Sunday, August 24, 2008

The hills are alive with the Sound of Music...

So I just want to start with the fact that Austria (Salzburg was all we really saw, but that is okay) is so beautiful that I would go back. I am sure that Vienna and other cities in Austria are beautiful too but back to the story. We started our trip to Europe by flying into Frankfurt Airport, HUGE HUGE HUGE airport. This trip from Newark Liberty was about 6-7 hours and it was a great overnight trip and we arrived in the morning in Frankfurt, Germany around 10am. We then had to get a train to the main train station, it was a bit confusing since we got off here... frankfurt stadium, not station in the middle of nowhere...only one person sweeping and then a few trains came through.
17 min or so later a train that we took to the real station we needed so we waited around for our train to Salzburg, boarded and took the train through the countryside and finally into Salzburg. We arrived at the Hotel Markus Sittikus and took a walk to a local beer garden, delicious pretzels, beer and Bratwurst, delicious. We found a local bar had some Wiessbier (Dunkel and not dunkel) from Austria and went home to sleep off the lag. Next day, tour tour tour! We walked around Salzburg and toured the Fortress Cathedral awesome of course and as you notice the river is an awesome green color...salt, minerals, light stuff like that, it's nice. So after this tour and some Schnitzel Hawaii know pork with ham, pineapple, and cheese...hmmm, we took the Sound of Music tour!! I know we're dorks and all but come have to do it plus it was air conditioned tour buses and Europeans apparently don't believe in AC...anywhere. We go to see all the places that were in the movie the sounds of music and it was great! Here are some pictures.

So as you can see we saw a wide variety of places. I must say I really wanted to find the grave spot where the Family VonTrapp hid behind, and I guess we were in the grave yard, but we didn't know...sad I know. Anyway it was a great trip to Salzburg and was finished with a wonderful night of drinking way too much WeissBier getting ripped off at the bar, getting lost getting back to the hotel, and scaring the woman at the reception desk because I was trying to check out and almost threw up there...I did throw up outside...we hopped on the train and switched in Munich...hmm Bavarian beer is wonderful and took the ICE high speed train to Dortmund...which many people have never heard of. We met my sister, her husband, my other sister and mom and went to the house where we were staying. THE NICEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD! This couple was very hospitable maybe in the future we will stay with them again! We had some German breakfast, coffee and cake at 3:30pm, more beer, Bratwurst, salad, food food and more food. Germany is great. My sister had her wedding the next day at this beautiful modern church and then the reception which lasted into the wee hours of the morning...I believe we left the hall around 4??? Well around 1:30am/2ish a big plate of sausage, cheese, and breads came out... SO GOOD! Next day we recovered a bit and went to a Turkish Flea Market...or I guess just a German Flea Market? Everything is closed on sundays due to some Labor Laws or something, but they still have a huge flea market, lots of clothes and junk and stuff I couldn't bring back to the states. I got some delicious chocolate and a picnic basket though. Also we all enjoyed a 2 foot long bratwurst...more meat. The meat didn't fit in the was good though just fold it in half. Later, more meat, beer, and hangin out. The next day we visited Munster, a very nice city, very bicycle friendly and friendly to everyone. Although they have this very old church where in the
old days...long ago I really don't remember the date exactly but the church has these cages where they put people and the birds would peck at them and then the remains would eventually fall out of the cages. I think that would qualify as cruel and unusual punishment.

Also in Munster is this great Astrological clock, not very logical as I read the instructions on how to read it and could not understand how to...its pretty complicated trying to determine the time and seasons and all that junk, but hey the clock is like 500 years old so I guess it would be hard to read. We drank more beer that night had more salads with mayo on it and I never found my favorite liberwurst pate...sad I know, but my brother-in-law's mother gave me some that she had...hmmm. So we fell asleep woke up and got back to NYC JUST in time for rush wonderful. I suppose that was our trip in a nutshell! We hope soon to go back and enjoy more of the German countryside, maybe this time we will go to Amsterdam!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Apple of my eye...

So since I was a wee little lad my family and I have always had an Apple Macintosh. My father bought the original '84 apple (see You Tube for the commercial) if it doesn't it yourself. Anyways, so time went on the apple went out and we lived computer free for a good, I would say 10 years until I realized, I wanted a computer. I got a compaq (it was cheap for a computer then...and I am talkin $1600 or so...and the Mac I wanna say was somewhere between $1900 and $3000!! Anyways back to my point. After I got a compaq and that flopped oh so quickly I decided on my first new mac in a few years, so i purchased an old "Blueberry colored" i-Mac I loved that computer and held it close and tight until I realized portable was the way to go, I mean at that point of my life I was getting lazy and didn't want to go in the "office" and use the computer, I wanted it right front of me, on my lap where I can make sure it's behaving. So I erased the hard drive, reset everything, and sold it on E-bay for like $400 bucks. Pretty good sale I would say. So on the way was a lovely little iBook the one in the picture, sans mouse. I must admit I was blown away by this powerful machine, and it treated me well for a long time, in fact it was only last summer when I purchased my newest mac the MacBook and here is where my story gets good.
So last summer I purchased this MacBook it really is one of the coolest tools in the world, it does so much. I had my photos, music, movies, you name it i did it on my computer. It is one of the things I would go in a burning building, the first two of course Jeremy and the boys. Well so I am attending my second to last class meeting before I receive my MSEd in Assistive Technology...remember that it is useful info for laster on in this blog. Well so I am so good at technology (people tell me) that I am usually the go to guy in class now, etc. So I was sitting in class yesterday, working on a movie, playing with some new programs, when I get...(scary music here...maybe a theatrical scream) THE SPINNING BEACHBALL OF DEATH!!!!
not something you really wanna see. SO I gave my computer a hard shut down, whispered sweet nothings into the microphone gave it a good rub, and turned it on...wait...regular gray screen, good sign? NO since the next screen was the BLINKING DEATH hard drive...CRASHED, fried, boom, its dead, kaput...etc. So, I turned the computer back on, shut the lid, breathed...then tried again...nope it'd dead. Okay good thing I bought Apple Care, right? DAMN RIGHT IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER!!!! Not only did Apple fix the damn thing right in the store, I got a bigger hard drive, and all the new iLife tools, and LEOPARD!!! I am SOOOO excited, and they replace the top cover on my keyboard, my clicker works, and there is no more crack. I love nice friendly helpful service people, thanks Apple...thanks for being a friend! Although I must say, I miss the Happy Smiley Mac icon and the Frowny face icons, for a happy computer and a sad one :( Oh well, I love my basically new computer...the whole lesson to this...backup before you say "Hey I am going to back up my computer tonite."