Countdown until opening day .....

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Live from the Wiesn...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Boys at Hofbrauhaus

......
Keith..
Sent from My BlackBerry (excuzz any spelling missteaks)

Day 1

We all survived. The biggest damage was to our livers.

Pics to come at some point.


......
Keith..
Sent from My BlackBerry (excuzz any spelling missteaks)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Check your emails me hearties!

Aye, you scurvy dogs. Comin to munich, eh??? Well, avast ye to your email and get me mobile number for use in the continent... Barleyman

Monday, September 21, 2009

S U R P R I S E - Scheduled Arrival Change.

Sorry Barleyman, Sorry PaulanerGirl.
This year we will be the first in Munich. Our arrival now is scheduled Thursday afternoon. How about Breakfast at ViktualienMarkt Friday Morning 9.30 a.m.
Cheers and have fun in Paris. B&S

New Bier Hall to Visit

In a recent email exchange with Herr Hawthorne, our Munchen Bier Obermeister, he has suggested a new locale that will appear in the next edition of The Beer Drinker's Guide to Munich. The place is Gasthaus Alte Messe, located just off the Wiesn. Check out their website here (Alte Messe), and here is where it is located....


Hirtenstrasse and surroundings


Munchen Road safety experts are drawing up special road signs warning drivers of drunks in Hirtenstrasse and surroundings a landmark legal ruling ahead of Europe's biggest beer festival.

They expect erratic behaviour from pie-eyed pedestrians walking to the Alfa Hotel during this weekend long booze-up.

"They are not like ordinary pedestrians. They are almost uniformly drunk and liable to behave very strangely and dangerously. Motorists need to beware," said one traffic expert

Andechs ?

Are we planning to visit Andechs?

I just had a client ask for consulting time this Friday. When I explained where I will be he went into a good-natured fit of jealousy - he was there last year and had the best time of his life. He highly recommends a visit to Andechs.

I will follow the, "leaders," in our troup - just offering this for consideration.

:)

Weather Forecast for Munchen

While we all know that weather forecasts are worth, well, we all know what they are worth. But according to the current 10 day forecast, the weather for our trip should be more than tolerable:



Two posts in one

First - as the newbie to this excursion, I am honored to buy a round and would be pleased to purchase the first full one (ie, after all have arrived), Chugger's sense of fairness notwithstanding.

Second - what attire are y'all packing? Particularly Barlyman and Paulener Girl as your blood is thinned, like mine, by warner climes - flannel shirts and jeans or T-shirts and shorts?

Danka!

A historical perspective

Great pics of older O'fests

h/t Jack

Saturday, September 19, 2009

O'zapft is!



Oberbürgermeister Christian Ude hat das Oktoberfest 2009 eröffnet. Zum Anzapfen des ersten Fasses benötigte er zwei Schläge.

Mayor Christian Ude opened the Oktoberfest 2009th For tapping the first barrel, he needed two shots.

Let the revelry begin.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bon Voyage

To BarleyMan and Paulaner Girl.

Have a great time in Paris. I am envious that you leave first and arrive in Munchen first. Please have a bier waiting for us at Hotel Alfa; don't want to go to The Wiesn on an empty stomach.

Safe travels, and see you in 7 days !
......
Keith..
Sent from My BlackBerry (excuzz any spelling missteaks)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Henk/Gemma... You must go here

Why didn't you tell us this was in Amsterdam? Joyce would love this place...


Museum of Bags and Purses

573 Herengracht

Amsterdam

Tel. +31 20 524-64-52

Fax. +31 20 524-64-53

info@tassenmuseum.nl

www.tassenmuseum.nl
Update Listing
Suggest Listing

The Museum of Bags and Purses contains more than 3,500 bags and accessories that illustrate the history of women's purses in Western culture.

Correction

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My dirndl has arrived





I wish mine was as cute as the one in the picture, but I'm fairly happy with it. Unfortunately it's longer than I planned. Barbus you will be disappointed for sure. You will all just have to wait in breathless anticipation however.

Is it just me......

...or did anyone else notice that suddenly everyone owes a round of beer, except Chugger? Nice try, but I haven't missed a week yet. Perhaps it means that Chugger owes all of us a beer.

