Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It’s downright sad

Paris Marathon Training: Week 9 of 18
Today’s target run: 1 hour, 24 minutes
Today’s completed run: 1 hour, 24 minutes

Nary can I remember a time when upon announcement of the Oscar nominees, I had not seen at least one of the nominated films in the best acting, directing, or picture categories. Often, I have seen everything in ALL of the categories, including documentaries and foreign language films.

Part of the issue is that many of these films did not make it to Düsseldorf. Additionally, many of them were dubbed so I could not watch them in English.

To make a long story short, the nominee list has been printed and already filed into the computer bag. Upon arrival in the US for 2 weeks of business, I’m already personally committed to the double and triple feature gigs on the weekends…time is a-wastin’.

Still, this cuts to the core….

We all know what today is, don’t we?

For a dedicated, hard-core few of us movie aficionados, it is burned on our brains. Today…Tuesday, January 31st… the 78th Academy Award® nominations will be announced at 5:30 a.m. PST, in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Let the games begin!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Weekend in Amsterdam

Paris Marathon Training: Week 9 of 18
Today’s target run: 1 hour, 12 minutes
Today’s completed run: 1 hour, 12 minutes

A lovely weekend, albeit a quite cold one, was just had in Amsterdam. A work colleague, Cynthia, and I decided that a girl’s weekend was definitely in order, so being that neither of us had ever visited this fair city, this was our locale of choice.

Now, before you start feeling sorry for the Budman, he is in the US for a week on business, and was in NYC last weekend. No pity parties for him. As an aside, we’ll definitely be going back to Amsterdam, so he’ll get his own trip in the near future.

The city is quite charming, with no shortage of sights to see, shops and markets to check out, restaurants to eat at, canals to cruise, and streets to walk. It is an extremely walkable city at that, so there is really no reason not to “hoof it” and sightsee on foot. If that is not an option, the tram and canal sightseeing cruises are a perfect back-up plan.

Lots to tell you, but for now, let me share photos of the canals….I did not realize how many photos I snapped of the canals. It is a charming place for sure….

One of many canals in Amsterdam.

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Canals and bikes...typical Amsterdam.

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The Jordaan area of Amsterdam.

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Canals at dusk.

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Twilight in Amsterdam…from atop the Blue Bridge.

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Yes, the canals can freeze over a bit, as we observed from these “ice-skating” ducks.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Year of the Dog

Paris Marathon Training: Week 8 of 18
Today’s target run: off
Today’s completed run: off

Believe it or not, I still pay attention to many things Asian…one of those is Chinese New Year. Today (January 29), Lunar New Year celebrations begin all over the world, heralding the end of the Rooster's reign and welcoming the Year of the Dog under the Chinese zodiac.
First, what’s the Chinese Zodiac all about?

Well, the Chinese zodiac dates back more than 3,000 years. There are various legends as to how the twelve animal signs arose. According to one version, the twelve animals quarrelled one day as to who should head the “cycle of years” (yes, the years begin to cycle over after 12 ). The gods were asked to decide this quandary and thus, a contest was proposed. Whoever reached the opposite bank of the river first would lead the cycle of years, and the rest of the animals would follow according to their finishing order.

The twelve animals gathered at the river bank and jumped in. Unbeknownst to the ox, the rat had jumped on his back. As the ox was about to reach the bank, the rat jumped off the ox's back, and won the race. The pig, who was lazy, came last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the ox second, and the pig last.

Another story recalls that Buddha named a year after each animal and declared that people born under that sign would take on certain characteristics of the animal. As an FYI, this is the year of the dog.

According to Chinese folklore, people born in the year of the dog have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest and hate injustice. Dogs fight for equality and freedom, making them good leaders -- although they do have an acute desire to please. Dogs can also be stubborn, defensive, and vicious if provoked. They strive to be the top dog and will do anything to stay there. Being born in the Year of the Dog usually signifies friendship with people born in the years of the rat, ox, snake and pig; there can be difficulties with people born under the signs of the dragon and horse.

