Advent 8 and 9: Winter Wonderland

Welcome to Advent weekend number 2. A double post as I missed yesterday, what with sleeping at night and all. I’ve been having serious problems with sleeping the last few weeks including crazy worry about races that are 7 months away, odd dreams (about my mother and swords, I don’t know either), and just general inability to actually fall asleep, so the fact that I was in bed by midnight and actually asleep by 1:30 was something of a miracle. Anyway, excuse time is over, on to the interesting part of the post.

First up, Advent chocolates from yesterday and today, which came with directions about maintaining an appropriate work/life balance (the two cornerstones of happiness are love and work). As you know, the Wife and I have got the love part figure out these days (marry someone who doesn’t object to your bicycle habit and likes to run, then actually manage to live on the same continent and in the same apartment after a couple of years of long distance relationship.) Thankfully, I have triathlon to take the place of work for the moment, that and German classes (and something else that I’ll tell you about in a few months if it all works out – keep your fingers crossed for me. It’s something that I really want to be able to do, but I’ve shot myself in the proverbial foot over this before, so I don’t want to jinx it.). AC/DC disappoints once again with repeats of the AC/DC logo (which looks a bit more like BC/DC on this one) yesterday and the lightning bolt today.

Day 8:  Santa's head has been eaten and replaced with the Lindt truffle. The AC/DC chocolate by his feet prophesies the coming apocalypse. Or maybe it's a partial list of who's been naughty...

Day 8: Santa’s head has been eaten and replaced with the Lindt truffle. The AC/DC chocolate by his feet prophesies the coming apocalypse. Or maybe it’s a partial list of who’s been naughty…

Advent Day 9 - today's chocolate selection. AC/DC as usual, Santa's lost the rest of his head and part of a shoulder, Captain Dukie is bored, some of the detritus of my training plan cobbling can be seen in the background.  Don't look for any more pictures of Santa, shortly after this one was taken, the rest of him was devoured with a nice Chianti.

Advent Day 9 – today’s chocolate selection. AC/DC as usual, Santa’s lost the rest of his head and part of a shoulder, Coach Dukie is looking over some of my training plans (checking them for errors, no doubt). Don’t expect any further pictures of Santa, though, shortly after this one was taken, the rest of him was devoured with a nice Chianti. *Burp*

Today’s music doesn’t have any AC/DC in it, sorry. We were at the pool today and after swimming a couple of kilometers and then walking home in the cold, my ears just weren’t up for it. Hopefully, today’s selection will not disappoint.

Happy Hanukkah! (I know it started yesterday, but as mentioned above, in the sleep vs. blogging war, sleep won). If I were Jewish, I would have only had to blog for 8 days this month instead of 24. It’s a bit odd living in Germany at this time of year, there are almost no Jewish people at all here, so no one to feed me latkes and no menorahs in windows like there are at home. I was going to post the traditional Adam Sandler song, but this one found through a friend on Facebook is much better.

Check out this group of student musicians in Paraguay.  Their instruments are recycled from trash.

No AC/DC, but Ozzy (with Jessica Simpson) singing Winter Wonderland.  Possibly the very worst version of this that I have ever heard.  I cannot fathom what they did to Ozzy’s voice.

And the antidote to that one, Michael Buble singing the same song.

You may wonder why I am posting winter wonderland songs. I will tell you why (did you really expect anything else?). It’s been snowing here most of the weekend, accumulation of at least 5 inches in places and it utterly curtailed today’s run.  There were heartier souls than us both running and biking.  I counted 2 bike riders and no less than 6 runners on our 5 mile walk. Yes, a 5 mile walk in the snow replaced our 9 mile run today. I brought the camera and actually used it for once.

Street corner in the snow

A local street corner. Note the snow-covered sidewalks and slush covered streets, both of which are totally non-conducive to running. Pretty, though.