Reflections...

As the Oberblogmeister Fuhrer, I have reviewed all postings on this blog since the implementation of the May 12th resolution (effective June 1st) requiring weekly postings. I have inspected the content, as well as the spirit and intent of the postings. What I have found troubles me; even as the Oberblogmeister Fuhrer. Many posts followed the intent of the ruling, while others flaunted the ruling. Many posts were of historical significance, and others did not actually support the intent of the ruling (which was arguably not explicit).

Therefore, as the Oberblogmeister Fuhrer of this year’s event, I proclaim, and support my proclamation as follows:

… Whereas the Oktoberfestians bi-annually trek to the land of the Golden Nectar;
… Whereas the 2009 excursion includes a single virgin;
… Whereas good friendship and camaraderie will be supported by the likes of “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, and “Who the Fuck is Alice”;
… Whereas continued discussion of this ruling will last in perpetuity;
… Whereas some Oktoberfestians believe it is more important to share the wealth;
… Whereas most Oktoberfestians believe intrusion by any Oberblogmeister Fuhrer is not only against blog rules, but infringes upon blogger and Oktoberfestian rights;
… Whereas Herr BarleyMan und Frau Paulaner Girl are the first of this year’s Oktoberfestians to arrive in the Promised Land;

I therefore proclaim, and am supported by hundreds of years of precedent that:
……….. The previous lack of postings by Holmes (the Oktoberfestian formally known as RodG) are forgiven and the rounds of bier attributed to him are no longer required;
……….. All Oktoberfestians (the Oberblogmeister Fuhrer excluded), are required to share the wealth and buy a round of bier during the first day of revelry;
……….. All Oktoberfestians will enjoy themselves, and not think or speak ill thoughts of their fellow Oktoberfestian (legitimate discourse criticizing BarleyMan’s political leanings exempted);

As the Oberblogmeister Fuhrer I yearn for the confluence of our unique, but purpose driven sojourn. And I bless upon you a true felt Yavohl, Gemütlichkeit, and Prosit. With one final thought I say beware of the Iwicki Stairs, and the 30 second rule does not apply to Tuna Fish pizza.

See everyone in 8 days ! ! ! !

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Last post...before we leave....

We all like to dream of the golden nectar(tm)... but htere is one dish that sings Bavaria. It is intricate in it's many ends and curves, with a strong prediliction to oooohhhhs and aaaahhhhs. But one thing stands clear, this is the meal that will remind you what it is like to be in Bavaria. I wish I was brave enough to cook one at home...

Schweinshaxe

German/Bavarian style pork knuckles. Pork knuckles are
also known as foreshanks,pork hocks or ham shanks. Water may be used
in place of beer.[Note: huh? this cook does not understand at all!] Prep Time: approx. 30 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 3 Hours 30 Minutes. Ready in: approx. 4 Hours
. Makes 2 servings.

1 carrot, diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 leek, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
2 meaty pork knuckles
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
salt to taste
1/4 cup beer
1 pinch ground cumin, or to taste


Directions
1 Place the carrot, onion, leek, celery, and pork
knuckles into a large stockpot. Throw in the peppercorns, and
season with salt to taste. Add enough water to the pot to
cover the vegetables. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 2
to 3 hours, or until everything is tender. Remove the
knuckles from the water, and drain. Reserve vegetables and
cooking liquid.
2 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F ( 220 degrees C).
Melt the shortening in an enamel coated cast iron baking
dish or pan. Place the drained pork knuckles, cooked
vegetables, and about 2 cups of the cooking liquid into the pan.
3 Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. During the
last 10 minutes, sprinkle with beer in which a good amount
of salt has been dissolved. Dust lightly with cumin to
increase flavor. Serve with potato or white bread dumplings, or
sauerkraut salad. In Bavaria, the cooking liquid and juices are
strained, and served as an accompanying sauce.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cool

Check out the visual presentation of information here. While at first I thought it "search within visuals" Visual Search is actually searching through picking thumbnails. A great deal simpler algorithm, but still a neat presentation of a Rolodex of pictures. Click "Cool".