Famous “dogs” include pop stars Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, business tycoon Donald Trump, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and current U.S. President George W. Bush, along with his father, George Bush. South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun, born in 1946, also comes under the sign of the dog.

So, it is that time in Asia when Chinese New Tear celebrations ramp up, which involve much decorating with Chinese new Years decorations (lots of red and gold), the preparation of favorite foods, spending time with family and friends, and visits to local temples. And of course, almost a whole week off from work, which I am totally onboard with.

Chinese New Year celebrations are the longest and most important in the Chinese calendar for more than 1 billion ethnic Chinese around the world. The celebrations begin with the new moon on the first day of the year and end 15 days later on the full moon with a lantern ceremony. This year, celebrations for Chinese New Year run from January 29 to February 12.

Yes, I look for any reason for a celebration, even one that is an adopted custom from a part of the world the Budman and I grew to love. Tomorrow, the Chinese New Year decorations make their appearance in the German apartment….what I would give for some good dim sum or a trip to Din Tai Fung right about now…

For more information on Chinese New Year, check out the following:

Friday, January 27, 2006

I hear it’s 70 degrees or so in Texas

Paris Marathon Training: Week 8 of 18
Today’s target run: 1 hour 12 minutes
Today’s completed run: 1 hour 12 minutes

I understand from web weather reports and recent emails from home, that the temperature highs have been hovering in the 70’s in Dallas. Actually, that sounds really nice….

Not that I am complaining. I missed out on the whole “snow” thing when we lived in Seoul, so I am enjoying the “living in a snow” climate in Germany. Of course, I don’t have to drive or walk much in the snow, as the home office is well, at home. Most of the challenges faced with the snow really only revolve around the marathon training.

I’ve pondered the whole snow thing. Why is it that those of us who never really ever lived in snowy climes find snow so enjoyable, so romantic, so appealing in a nostalgic way? Visions of cozily curling up on the sofa with hot chocolate and a good book or movie while the snow falls outside are the images I have often conjured up, especially on a hot Texas summer day.

Believe it or not, I do miss Texas weather…January when you need no coat and can run in shorts, blustery March winds, April showers, and even those blasted hot summers. Somehow, Texas heat just gets into your blood. So, enjoy that temperate Texas winter for me.

Until such time I am once again enjoying the Texas weather for myself, I’ll revel in having the snow. For those of you feeling deprived of your own snow scenes, some visuals for you.

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You know you are starting to become settled into a city when….

For Bud and I, it is always when you know the antique shop haunts, and the owner(s) recognize you by face when you walk through the door. Sorta reminds me of Waxahachie and walking into the Gingerbread Antique Mall….

Anyway, we have definitely connected with one shop in Düsseldorf. As if we would not return to this shop because the furniture is so lovely and is either masterfully refinished or in such great condition, the owner is just so nice to boot. He is Norwegian by birth and has this lovely" sing-song-ey quality" to his voice when he says, “Guten Tag”. (For those of you who are musical, think three quarter notes, where the words “Guten” are a third higher than “Tag”). And the best part: he delivers the furniture!

So, in the spirit of sharing,

(1) our new dining table and 6 chairs (photo only shows 4). The table is tiger oak; oak chairs have the original cane backs and seat bottoms and are in fabulous condition. All are from the early art deco period.

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(2) a pair of bedside tables (again, photo only shows one). Tables have marble tops; bases are made of oak. Again, art deco period style furniture. We had hoped to find some tables in Turkey, but I never saw what I was looking for. I’ll keep up the search, but I think these will look better in the house in Waxahachie anyway.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My life is wacky sometimes

Paris Marathon Training: Week 8 of 18
Today’s target run: 1 hour 12 minutes
Today’s completed run: 1 hour 12 minutes

I don’t know what is more weird: the fact that Bud and I actually had balcony plants delivered today (as part of our balcony spruce-up project) and it was snowing outside OR the fact that the guy who delivered mes quatre usines mises en pot (my four potted plants) and I actually discussed the plants and their pots in French (I spoke little German and he spoke little English).

