Random Randomness, 10/11/2013

weiden_michaelimarktDu, Du, Liegst Mir Im Herzen…I’m back in Bavaria for a few days on a work trip. Our US Army troops and their NATO allies need training, shutdown or no shutdown, so my team is on the job. The weather’s been pleasantly cool with an occasional drizzly day, not bad for this time of year. I’m lodging in the picturesque and historic city of Weiden in der Oberpfalz, and I arrived in time to catch Michaelimarkt, which turns the old town square into a blend of farmers’ market and flea market for a couple of days. Many random items were for sale, including an assortment of surgical instruments. Eek. Speaking of which…

Have I Got an Orthopedic Surgeon for You! My Lovely Wife took a tumble at work a few weeks ago, sustaining a hamstring tear that required surgery. Add this to knee surgeries on our three children over the past several years, and we now have four fine and decidedly non-random orthopedic surgeons in the Greater Kansas City Metro Area whom we can recommend should you ever find yourself in the neighborhood and in need of that particular medical treatment, heaven forbid. My wife’s doctor moonlights as a staff physician for the Miami Heat, so we have high hopes she’ll be able to dunk a basketball when she’s fully recovered.

kjkidsKatzenjammer – The German word for “caterwaul,” or other similarly discordant sound. It also provided the handle for a pair of classic comic strip characters, Hans und Fritz, The Katzenjammer Kids. According to Wikipedia, their strip is still running in a few random newspapers, somewhere, and is the longest-running comic strip ever.

I Heart My Publisher – The brave New Zealander who took a chance on a random fantasy novel manuscript by some middleaged balding guy from Kansas featured me on her blog this week with a few kind comments.

hasenpfefferHasenpfeffer – A traditional German stew made from rabbit marinated in wine and vinegar, then braised with onions and black pepper. Hase=hare, pfeffer=pepper. Not random at all. According to Looney Tunes, it tastes like carrots. No, I’ve never tried it, but I suppose I should, while I’m here. Ahem…Cook! Cook! Bring me my hasenpfeffer!

What I’m Watching on German Television – Random cartoons, mostly. I find programs written for children a good fit to my limited German vocabulary. Several shows featuring young equestriennes and their exquisitely-coiffed jumping horses seem to be popular, and the Disney franchise is running a lot of Kim Possible. More interesting is a German-dubbed BBC import called Tom. Somehow, I always knew giant orange dinosaurs who join the circus to see the world would speak German, though he probably sounds like a Welsh sheep farmer in the British edition. Anyhow, in a series of Tintin-esque adventures, Tom and his circus pals foil a standard collection of villains and villainesses who either want to exploit Tom for their own nefarious purposes or despoil the environment. Or both. They would have done it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids and their 30-foot-tall dinosaur.

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