Chicks for Free

Be glad you are not from South-Africa or from Down Under

Oktoberfest beer cheaper for many tourists despite price hike.
Published: 14 Sep 09 17:01 CETOnline: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20090914-21923.html

The cost of a Maß on the Wiesn will be a staggering:
- 50 percent cheaper than at home for the Norwegians
- 36 percent cheaper for the French
- 25 percent cheaper for the Swiss.

The majority of the Oktoberfest’s visitors come from the United States and Japan, and this year organisers need not worry about inflated prices driving their biggest group of customers away.

A litre of beer is still 40 percent cheaper than in Japan, while Americans will pay just 5 percent more than they would back home.

But not all beer lovers will be so lucky. “Some visitors will be surprised at the cost of beer this year,” Mira Pathak from ECA International said in the study. “Due to fluctuating exchange rates, costs for many foreign visitors will be different – in some cases significantly so – than last year.

”A litre will cost South Africans a whopping three-times as much as their local brews, the study said.

Australians and New Zealanders will also be paying considerably more for their beer than they are accustomed to Down Under, with the average price being 40 percent more expensive.

And while Italians will pay 13 percent less for their beer than they would at home this year, the figure is low compared to last year’s prices, which were 30 percent cheaper.

A post about Something...

"Something" is a single released by The Beatles in 1969, and featured on the album Abbey Road. It was the first song written by George Harrison to appear on the A-side of a Beatles single. It was one of the first Beatles singles to contain tracks already available on a long playing (LP) album, with both "Something" and "Come Together" having appeared on Abbey Road. "Something" was the only Harrison composition to top the American charts while he was in The Beatles.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney—the two principal songwriting members of the band—both praised "Something" as among the best songs Harrison had written. As well as critical acclaim, the single achieved commercial success, topping the Billboard charts in the United States, and entering the top 10 in the United Kingdom. The song's success continued after the breakup of The Beatles, when it was covered by over 150 artists including Elvis Presley, Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, James Brown, Julio Iglesias, Smokey Robinson and Joe Cocker becoming the second-most covered Beatles song after "Yesterday".[2]

Remember Oktoberfest 2007

Exchange Rates, Strength of the Dollar

An earlier discussion lamented the weakness of the dollar against the Euro. Specifically how much the dollar had declined since January of this year, although it was pointed out that it appeared to be that weak and more mid last year (2008).

The protagonists in the discussion were practical people, but were focused on the wrong evidence to support their argument. Comparing one currency against another is useful only if one of the currencies can be considered stable. In the case(s) of the Euro and the dollar, neither can be considered stable currencies for the purpose of evaluation of public policy during the period in question.

Both currencies are being heavily managed by their respective states. The ECB and the Fed (and Treasury) are both busy trying to manage their economies through artificial injection of capital, interest rates and other monetary policy tools. As such, neither can be evaluated simply by comparing one to another. Neither can we evaluate the effectiveness of the policies, one against the other, without also considering the differences in policy making.

In one case, the EU and the ECB, policy has been relatively stable, with adjustments mainly in interest rates and not much in terms of new debt and additional money supply. Further, the business public (private sector and investors) was kept fairly well informed of the discussions and future of their currency. In the other case, the U.S., the Fed had been increasing the money supply (measured by M1 and M2) "on the sly" for over 15 years. The Fed even decided it was no longer important to track and publish M2 (which contains, among other things, the business to business money markets - so-called commercial notes). During this period, the US money supplied more than tripled, while the actual growth of the economy was roughly around 4% annual or an aggregate growth of around 45%). Does anyone see a problem here?

Anyway, because of the differences in the supply of money, the comparison to dollars to Euros is difficult. It becomes much more difficult when the velocity of money changes, as it did late last year and worsened significantly this year. Now, we, the US, have not only a greatly expanding supply of money - printing it as fast as we can spend it - but also a slowing turnover of those dollars as the economy slows.

In such times it is useful to compare the value of a currency against a standard of some sort. Unfortunately, comparing against the Euro is not useful, except in very specific transactions (e.g. the price of a mass in Germany).

