pleaded guilty Monday to improper storage of firearms.

Police discovered the guns at Stanley's property when they were responding to Colten Boushie's fatal shooting, of which Stanley was acquitted.

At the hearing in a courtroom in North Battleford, Sask., a second charge relating to improper storage of a restricted firearm — a handgun — was withdrawn by the Crown, citing insufficient evidence.

The Crown and defence requested a $3,000 fine for Stanley, forfeiture of some of his guns and a firearm ban.

Stanley's lawyer, Scott Spencer, said the guns in question were "typical rural firearms" similar to those found on many farms.

"Mr. Stanley frankly wishes he never owned a gun ... Mr. Stanley has no desire to ever hold a gun again," said Spencer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Rule Of Law And Mr. Trump

The Law Is Coming, Mr. TrumpBy The Editorial Board
The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section. April 10, 2018
Why don’t we take a step back and contemplate what Americans, and the world, are witnessing?

Early Monday morning, F.B.I. agents raided the New York office, home and hotel room of the personal lawyer for the president of the United States. They seized evidence of possible federal crimes — including bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations related to payoffs made to women, including a porn actress, who say they had affairs with the president before he took office and were paid off and intimidated into silence.

That evening the president surrounded himself with the top American military officials and launched unbidden into a tirade against the top American law enforcement officials — officials of his own government — accusing them of “an attack on our country.”
Oh, also: The Times reported Monday evening that investigators were examining a $150,000 donation to the president’s personal foundation from a Ukrainian steel magnate, given during the American presidential campaign in exchange for a 20-minute video appearance.

Meanwhile, the president’s former campaign chairman is under indictment, and his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. His son-in-law and other associates are also under investigation.
This is your president, ladies and gentlemen. This is how Donald Trump does business, and these are the kinds of people he surrounds himself with.

Mr. Trump has spent his career in the company of developers and celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks. He cuts corners, he lies, he cheats, he brags about it, and for the most part, he’s gotten away with it, protected by threats of litigation, hush money and his own bravado. Those methods may be proving to have their limits when they are applied from the Oval Office. Though Republican leaders in Congress still keep a cowardly silence, Mr. Trump now has real reason to be afraid. A raid on a lawyer’s office doesn’t happen every day; it means that multiple government officials, and a federal judge, had reason to believe they’d find evidence of a crime there and that they didn’t trust the lawyer not to destroy that evidence.

On Monday, when he appeared with his national security team, Mr. Trump, whose motto could be, “The buck stops anywhere but here,” angrily blamed everyone he could think of for the “unfairness” of an investigation that has already consumed the first year of his presidency, yet is only now starting to heat up. He said Attorney General Jeff Sessions made “a very terrible mistake” by recusing himself from overseeing the investigation — the implication being that a more loyal attorney general would have obstructed justice and blocked the investigation. He complained about the “horrible things” that Hillary Clinton did “and all of the crimes that were committed.” He called the A-team of investigators from the office of the special counsel, Robert Mueller, “the most biased group of people.” As for Mr. Mueller himself, “we’ll see what happens,” Mr. Trump said. “Many people have said, ‘You should fire him.’”

In fact, the raids on the premises used by Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, were conducted by the public corruption unit of the federal attorney’s office in Manhattan, and at the request not of the special counsel’s team, but under a search warrant that investigators in New York obtained following a referral by Mr. Mueller, who first consulted with the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein. To sum up, a Republican-appointed former F.B.I. director consulted with a Republican-appointed deputy attorney general, who then authorized a referral to an F.B.I. field office not known for its anti-Trump bias. Deep state, indeed.