No, I take that back: the wackiest aspect of my day was the part when I did my daily run as it was snowing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Paris Marathon Training: Week 8 of 18
Today’s target run: rest day

Every January, a five member linguistic panel, known as Unwort des Jahres, chooses a German word that they consider “grossly deceptive, evasive, euphemistic and possibly harmful to human dignity”. Whoa…OK…right on, bro!

This year, the winner, and this year’s entrant into the German vocabulary hall of shame is “Entlassungsproduktivität." Definition, please.

"Entlassungsproduktivität" refers to increased productivity at a firm after a usually big round of lay-offs. It is a word used more often, at least in economics circles in Germany, as companies seek to control costs and remain competitive in a globalized marketplace, often at the expense of employees.

Why did this word win? According to the panel, because this word “veils the excessive burden put on those who were able to keep their job after large-scale job cuts”. Apparently “its euphemistic treatment of a phenomenon that can have very negative effects on a community did not sit well with the language experts”.

I thought it was simply because the word might have too many letters. Upon review of all the winners, now I understand that this is a serious thing…read on.

Second prize goes to "Ehrenmord," or "honor killing," which it says serves to put an inappropriate spin on "the killing of usually female family members because of archaic ideas of family honor which are unacceptable in our culture."

The bronze went to "Bombenholocaust," or "Holocaust of bombs," a term used by the far-right in Germany to refer to the World War Two bombing of Dresden and which the jury “found minimized the magnitude and uniqueness of the Nazi's genocidal campaign against Europe's Jews”.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Brussels Bound

Paris Marathon Training: Week 7 of 18
Today’s target run: 2 hour, 45 minutes

Today’s completed run: 2 hour, 45 minutes

Apart from a very long run, a bit of work from the office, and packing for an upcoming trip to Brussels, nothing much else today was accomplished around Haus Young. We were busy though, so I don't know where the time went.

The weather was supposed to turn bitterly cold, but thankfully, the Russian cold front did not materialize, thus allowing me to get in a very long run in this morning.

As tomorrow is a very early train day (6:26 am departure from Düsseldorf’ main station), I better sign off. Will catch you all on the flip side of Brussels.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A potpourri, if you will

Paris Marathon Training: Week 7 of 18
Today’s target run: 1 hour, 12 minutes
Today’s completed run: 1 hour, 12 minutes

Nothing major happening around the apartment (or Düsseldorf) this weekend. The next few weeks will be quite busy for the Budman and I, with personal and well as business travel, so we decided to get a few projects done around the apartment and run a lot of overdue errands. So, nothing terribly exciting to report I am sad to admit…just a few tidbits from throughout the day.

* Yes, there are German runners as crazy as me. I passed a number of runners on the running path this Saturday morning at 5:45 am. I also passed my downstairs neighbor coming into the apartment building from a night of partying just as this warmly clad runner was headed out to run.

* We finally found, at long last, the German equivalent to the “US lawn and garden center”. And so, in pouring rain, we selected our balcony plants as we begin the inevitable process of balcony spruce-up. I can hear each of saying, “My word, woman, it is only January!" Still, spring will be here soon enough.” Yes, I know type-A behavior was in full force today (and it was not always a pretty sight as the Budman will attest) but I figured that a year round conifer can always be a good choice…because...well... it is year-round. Additionally, we have been challenged by a friend’s annual ritual for picking a “balcony decorating theme”. No theme selected just yet for our balcony, but we are working on it.

* I did the math…it appears to be cheaper to pitch the old throw rugs and buy new ones at IKEA rather than getting the old ones dry-cleaned in Düsseldorf. The new ones are lovely, but something about “the re-cycler” in me is bothered by this new development and the recurring notion that we live in a throw-away society nags in the back of my brain.

* Get thee to a new hair salon…it appears that the “new guy” burned the side of my hairline when re-doing my color today.