We are no longer adhering to a gold standard. There is a "basket of currencies" approach that the IMF administers, but it is not very useful either, as the two heaviest weighted currencies in the basket are the dollar and the Euro.

The way to evaluate any currency at the end of the day is with what the currency can buy. Every country has an interest in maintaining prices of common goods to affordable levels, and free markets will adjust prices including valuing or devaluing their own currency such that particular common goods are priced according to some common standard of value.

Believe it or not, economists have determined a common good (product) that is universal enough (can be found in almost all countries) and popular enough (enough transactions occur each day by enough diverse people) to be a meaningful measure. This good has been tracked now for over forty years in over one hundred different countries, so economists have historical data.

The currency index is here.

According to this index, the Euro is currently overvalued, relative to the dollar, by 35%. This is a level not seen since the introduction of the Euro. It indicates a lack of confidence in the dollar. One can reasonably make the case that the dollar needs to be reduced in terms of global confidence and its use as a global currency - not on the weakness of US policies but on the relative increase in strength of other global economies.

I am unable to attribute the weakness of the dollar specifically to our profligate ways, our increasing debt burden, our anti-business policies, or the current and pending actions of the Fed and Congress. I could also attribute some of the weakness to a long overdue adjustment based on the growth of other economies relative to the US economy. All I can reasonably conclude is that our policies aren't helping, and that our currency will reach a new equilibrium when there is some stability in what it is being measured against (besides burgers).

For now, we have seen that the price of a mass has been adjusted such that to us, the price of beer is approximately the same as in prior years - isn't the free market (where it survives) a wonderful thing?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Series of Nothing

We're coming to the end. The end of waiting. Travel times are becoming less some distant future and more an anticipation of collecting various chargers, packing, and getting coinage. With that, the end of the Nothing series of postings is nigh. While never a particularly popular series, it has had it's amusing moments - from the uberblogmeister's sputtering to Barley's ideological support of Nothing. Only one more of these to come.

I wonder what I can arrange as the big next thing for Nothing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Visit to English Garden?

Found this by Googling, "little known facts about Oktoberfest":

"Munich can honestly boast about its English Garden, for it’s the largest in the world. But that’s not the juicy part. The juicy part is that one of the unique qualities was that one could bare it all in the garden while drinking a pint of beer. This…practice, for lack of a better word, is fading as some have deemed a certain lack of attractive nudes recently. However, if you hurry, you can still view bare flesh throwing back a warm one in the gardens–for now."

What? A "warm one?" I like my bier C-O-L-D. I know that Europeons (sic) are more into cool, but surely we will not be forced to drink it warm?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

BEER CALL 9/9/9


OK,

For those of you who have not played this game before... post your most recent beer (hopefully in your hand right now) and let us know what you think!

Beer: 2009 Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale

This is a great beer they only make once a year. This year's version is like their ever popular Pale Ale, but it's darker, and has a spicier flavor. Superb with a nice sausage... or... Grilled Pork Chops, which we are having for dinner. Yumm!
Practice Makes Perfect
Working on my technique at Hofbrauhaus Vegas

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Where's my stimulus?

It's a global economy, right? Any spending is good spending, right? If it's good enough for multi-national companies like Government Motors, why isn't it good enough for me?

Shouldn't our economic ober fuhrer be more concerned with my economic well being instead of adding more debt to the nation and "fixing" our unfair healthcare system? (oops, sorry dubyah, someone had to blame somthing on you).

According to various reports... "The dollar fell to a low for the year Tuesday". That means that at $1.45 to the Euro, ein Maß at 8.60 Euro, our Golden Nectar now requires $12.47. As Barbus so frequently says, and I paraphrase, "so what".

All I have to say is, "Hey, Barack, you had the cop over for a beer, why not shoot me a billion or two just to get me through the Augustiner Tent?"

Weis'n in Training

Paulaner Girl and I were in training this weekend. One place we stopped at was Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant. An item of note, there is a 25 foot tall Volcano, that spews Margaritas. It tumbles down the side of the volcano:



It then mixes itself as it runs down and into a large glass... ready for....




