Sunday, August 27, 2006

What a shock!

So, after my second weekend of franatic drilling, wiring, screwing (screws), the lights are finally all installed, and ALL WORKING! WHAT A SHOCK!

But that's not the biggest shock. The biggest shock came when I touched a live wire, while trying to wire up one of the lights. Gives you one hell of a jolt, and I am lucky that it was with the back of my finger and not with the front. Anyway, it left me feeling kinda dopey (yes - more than usual) for the rest of the day, but I am feeling better now. :)

And the good news is that our house is starting to resemble one. Things are slowly disappearing off the floor, boxes are getting emptied, and I even vacuumed today! Give it a few more weeks, and it will be like we have been here forever.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Let there be light...pop!

So, this is the tail end of two hell weekends in a row. Last weekend was moving from Darmstadt to Friedrichsdorf, into our new apartment. This week was IKEA shopping, and installation.

The main saga from last weekend was that we had reserved a van from B's work, in order to move our fold-out-couch from Darmstadt to Friedrichsdorf. Problem was that it got broken into the weekend before our move, and therefore had to be repaired. Thus, we were left without a van.
Na ja, so we had a few ppl come and help us move, which was great. Then, after we had sent them all home, we got a call from B's colleague to say that he had a van we could use. Cool! Problem is, the sofa is still on the top floor, and there is nobody left to help us.
So, Belinda and I start off, and try to bring it down ourselves. This ain't any easy task, given the size, the weight, and the extremely narrow stairwell. The sofa nearly had to be balanced on it's end in order to move the bastard down the stairs.
Halfway down, we get a little stuck. Luckily our landlord was at home, and she opened the door so that we could manouver in and out of her apartment with the couch.
We were still having a hell of a time, so this 80yr old lady, who was nearly hospitalised a few days earlier with a blood pressure of 260, helped us get it the rest of the way down the stairs, and finally on it's way to Friedrichsdorf.

This weekend was IKEA shopping. We had to buy:
1. A bed
2. Wardrobes
3. TV unit
4. Lights (bought them last weekend though)

The wardrobes are in a partially completed state at the moment. The problem here was that we wanted 2 wardrobes that were 100cm wide, and 2 that were 50cm wide. They had the shells for the 50cm ones, but no shelves. They had the shelves for the 100cm, but no shells. Therefore, the 50cm ones are put together, with the hanging rails and stuff, but no shelves.

Then today I decided to install the first set of lights. That's right - in Germany some people take their lights with them when they leave.

Normal AC wiring is what? Green/Yellow, Blue, and Brown. The wires hanging out of our roof were Blue, Brown, Green/Yellow, and 2 sets of Black. But, the brown one wasn't stripped at all, and the adaptor from the last lights (which I had to remove first) was connected with the Green/Yellow, Blue, and one of the we went with that too.
Bel was all freakin' over this, as it involved drilling some holes in the roof, right next to these live wires...which couldn't be deactivated as they are on the same circuit as the socket for the drill. She was also a little freaked over the fact that there were too many wires...but I said "Don't worry about it!".
Ok, so without much fuss, the lights are installed...

And we give them the first trial run. They function beautifully...for about long enough for us to start celebrating with high-fives, and then POP!

See that char mark? Turns out that the other black wire was live as well, and shorted against the metal casing on the lights. There is this nice weld on the inside of the bracket now. :) So, I pulled the bastards back down, clipped the wire, taped it up (will have to repeat with something that is more insulative that Gaffa Tape next weekend), and all is good again. Maybe Bel's fears of electricity are a little more justified now. :)

Tja, let's see what next weekend holds... :)


Friday, August 11, 2006


Morgen wird Belinda wieder hier sein.
Morgen fangen wir an umzuziehen.
Morgen wird das Wetter wieder schlecht.
Morgen-Latte ist nicht, was du denkst, daß es ist... :)

Tomorrow Belinda will be here again.
Tomorrow we start to move house.
Tomorrow the weather will be bad again.
A Morning-Latte is not what you think it is... :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ski jumping

So, it's only August, and the ski jumping season has started again. That's right, in 25C temperatures, these freaks are hurling themselves down the hill again, and flying around 120m, before gracefully (mostly) touching down.

So, ski jumping in Summer?? Yep, darn right!

Basically works like this:
- The tracks on the jump ramp are made of ceramic tiles, which usually are iced over in winter...but in Summer, with the application of water, they are just as slippery.
- The jump hill is covered in fake grass, which again is covered in snow in winter, but is also pretty slippery when wet in Summer.
- At the bottom of the landing hill, where they can usually do a nice hockey-stop in their massive skis, there appears to be pine bark chips or something, which helps them to slow down.

It's kinda cool (though warm) watching this - especially watching a guy go down like a sack of crap on landing last night. Luckily they still jump in their full on suits, so he didn't lose any skin or anything...just damaged pride.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Currently chillin' in Norway, visiting some Customers. Weather here is a lot better than the first time I was here - this time it is around 25C...a lot more bearable than the -10C that it was then. :)

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I got a lift to my hotel a Maserati. YUM!


PS: No funny little German sharp-S on the keyboard here...