Apparently, when it snows in Frankfurt, everyone builds snowmen. Which is better than many of the alternatives, but there were about 30 different snowpeople (And one snow skvörl made by me, but exceedingly unphotogenic) on our walk today. The snow was perfect for the building of snow armies. Not so perfect for running or biking.

Apparently, when it snows in Frankfurt, everyone builds snowmen. Which is better than many of the alternatives, but there were about 30 different snowpeople (And one snow skvörl made by me, but exceedingly unphotogenic) on our walk today. The snow was perfect for the building of snow armies. Not so perfect for running or biking.

Another of the snow people, we liked his mustache (maybe a leftover from Movember?) We are unsure as to the designation 61 Tr on his chest, and my Google-fu was not up to the task. We also saw, inexplicably, a family of four transporting one snowman on their sled. We couldn't figure out why one would need to build a snowman in one place and move it to another, since the snow fell everywhere.

Another of the snow people, we liked his mustache (maybe a leftover from Movember?) We are unsure as to the designation 61 Tr on his chest, and my Google-fu was not up to the task. We also saw, inexplicably, a family of four transporting one snowman on their sled. We couldn’t figure out why one would need to build a snowman in one place and move it to another, since the snow fell everywhere.

idiots

Some local Jungs (direct translation – “boys will be boys” 😉 out enjoying themselves. They posed for us and also offered us a ride, despite how incredibly dorky one of us looked.

I was warm in my nice 15 year old winter parka, waterproof boots, cow-spotted neck buff (made for me by my lovely Wife) and silly running hat. I still looked like a dork though. (Notice, the matching camera case slung casually around my shoulder. It matches! It's like cameraflage!)

I was warm in my nice 15 year old winter parka, waterproof boots, cow-spotted neck buff (made for me by my lovely Wife) and silly running hat. I still looked like a dork though. (Notice, the matching camera case slung casually around my shoulder. It matches! It’s like cameraflage!)

The Wife is adorable in her new cycling sunglasses and very fluffy (tm) fleece. She has new biking sunglasses as she's lost or destroyed the last 4 pairs that she's owned.  This year. (OK, that's an exaggeration, but only a slight one.) She goes through sunglasses the way that I go through gloves.

The Wife is adorable in her new cycling sunglasses and very fluffy ™ fleece. She has new biking sunglasses as she’s lost or destroyed the last 4 pairs that she’s owned. This year. (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but only a slight one.) She goes through sunglasses the way that I go through gloves.

Sledders at the bottom of the sledding hill with the river and part of the 1000 year old castle in the background. Makes this place look so quaint and picturesque.

Sledders at the bottom of the sledding hill with the river and part of the 1000 year old castle in the background. Makes this place look so quaint and picturesque.

This is where most of our runs start.  Today it's like a picture print from Currier and Ives...

This is where most of our runs start. Today it’s like a picture print from Currier and Ives…

A snow angel on the Hundewiese (dog running lawn). Yes, made by me.

A snow angel on the Hundewiese (dog running lawn). Yes, made by me.

We managed the 5 mile walk today and 2300 meters swimming at the local pool.  Thank goodness for indoor training options. Yesterday was another 3 hours of aikido and an hour on the bike trainer.

A slightly blurry me on the bike trainer (with 90 rpm legs) as Coach Dukie observes my progress.  After looking at this one, I think I need to make some major changes to my bike setup and my posture. I might bring this to the LBS and let them diagnose it.

A slightly blurry me on the bike trainer (with 90 rpm legs) as Coach Dukie observes my progress. After looking at this one, I think I need to make some major changes to my bike setup and my posture. I might bring this to the LBS and let them diagnose it.

Ok, so we’ve covered the training, the music, the incoherent rambling, and the cats.  It’s getting late, this is getting much too long, I’ll post a few recipes tomorrow. We had turkey with homemade cranberry sauce for dinner today and the wonderful Wife also made banana-bread cupcakes, one of which I am eating at this very moment.

Happy Hanukkah! Happy Advent! Happy Snowday!

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