Bridge Update, September 2013

Here’s your update on Regensburg’s Stone Bridge (Steinerne Brücke) situation. As always, click a picture below to embiggen it if you like.

Compared to earlier status reports, it looks like we have major progress to report on the section leading from the middle of the bridge down to the Oberer Wöhrd. Maybe they’ll be able to chuck that ugly metal staircase before long.

Facing west, toward Alte Linde and the Oberer Wöhrd
Facing west, toward Alte Linde and the Oberer Wöhrd

But what’s this? The supports down near the water level on the downstream side all have a couple of big holes dug into them and a pile of stones resting on them. It’s hard to see in the pictures, but I think the stones are numbered. Perhaps so they can be put back? And what if we get another flood scare between now and then?

Facing north from the south end of the bridge — what are they doing to the supports?
Facing north from the south end of the bridge — what are they doing to the supports?

WEBMU 2013: Prague

The Whiny Expat Blogger Meetup this year was a much lower-key affair than it had been in previous years. Part of that might be that all five parties (counting me and Sarah as one) in attendance had been to Prague before. It was very difficult to scare up interest this year, and the schedule just didn’t work out for a lot of prospective attendees.

But even with a smaller group than expected, we still had a great time. Continue reading WEBMU 2013: Prague

Stadtamhof Weinfest 2013

Every year in September since we’ve lived here, just when you’re thinking all the Feste must be over and done with — at least until its time to haul out the Glühwein stands again — the main drag on our island closes down to vehicular traffic. Local restaurants and out-of-towners alike roll in their trailers, along with vintners from far and wide. The whole street becomes an upscale pub crawl.

It was a dark and stormy afternoon.  But nobody cared.  Because they were tipsy.
It was a dark and stormy afternoon. But nobody cared. Because they were tipsy.

The good:
It’s a convenient way to expose your inner œnophile to a variety of wines from all over if you live around here. No DD necessary, or hunting for a parking spot, and a quiet, clean place to pee is always just a few meters away back in our apartment.

The bad:
You can spend an awful lot of time in line waiting for your wood-fired Flammkuchen to come out of the oven. At least, you thought you were in line. Until you noticed that native person outflanking you and plunking down her four Euros while you were unconsciously respecting everyone’s personal space bubbles.

The ugly:
The live music from the stage at the top of the street is usually terrible!

We look forward to it every year, and are happy when it’s over on Sunday night, too.

Mac OS X 10.8.5 update breaks Skype video

Apple_logo_black.svgSkype_logo.svgI updated to the most recent version of the operating system on our Mac laptop a day or two ago. Suddenly, Skype stopped recognizing our built-in Facetime video camera.

I googled around for a bit and quickly found that other users were reporting the same symptoms.

Here‘s where I found the fix. Continue reading Mac OS X 10.8.5 update breaks Skype video

Ginger-Lime Chicken w/Bok Choy

I am sort of ashamed to admit this, but here goes:

I read Buzzfeed.

I know, I know. I’m working on it. That said, sometimes you find useful information there, like this recipe (under Day 1 in the list). The original is a good idea at its core, but it needed more flavor. So after a few tweaks, I think I got the flavors where I want them, while staying true to the concept. It probably doesn’t stay under the $10 that the article claims, but that’s probably a function of different availability of ingredients in Germany (bok choy is a little more exotic here). Click the link for the original, as I’m posting what I did.

Juice of two limes (about 1/4 c)
2 T olive oil, plus more for cooking
salt and white pepper to taste
1 lb (500 g) chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 in (5 cm) ginger, minced or julienned
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 bunches (about 10) green onions, sliced
5 small heads bok choy, sliced and rinsed well

Combine lime juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and chicken pieces in a large Ziploc bag or lidded container, tossing chicken to coat all sides. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Heat one T olive oil in a deep skillet over medium high. Remove chicken from marinade with a slotted spoon, reserving liquid, and cook until just browned. Set cooked chicken aside in a bowl, add a little more oil to skillet, and quickly sauté ginger, garlic and green onion until just tender. Add bok choy and toss well to coat with oil. Add remaining marinade (it will boil almost immediately), season vegetables with a little salt and pepper and stir well. Cook vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until thick pices of bok choy start to get a little tender. Add chicken and its collected juices back in to finish cooking through and cover for at least 3 minutes. Serve over brown rice (it’s fine over white, but the flavor really pops with brown).

Shetland Critters

This is the fourth part in our series of posts about our trip to the Shetland Islands in August 2013. Parts 1, 2, and 3 are available if you need to catch up.

One of the major motivations for this trip was a chance to get some face time with the Islands’ most famous faces: Shetland Ponies. We got all we wanted and more thanks to several factors: Continue reading Shetland Critters