Mr. Trump also railed against the authorities who, he said, “broke into” Mr. Cohen’s office. “Attorney-client privilege is dead!” the president tweeted early Tuesday morning, during what was presumably his executive time. He was wrong. The privilege is one of the most sacrosanct in the American legal system, but it does not protect communications in furtherance of a crime. Anyway, one might ask, if this is all a big witch hunt and Mr. Trump has nothing illegal or untoward to hide, why does he care about the privilege in the first place?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Fish Market

A big monthly event in my home town is "Fischmarkt" (Fish Market) It is held on the first Sunday in every month except in August when Pirates are taking over the town. Fischmarkt draws thousands of day visitors to Eckernfoerde and I, who have never visited it before, needed to get the taste of it. 
          A Search and Rescue boat was among the many vessels this morning.
So this morning I walked the short distance down to the harbour, and even before I had gotten across the old harbour bridge dividing the outer harbour from the inner part, I saw crowds heading to Fischmarkt. Once I was across the bridge, I found it hard to make out a path through the throngs. 
First vendor had parked a huge truck right off the bridge, selling bananas. 

                                       A crowd watching "Banana Fred".
Why would people buy bananas at a fish market? I couldn't be sure of it, but it looked like the guy pulled off quite a show with selling his bananas. A huge crowd had gathered in front of his truck and to me it looked like most people were there to watch the show. But then he threw empty banana boxes out to the side so I guess he did make substantial sales.
I walked on and noticed a parking attendant doling out tickets to vehicles parked illegally. I shouted a friendly Good Morning to the lady adding that she would be very busy throughout the day. She just laughed and greeted in return.

Following along, I noticed the crowds were getting even bigger. Pretty soon, most people were almost at a stand still. Vendors offered sausages, fresh baked goods, fish sandwiches, drinks of all kind, but also crafts of wood and imported articles, like fashion jewelry and stuff made of leather. In fact there wasn't a thing missing and it reminded me of the big flea markets in Quartzsite, Arizona, except for the fish, of course. A favorite at fish market is smoked eel, which is a big tradition along the coast of the Baltic. 
          Of course, the fishermen sold fresh fish directly off their boats.

I was slowly making headway towards the outer area of the harbour. Some people had taken seats on an old windjammer eating "Fischbroetchen". Even though I had had a great breakfast, I could feel how I got a hankering to buy a Fischbroetchen or a "Schinkenbratwurst" myself. The only thing preventing me from doing so was that I had no Euros in my pocket, and my Credit Card would not be valid tender here at the harbour. If you plan going to Germany you should have cash at hand, if you want to avoid embarrassing
situations with a credit card you can't pay your bill with.

Today was the first real warm day and temperatures were about to reach 70F when I decided enough was enough and started heading back home.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Don't Take Knives To The Gunfight.

The anti-Trump resistance should stop bringing knives to a gunfight: 
Neil Macdonald CBC
It's taken a group of teen aged school shooting survivors to drive that point home

Neil Macdonald · CBC News · Posted: Apr 04, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: April 4

In response to Laura Ingraham Twitter taunts, 17-year-old David Hogg employed exactly the sort of hardball that far-right activists play, and boy, did it work. (Mary F. Calvert, Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Poor Laura Ingraham, the delicate snowflake.

The Fox News Channel manure-thrower has taken some time off, having been blasted right out of her cable-TV battlefield command post by a bunch of high school kids.

Such a satisfying outcome. And Ingraham, accustomed to siccing Fox's army of far-right orcs against the liberals and moderate conservatives they hate with such slavering intensity, plainly didn't see it coming, which made it all the more enjoyable to watch.

Ingraham, who began her career in university 
outing gay students, probably thought David Hogg, a 17-year-old survivor of the recent Florida high school massacre, would crumple, or maybe start crying — you know, the way sensitive liberals tend to do — when she unleashed one of her ad hominem attacks on him, mocking him for being rejected by UCLA.

Laura Ingraham

David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA...totally predictable given acceptance rates.) …
12:45 PM - Mar 28, 2018

Instead, Hogg turned around and pasted her. He in fact out-Foxed her.