* Recent excitement at the apartment, as one of the neighbors was burglarized on Christmas. So far, no other mishaps; however, after a day of procurement, we drove up to the apartment to see “hooligans” as my next door neighbor calls them going through trash bins, parking their car in our drive space, and really not looking too cool (even though they thought so) smoking a few cigarettes.

* Success at the antique shop today…while no purchases were made, several possibilities exist, including a pair of art-deco bed-side tables (since, sadly, the Turkish tables were not located in Istanbul).

* "Us Yanks" appear to be the only people at the grocery store who bag our groceries at the check-out stand. Everyone else dumps their items back into the metal grocery cart and rolls it out to their cars. It is at this time that they remove everthing from the cart for a second time and put these items into sacks or bags stored in their trunks of their vehicles. We receive strange looks from those behind us in line, but by golly, we get out of the parking lot first.

Now, was that exciting or what!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Girls Weekend

Paris Marathon Training: Week 7 of 18
Today’s target run: rest

As the Budman’s trip to NYC and Dallas approaches, and he is going to be gone for about 8 days, one of my work colleagues and I have decided to combine three of our favourite things: (1) travel, (2) shopping, food, and sightseeing, and (3) girls’ weekend trips.

Yes, a first time trip to Amsterdam is in the making for both Cyn and I. Now, we are trying to persuade another work colleagues to go, but she is so far “non-committed” (you know who you are ). Not that the Budman has not wanted to go to Amsterdam as well. It is just that I saw a golden opportunity for a little female bonding. I’ll just consider this trip a little reconnaissance for that Budman/Hachie Gal trip.

Plus, the thought of the Budman getting to eat all that Mexican food, see the sights of NYC, and see family and friends required that I plan a little fun as well. (Notice how I have deftly failed to mention that he also has a ton of meetings on his agenda, so in reality he is really is having to work).

Now, we still have a little over a week to wait before the trip, so, for those of you who have been lucky enough to visit this fabulous city, please....some travel tips!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How Americans see the world

Paris Marathon Training: Week 7 of 18
Today’s target run: 48 minutes
Today’s completed run: 48 minutes

Americans can view the world in a rather stereotypical way (yes, I count myself as part of this guilty lot at times). The graphic below is courtesy of one of my EMEA team mates who just happens to be a Yank (thanks, Cyn). One of the benefits to living overseas is that you can become aware of these stereotypes, and that we often hold a rather simplistic view of the world in which we live. Actually, it’s humorous and sad at the same time.


If your eyes need a little photo enlargement assistance, click on an enlarged view of this graphic. Just select "original" view for the larger version.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

In the news

Paris Marathon Training: Week 7 of 18
Today’s target run: 48 minutes
Today’s completed run: 48 minutes

And we complain about the state of US health care....well, take a gander at one of today’s news articles in the English version Germany online news, Deutsche Wells.

Title: German doctors begin week-long strike

Subject: Doctors in the German states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Saxony have begun a week-long nationwide strike in protest at poor pay. The MEDI union, which called the strike, said they expected several thousand practices to close. The strike is expected to reach its peak on Wednesday, when unions are expecting about half of all medical practices across Germany to close for the day. The doctors are protesting against what they say are low salaries and complicated bureaucracy.

First, let me say I live in Nord Rhein Westphalia, not Baden-Wuerttemberg or Saxony. Whew! Secondly, I am currently in good health and not anticipating the need for medical assistance (that I know of). Thirdly, you know you are living in a different country when you read about “unionized doctors”.

Do I even want to ponder what will be happening in the ERs across the country this week?

Monday, January 16, 2006

A trip to “Münsterland”

Paris Marathon Training: Week 7 of 18
Today’s target run: Rest day

Last Saturday, the Budman and I found ourselves on a bit of a daytrip to a charming area just north of Düsseldorf known as Münsterland. We had been graciously invited to the home of one of the Budman’s colleagues, resulting in a nice little tour of the countryside and a great dinner at a local restaurant.

Technically, this region stretches along a narrow strip to the north of Münster, which is known as the land of horses and moated castles. Many of the castles were originally surrounded by moats or built on islands to give their owners protection in the surrounding lowlands. Today, this is an area rich in farming and in raising livestock, including horses, as well as having its fair share of coal mines.

