Tag Archives: AC/DC

Advent day 24 – Merry Christmas to all and Off-Seasons Greetings!

Yay, we made it to the end of Advent! Today I counted up all the 4 sorts of AC/DC chocolates (the logo, the drummer, the lightning bolt, and the R2/D2. There was one less drummer, so we went with drummer and we were correct! So, little drummer boy was here to bring in Christmas! We also got a Lindt moon (a crescent moon, while I would have preferred a gibbous moon as it would have been bigger) and a message about loving people as they are. Yes. True love is loving a person for who they are.

Christmas Eve, the last day for our Advent calendars. It's been fun doing this with you. So here we have the cutout AC/DC Hells Bells ornament which is now hanging proudly on the tree, our special AC/DC surprise (2 tiny AC/DC buttons - also hanging on the tree), the last AC/DC drummer, and the moon

Christmas Eve, the last day for our Advent calendars. It’s been fun doing this with you. So here we have the cutout AC/DC Hells Bells ornament which is now hanging proudly on the tree, our special AC/DC surprise (2 tiny AC/DC buttons – also hanging on the tree), the last AC/DC drummer, and the moon

And now I have run my Christmas Eve run, we have done a Christmas Eve strength session at the gym, I did the traditional grocery store trip an hour before the stores all close for the next 2 days (panic shopping was in effect and the lines for the register extended all the way to the cheese case at the very back of the store), and the traditional Christmas Eve lasagna has been made and consumed (I will post my recipe for that next week, it’s going to take a while to write that one up – there are 2 separate sauces involved, apparently. I totally winged it on this one and came up with something really edible.), and now I will post our Christmas card for you and  then close the computer and step away from the internet for a few days.

This is our Christmas card this year, featuring us, the cats, and our 6 bicycles.

This is our Christmas card this year, featuring us, the cats, and our 6 bicycles.

Merry Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noël to all who celebrate, Joyful Solstice, Happy Winter Holidays and Happy and Peaceful New Year to all.

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Advent Day 10 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Today is a rest day.  Also a day of several doctor’s appointments.  The eye doctor told me my new (less than a year old) glasses are too strong and I really should stop using them immediately and go back to my old ones. So I have.  Maybe triathlon is so healthy that even my eyes are regenerating. Either that or my eyes are changing as I age so that the nearsightedness is less pronounced and the farsightedness is more so. Either way, I am always either fumbling for glasses or contact lenses. Then I got booster shots for tetanus and MMR.  Thank goodness it’s a rest day!

It was also a day of firsts.  We got our first Christmas card in the mail today along with our first gift. A traditional Irish Whiskey Christmas Cake from our friends from the very traditionally Irish land of Honduras. This one’s been marinating for three months and I can’t wait to break into it. We have the best friends.

What was not a first, unfortunately, was AC/DC.  Another AC/DC inscribed chocolate.  Here’s it’s pictured with the rest of today’s goodies, thus mitigating the AC/DisappointmentC.

Christmas goodies for us! and AC/DC, neatly camouflaged to hide the disappointment.

Christmas goodies for us! and AC/DC, neatly camouflaged to hide the disappointment.

Since today is a rest day (did I mention that today I didn’t have to swim, bike, run, or lift anything heavier than a cat?) what better tune than God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (which I often explain that while it is not my favorite carol, I enjoy singing ironically. But really, who puts grim minor chords in a carol?)

Jethro Tull does it with less irony and a flute:

The Bare Naked Ladies do it with kings (and Sarah McLaughlin)

It turns out that other than Mistress for Christmas, AC/DC doesn’t do a whole lot of Christmas songs, so have some Dirty Deeds (done dirt cheap) of which the Merry Gentlemen would probably not approve.

Now that we have some pleasant dinner music (I suggest the Jethro Tull), here’s a picture of yesterday’s turkey with homemade cranberry sauce along with zucchini pasta (with cheese) made by my lovely Wife.

Mmmm...dinner.  It's what's for dinner. Note the amazing looking cranberry sauce in the upper left.

Mmmm…dinner. It’s what’s for dinner. Note the amazing looking cranberry sauce in the upper left.

Cranberry sauce is incredibly easy to make:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice (either from a carton or squeezed fresh, up to you)
  • 1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute like agave syrup or something healthy like that)

Preparation:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice.
  2. Stir in the cranberries and cook until they start to pop (about 10 minutes). Popping unpopped ones with a wooden spoon is fine and makes a fun noise.
  3. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. This is so incredibly easy and tasty that after we make it for turkey, we use it as jam, ice cream topping, salad dressing, whatever we can think of, and it goes well on everything.