"Soooo, @IngrahamAngle, what are your biggest advertisers…" Hogg tweeted after her attack. He and his friends quickly assembled a list, and began a boycott.

It was exactly the sort of hardball that far-right activists play, and boy, did it work. Ingraham's advertisers began deserting her Fox show, even after she rushed out a sanctimonious apology "in the spirit of Holy Week," which was promptly rejected by Hogg.

Facing the sort of destruction visited on her former colleague Bill O'Reilly by an early form of #MeToo 
boycott, she abruptly announced she'd be taking a break to spend time with her family.

Over the weekend, Hogg tweeted: "Have some healthy reflections this Holy Week."

Fox News, with an utterly un-self-aware absence of irony, denounced the boycott as an "agenda-driven intimidation effort." When I read that one over breakfast, I nearly passed coffee through my nose.
Faces of an angry generation

Now, there's no doubt Hogg is cocky. Who wouldn't be in his place at his age? He and fellow Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez have gone from nobodies to the blazingly famous faces of an angry generation, kids who think their right to live in safety is more important than a gunned-up nation's right to target practice.

When Hogg and his fellow students announced a "March For Our Lives" march one month after the massacre, giant crowds turned out across the United States and around the world.

When Hogg called for town halls to discuss gun control over the Easter break, politicians in more than 70 Congressional districts were summoned by their constituents.

Hogg now has over 732,000 followers on Twitter. Gonzalez has over 1.5 million.

This is power, serious power. And it's driving Trump Nation nuts.

Many Trump supporters reserve a particular hatred for Emma Gonzalez, writes Neil Macdonald. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The flying monkeys who take their cues from Fox and Breitbart, and swarm in the service of America's boorish president, are determined to take down these damned young lefties, and are going about it with their usual viciousness.

They reserve a particular hatred for Emma Gonzalez. Not only is she a brave young woman, she dares to appear on camera with a shaved head, giving rise to "skinhead lesbian" attacks.

She wears a Cuban flag on her jacket, because she is of Cuban heritage. For that, of course, she is a traitor. When she posed for a photo tearing a rifle target in half, some clever drooler photoshopped the U.S. Constitution in the target's place and released the fake image onto the internet.

Happily, the students are not relenting.

Unlike the Occupy Wall Street movement, whose members frittered away strong political traction by talking themselves to death, Hogg, Gonzalez and company clearly intend to weaponize theirs and adopt the tactics of their enemies, which is exactly what needs to be done.
Practical resistance

America needs a real resistance, not slacktivists who talk about it. The left (and moderate right) needs to ape the Tea Partiers, who understood how to take over and use power.

When President Donald Trump, disregarding the advice of his own Pentagon, bans transgender Americans from military service out of sheer bigotry, targeting some of society's most vulnerable, the resistance should in turn target specific Trump donors by boycotting and starving their businesses, and then go after military recruiters on campus. Make the response hurt.

Trump toadies and enablers in the media — like the preening Sean Hannity of Fox News and the Sinclair broadcasting executives who struck a deal with Trump that effectively trades access for fawning coverage — need to feel the same pain Ingraham has suffered.

When white nationalists, inspired by Trump, gather in American streets denouncing Jews and minorities, the resistance needs to keep showing up with cameras, identifying individual marchers on social media, and targeting their employers. Cost them their jobs. Flatten them.

Any store that offers military-style assault weapons should find it difficult to ever sell anything else.

Any business that sponsors, directly or indirectly, the National Rifle Association or any of its lickspittles in far-right media outlets like Breitbart or Infowars should be boycotted into extinction.

Americans live in the biggest, best-stocked marketplace in history; exercising choice in that marketplace gets results. Ask Laura Ingraham.
Fox News host takes time off as advertisers flee amid school shooting Twitter feud
March for Our Lives: Students lead massive rallies for gun control

But the real boycott has to be at the polls during the midterm elections this November. If Democrats and moderate Republicans mobilize and vote, the GOP's right flank will turn on Trump like a pack of hyenas.