About 50 of these castles (or manor houses) have survived and are scattered throughout the region. Some have been converted into museums and/or restaurants; some are used as government buildings, while others are still residences in some form or fashion.

The first castle we visited as Schloss Nordkirchen (http://www.dunywood.de/html/schloss_nordkirchen.html). Nicknamed the “Westphalian Versailles”, it was built in 1703-34 for a local prominent family. While obviously not nearly as large as the original Versailles, there are similarities in the architecture and layout of the gardens. We arrived almost at dusk, so the lighting was not as good for photos as we would have hoped. Still you can take a look at a few of our photos as well as some pictures courtesy of the Germany Tourism website.

The front of Schloss Nordkirchen as well as.

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an aerial view of the gardens (obviously not my personal photo).

Schloss Nordkirchen aerial shot

Exterior of the castle facing the gardens.

Schloss Nordkrichen gardens

Buddy and Holly tour the schloss and grounds.

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The second stop was Burg Vischering, one of the oldest and best preserved castles in Westphalia. Founded in 1270, it was added onto in the 16th and 17th centuries. As we arrived almost at nightfall, the building’s exterior lights did a masterful job in showing off this castle.

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I stand corrected

I never claimed that science was my strong suit. I am definitely more of a history, language, and artsy gal. The exception was algebra…I don’t know why but that was so easy for me. Go figure.

Thanks to a blog reader (you know who you are), I must now correct my previous comment regarding the winter solstice (otherwise know as the day with the shortest amount of daylight). It is actually on December 21st, not January 21st, as noted in yesterday’s blog. Could’ve fooled me, as the days seem to still be getting shorter, rather than longer.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Some of the types of things one ponders when alone with his/her thoughts for 2 ½ hours

Paris Marathon Training: Week 6 of 18
Today’s target run: 2 hours, 36 minutes
Today’s completed run: 2 hours, 36 minutes

I miss my running buddies. Literally, as well as figuratively. As a result, one has a myriad of “alone” time to ponder the great mysteries of the world, reflect on nature, “watch the world go by (or “float by” as is usually the case as I watch the ships sail along the Rhein River), or more practically...mentally put together to-do lists for home and work.

Usually, I would prefer to spend this running time chit-chatting with friends (or the Budman when he is running with me), but training for marathon #11 has been spent mostly running the trails alone. As a result, I can have some of the wackiest self-conversations with myself. I wish that I could say that there are some riveting “take-aways” that I could share with you, but alas, these thoughts are usually pretty simplistic and are mainly ways to keep my mind off of the bitter winter wind/cold temperatures and just get through my runs.

Point in case during today’s 2 ½ hour run:

Thought 1: Why do the Germans not dress their dogs in “cute little outfits” like the Taiwanese?
Answer: Don’t know.

Thought 2 (this is a two-parter): How long can a person run with the cold wind blowing in his/her face without having to blow their nose? Extrapolated over a 2 ½ run, how many Kleenex tissues must an average runner pack into their running belt?
Answer: Today, my count was 9 tissues used; 12 tissues packed.

Thought 3: How many more days do I have before the shortest day of the year (January 21st, BTW) when I can begin to expect the daylight hours begin to lengthen?
Answer: 5 more days.

Thought 4: What is the first thing I want to do when I return to the apartment today?
Answer: Hot bubble bath, followed by a nap.

Thought 5: Why do walkers have to walk 3-4 people across and essentially hog the running and biking paths, when they know "good and well" there are others using the paths?
Answer: During the early parts of my runs, the answer is usually more benevolent, such as “they are talking and don’t hear the other runners and bikers”. As I am nearing the last parts of my long run, my answers can become a bit more caustic…I will not share further.

Thought 6: What can one do to stop the eyes tearing up from the effects of the winter wind on an early morning run?
Answer: Don’t know.