So yummy (and healthy).  Here’s a great article from NPR about the power of cranberries.

Research Assistant Dukie helps with a visualization of quantum mechanics. Acknowledgements: Prof. Dr. Erwin Schrödinger for his many thoughts on the experiment.

Research Assistant Dukie helps with a visualization of quantum mechanics. Acknowledgements: Prof. Dr. Erwin Schrödinger for his many thoughts on the experiment.

 

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…

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Advent Day 7 Let it Snow

It snowed today.  A lot.  Well, a lot for Frankfurt. Not alot, mind you. A lot. (Yes, that link goes to a grammar rant, but it’s a funny one, you should definitely click on it.) So in the middle of all the snow fall, when all I really wanted to do was curl up under a pile of cats and play on the internet, instead I had to find some of my bike commuting winter wear (like my ugly pants – ugly but effective) and literally bike through a snowstorm in order to meet the Wife (who always gets capitalized because she’s German, in case you were wondering) and our friend S for a strength session at the gym. We’re using the Mark Allen 12 step program for recovering triathletes (you know what they say, once a triathlete, always a triathlete…) and I got to introduce them to the joys of the strength program today.  I got to show of how badass I am by showing off how I can bench press the bar. Yeah, I’m a stud. Then we had dinner at a new Persian restaurant that opened in our neighborhood recently. Persian food is yummy.

Also yummy, but not entirely Persian is hummus, which I’ve figured out how to make myself and it’s embarrassing how easy it is.  It requires 6 ingredients, only two of which are probably not in your kitchen right now, and a stick mixer.

Ingredients for Hummus:

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Advent Day 6 – Happy St Nick day!

So it seems that I’ve settled on an Advent post format.  All Advent posts to this blog shall consist of:

1) An image of today’s chocolate and a remark on the calendars. This remark may optionally be witty, but wittiness is not a requirement.

Image of a chocolate santa

Both the calendars were a disappointment today. AC/DC once again recycled gumby!drummer and while the Lindt chocolate was a lovely and tasty star, it came with an utterly incomprehensible saying involving eyes and too many pronouns. Instead, here’s an out of focus image of the bio santa that showed up on the Wife’s desk yesterday. Santa is, in fact, kicking the AC/DC calendar in order to try to get a different chocolate to show up tomorrow.

2) A reference to and video of at least one song related to the post.  Since today is St. Nicholas day, here’s the Boss (from way back in 1978) singing one of my favorites:

And then I typed AC/DC Santa Claus into google and am posting the first hit i got.  It’s a creepy robotic santa lip syncing to Mistress for Christmas:

3) A recap of the day’s training and another promise to eventually show my training plan for the next 7 months. Ran 5 miles.  In the dark.  It was freezing cold.  Literally. Still using my new running shoes – Brooks PureFlows in this horrible shade of pink – it’s what they had in my size so I took them. Almost all my horribly pink or other frightening colored technical clothing the result of a sale or a last one left situation. Not that there’s anything wrong with pink, I just prefer blues and purples and greens and reds and oranges.  Then after running I did another 3 hours of aikido today. I’m kind of toast right now.

4) Something witty, amusing, or thoughtful related to training. Today, I got nothing so instead have a German Runner’s World article about running in the winter when it’s cold and miserable from one of my many open tabs. Because that is how Germans roll.

5) A discussion of dinner, with an optional picture or recipe. Dinner today was a non-event. I got home to late, Wife was already asleep and I wasn’t that hungry as the result of either the start of a stomach bug that’s been going around, or bad Indian yesterday for lunch, so I just had a bowl of cereal.  Not my best eating day, today (2 bowls of cereal, 2 Mars bars (Milky Way to americans), Advent chocolate, 1 English muffin with Leberwurst, 1 bowl leftover leek soup, 1.5 clementines, 2 Honey Stinger waffles.) At least doing better than that tomorrow shouldn’t be to difficult. (Note that the waffles weren’t real honey stingers as you can’t get them here but one of the local organic stores stocks the original Dutch ones for like 1/6th the price, so we’re eating those now.)

6) A picture of one or more of my cats. Here’s Devil cat greeting me and my very pink shoes when we got back from today’s run.

Let's just call these my Ruby slippers and not hideously fuschia running shoes. They're really comfy, though.  I like them a lot. Devil cat does too, but he's more hopeful for a treat.