Democrats who sat on their hands in 2016, arguing about the soul of the Democratic Party, the ones who just couldn't vote for Hillary Clinton because they found her "strident," have seen the result of their self-indulgence: a churlish chief executive who sits in the White House eating cheeseburgers, tweeting out inanities and insults, laughing at women who object to his serial sexual misconduct, inspiring white supremacists, persecuting innocent undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as infants, dismantling environmental and fiscal regulations, demonizing the FBI and the Justice and State departments and even the courts (and probably preparing pardons for his cohort and maybe even himself), and of course borrowing future generations into debt to grant America's richest people – his pals — the biggest tax cut in generations, against all conservative principle.

Of course, conservative principles, such as they are, don't concern Trump or his followers.

But money does, and power does, and the only way to thwart them is to take it away. It can be done.

This will be dangerous, make no mistake. Trump Nation will retaliate ferociously. Some flying monkeys would no doubt kill rather than give up their guns or privileges. Those high school kids are probably in some danger, bless them.

Anyway, Trump was right when he says he founded a movement. It's time for another one. And it might just be here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Sunny Morning In The City

This morning a change of temperature to the better, together with nice sunshine made me take a walk on my own.
From my brother's home down to the harbour is not far. So I strolled along the water front watching fishermen selling their catch to the public.
This is something I grew up with, but fishing vessels were considerably bigger in those days. Restrictive quota have taken their toll on the fishing industry, as they have in many coastal communities around the world.

Over the last decades the outer harbour area has taken on a different shape. New buildings have been put up, many of them sporting little Cafe's or snack restaurants.  "Fischbrötchen" (Buns with fish) are offered from many mobile units.
And windjammers along the pier are advertising for sailing trips.

I strolled farther along "Jungfernstieg" (Maiden Street) where house fronts have preserved their old-town style. 

The chimney of the last smoke house is protruding above old town

"Kieler Strasse" (Kiel Street) where you find most stores, was busy again. Only very few of the businesses remain from the days of my youth. When I was a boy traffic was going back and forth here, but several decades ago it was converted into a pedestrian zone. 
Every box a different sort of apple

Right next to it is market square where vendors are offering delicious sausages on buns, smoked fish delicacies, hundreds of different cheeses and finally vegetables and fruits. A real dorado for discriminating foodies. I just wish we had a bit of that near Campobello.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Between Crocus And History. A City Walk.

When one lives on the coast one has to learn to take advantage of nice weather when the chance offers itself. And Friday was such a day. The sun was out, skies were blue and we all went for a walk. Right across from my little brother's home is a large cemetery. 

It is teeming with crocus in bloom. So we had to go see that. Millions and millions of small blue and white crocus are indeed covering the far-stretched grounds.

  We continued our walk down to the "Promenade", which offers grand views across the harbour. 

The old round grain elevator is still the hallmark of this area. When I was a boy it was still in use and the farmers arrived with their tractors and trailers emptying their harvest in the elevator. Then the air was a mix of fresh grain and fish. During those long-gone days the harbour was filled with fishing vessels, often 2 or 3 aside of each other. And fish was smoked in many buildings downtown. Most of it was mackerel and herring. 
Large buildings are witnessing about former wealth
The sun had brought out many people and I could tell that many were visitors to my city as they were sporting cameras or, like myself, were using the cell phones to snap off some pictures. 
We followed the "promenade" all the way to the yacht club and beyond. A tall forest lies above the Navy Port and we heading into the forest to possibly see the big cranes building their nests atop the trees. 
Most of these trees are beech trees.  Their mossy-green trunks were casting an eerie shine around. We looked up...and way above us we saw the big birds being busy building their nests. Obviously, some of them were already sitting on their eggs.
For me it was a walk down memory lane. So many times I had been here, when I was a boy. I left the city 41 years ago, yet some pictures will never leave.