Me! Great place... Don't sit too close to the glass, it tends to sprinkle on those around it. ;-)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Wies'n HIT 2009


You have to know that this song was a hit in the seventies sung by Rudy Carell. He was a Dutch TV showmaster who till he died only 2 years ago was very popular in Germany. His German was always known as "kousbouten Deutch". German speaking using Dutch words in a German way of sound. According to the news this will be the HIT in 2009. (Hope not)

HIPPODROME ORCHESTRA



The BEST there is!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Got Nothing

A late night. Sister in law, Brother in law, and their daughter guests at the house. Golf scheduled for tomorrow. Labor day weekend - should be planning a cookout. But - got nothing - planned.

Hmmm. Maybe some pork products, beer. Maybe some grilled vegetables, some shrimp. A crisp white wine.

OK. Got something.

Paulener and more

Stores in South Carolina have no German beers, but, while Lobsterfesting I found a coule at Arrow Wine. Paulener is great.

AND - came across this:
Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria. In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. Coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop. However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whisky or other liquor), because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting. Remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health .
Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit .

On a More Serious Note

Most of you probably don't know that I was diagnosed with a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) after our trip to Belize in March. I apparently have a previously undiagnosed clotting disorder. Since this is my first flight since the diagnosis, as our trip approaches, I have started worrying more about DVT. While I'm on Coumadin, my risk is a lot lower. But the rest of you should be aware of the risks for everyone, not just those of us with clotting disorders.

Untreated DVTs will progress on to PE (pulmonary emboli) 50% of the time. Mine went undiagnosed for about 3 weeks, so I was pretty lucky. Every year, PE kills more Americans than AIDS and breast cancer combined. Risks for a thrombotic event that some or all of us share include age greater than 40, obesity, smoking, and long-distance travel, along with multiple more specific risks, such as mine. A 4 hour flight increases the risk of a thrombotic event by 50%. According to my hematologist, dehydration and cabin pressure changes, along with confined seating are some of the contributing factors to the increased risk of travel. Alcohol intake on a flight contributes to dehydration.

So, probably the most important thing that I will be bringing (and wearing on the flight) are my support stockings. I decided not to post a picture of them, they're definitely not sexy!

So here are recommended exercises for flying:
Ankle Circles
Slowly rotate the feet at the ankle in circles both clockwise and counter clockwise.
Seated Calf Raises
Start with the feet flat on the floor. Slowly raise the heels off the ground bringing the feet up on the toes. Lower the heels and press them into the floor and try to raise the toes off the ground.
Knee Raises
Lift the knees up towards the chest. This can be performed with both knees together or one at a time.
Reach
Raise the arms above the head and elongate the finger tips towards the ceiling, stretching the upper body.
Neck Stretch
Slowly drop the head to one side, almost to touch the shoulder. Circle the head to the front, chin to chest, and over to the other side.
More Tips
Travelers can incorporate additional practices during long flights for comfort and safety. Avoid tight fitting clothing when traveling. Garments should be loose and comfortable while seated. Also, increase leg room by removing items from under the seat in front. If there is no room in the overhead bin, pull the bag out and allow it to sit under the knees so that the legs can be stretched out. Air travel can be very dehydrating to the body. It is beneficial to regularly consume water and fruit juices throughout the duration of the flight.

My dear spouse says that if I die of a PE on this trip, he will have me cremated and put my ashes in a stein, so that I can sit on the table with you all. He's so considerate that way!

Next week I promise to post something a little more light hearted. Maybe a picture of my shoes!

Bon Voyage!

This just in.... We are IN Vegas for the long weekend! Yeeee Ha!!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Quiz!

It is stolen from the web, but .....................

  1. What is a Beer Whale?
  2. What is a Beer Willy?
  3. What is Beeraucracy?
  4. What is Beer o'clock?
  5. What is Beer sex ?

It must be in Germany


And the Winner is?

We must find these tokens

Beer Tokens
Mostly companies hand out beer tokens ("Biermarken" in German) to their guests, which can then be exchanged for beer in the respective tents. If you want to buy beer tokens, please contact the tent-owners directly.

Who are these companies and where can we find them? We need to darken the skies with our winged monkeys to get these tokens.