Let’s just call these my Ruby slippers and not hideously fuschia running shoes. They’re really comfy, though. They’re also a bit muddy today. I like them a lot. Devil-cat does too, but he’s more hopeful for a treat. Santa did not leave me any little surprises in them last night.  Thankfully, neither did Devil-cat or Captain Dukie.

And that is all she wrote tonight. Literally.

Advent Day 5 – warm things on cold days

AC/DC disappoints again. They’ve recycled gumby-drummer from the first day for today, so this is the second day that we’ve had a repeat. In fact, today’s Lindt was much more in keeping with the AC/DC theme with its “Extra-dunkel” (extra dark) truffle.

Extra Dark.  Like AC/DC's soul. The saying says that in order to multiply happiness, you have to divide it.  Which makes me somehow want to write the happiness equation with some sort of asymptotic limit.  Also makes me wonder what happens if you start out with complete unhappiness. In Matlab, you would end up with NaN. No happy for you!

Extra Dark. Like AC/DC’s soul. The saying says that in order to multiply happiness, you have to divide it. Which makes me somehow want to write the happiness equation with some sort of asymptotic limit. Also makes me wonder what happens if you start out with complete unhappiness. In Matlab, you would end up with NaN. No happy for you!

Is it possible that there are only 3 different AC/DC Advent chocolate designs and for the next 19 days we will keep seeing gumby, R2D2, and the AC/DC logo?  Well, the calendar did only cost 3 Euros, after all. I’m going to take a quick pause from AC/DC music today just because I feel like it (and it’s my blog, so I can do what I want with it.) The weather here is sort of awful, with snow, or sleet, or really cold rain every day and lots of clouds and wind. I’ve had to break out my heavy-duty lobster claw commuting gloves, even when I’m only out on the bike for 20 minutes or so.  So far, it’s still not quite cold and miserable enough that I’m pining for a car, but it’s getting closer.  Therefore, today I’m going to talk for a bit about warm things to help keep our household at the 6 bikes and zero cars level of transportation options. Continue reading

Advent day 4 – The Bells, bells, bells, bells, and so on

Huzzah!  today is the first day we see an actual bell in the AC/DC Hells Bells Advent calendar. And a very confusing quote from Pascal about why searching for things is somehow better than having things or something like that.  I don’t know, it’s in German and there were too many pronouns for me to make any sense out of it.  But then again, he’s a philosopher and a mathematician, it probably wouldn’t have made much sense anyway. Today hasn’t been particularly fun.  Was at the dentist for a cleaning.  She complimented me on how nice my teeth are.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have to come back twice more in the next couple of weeks, but apparently all the flossing I’ve been doing lately has payed off. Then I couldn’t eat for a while because of the fluoride, went to work out, had a drink with the group for a birthday, and finally got home around 11 pm to find that Wife had made us amazingly delicious chicken legs, mashed potatoes, and this wonderful vegetable involving bell peppers, an onion, an apple, and red wine. As soon as I get her to give me an outline of her method, I’ll post it here because it was divine. Unfortunately, I was so hungry that I forgot to take a photo of the marvelous dinner, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that my wife makes amazing dinners.

Finally, on day 4 we have our first hellish bell. Or maybe it's a fire hydrant, or a very short cannon, or a keg of beer, possibly a hedgehog, a certain part of male anatomy, or R2D2. We'll never know for sure.

Finally, on day 4 we have our first hellish bell. Or maybe it’s a fire hydrant, or a very short cannon, or a keg of beer, possibly a hedgehog, a certain part of male anatomy, or R2D2. We’ll never know for sure.

Hell’s Bells.

Probably not the ones you hear on Christmas Day. Like the ones that Johnny Cash hears.

Did you know that Longfellow wrote the words to “I heard the bells on Christmas day”?

And since I’ve gone into poetry, here’s my favorite bell poem (at least the first stanza)

Hear the sledges with the bells –

Silver bells!

What a world of merriment their melody foretells!

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,

In the icy air of night!

While the stars that oversprinkle

All the heavens, seem to twinkle

With a crystalline delight;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

From the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells –

From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

That’s Poe by the way. They would have made good heavy metal lyrics.  I checked, I couldn’t find any recorded performance, but I did find Joan Baez singing Annabel Lee, another of Poe’s famous ones:

It’s late, I’m tired, more interesting stuff tomorrow along with a report of my second swim and second strength workout of the off season.

Because being in the way is his sworn duty in life, Captain Dukie commandeers the potato chips, the mints, my inbox, and most of the table. And he will defend those things strongly if he has to.

Because being in the way is his sworn duty in life, Captain Dukie commandeers the potato chips, the mints, my inbox, and most of the table. And he will defend those things if he has to.