Thought 7: Holly’s list of top 10 worst movie actors and 10 worst movie actresses?
Answer: OK, so I technically have had this list for some time, but I was only half-way through my run and decided to review my lists in the hopes that I could kill 10-15 minutes.

Thought 8: What are the main differences between summer marathon training versus winter marathon training?
Answer: Essentially, weather, clothing required, and more running in the dark versus daylight.
Add-on thought: OK, I had one more, but the brain was starting to freeze and the blood supply was needed more in my legs than my brain….

And yes, this is supposed to be fun.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Day 1

Paris Marathon Training: Week 6 of 18
Today’s target run: 60 minutes
Today’s completed run: 60 minutes

Well, the first full day of satellite programming has come to an end, and I‘ve watched the following:

* Jay Leno and The Tonight Show (I am really a Letterman fan but I am not complaining)
* Conan O’Brien
* 2 episodes of Law & Order (yes...)
* Bones
* Cold Case
* a Gary Cooper movie on Turner Movie Classics

and I’ve only scratched the surface. Guess what I will be doing tomorrow after the 2 ½ hour run…yes, I will definitely be a couch potato….

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hail, hail, the gang's all here

Paris Marathon Training: Week 6 of 18
Today’s target run: 60 minutes
Today’s completed run: 60 minutes

By this I mean, that all my TV friends are now here. That’s right - THE SATELLITE DISH IS NOW RECEIVING SIGNALS AND ALL INTENDED PROGRAMMING. As I type this blog entry, I am thoroughly enjoying hearing not only the sounds of English language TV programs but a movie from Turner Movie Classics no less. Other offerings include: Fox News (don’t knock it until you can’t get it), BBC 1-4, countless SKY sports channels which will include some NFL football, and a whole slew of UK and US TV programming. There is so much to choose from that it will take me days to figure out all my options…what delicious fun that sounds like.

As for this evening, it is definitely movie night…pizza has been ordered and the channel surfing has begun.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I must apologize

Paris Marathon Training: Week 6 of 18
Today’s target run: rest

Well, it is somewhat disappointing to know that all the hustle and bustle related to the mailing of Christmas presents back to the US was apparently for naught. Sadly, after multiple emails to intended recipients, I find that almost without exception that the gifts have not yet arrived.

Apologies if you were one of these folks whose Christmas surprise is floating somewhere in the German or US postal systems, or worse yet, customs.

Another explanation has come to mind: Did Santa’s sleigh crash into the Atlantic and my packages go down with him, the sleigh, and Rudolph? Hope not...for Santa's sake as well as for my packages :).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Efes (Ephesus)

Paris Marathon Training: Week 6 of 18
Today’s target run: 48 minutes
Today’s completed run: 48 minutes

One of the most amazing things we did while touring Turkey was to take a daytrip to Efes, otherwise known as Ephesus. Ephesus was a thriving city for many centuries, even before Paul’s journey to Ephesus or the spread of Christianity to that city (as read in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians). Today, it is the site of much excavation of ruins and a fabulous way for history to come alive. I would highly recommend a visit if you are ever remotely in that part of the world.

The beginnings of the ruins at Ephesus…

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The road leading down into Ephesus…

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Sight of the former hospital in Ephesus.

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Walking down to the center of town; originally, Ephesus was one of the major ports in Turkey, with the sea coming right up to the city walls. Today, the area originally known as sea is meadows.

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Buddy holding up the columns of the Hercules Arch.

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The bath and public toilet areas in Ephesus.

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Buddy and Holly "sitting" on the some of the public toilets in the main bath house in Ephesus. Yes, the seat was cold.

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The library of Ephesus...

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Looking down onto the stage of the amphitheater in Ephesus - the site where Paul preached.

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A view past the amphitheater out to the site of the former port.

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Another view of the amphitheater....

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Located nearby the ruins of Ephesus are a few other sites of importance. First, the site of the ancient site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Today, only one column stands.

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Secondly, the site of the house of Mary, Jesus's mother, supposedly built by the disciple John. Today, the foundations of the house are original but the structure above the ground is reconstructed based on writings found in later centuries.

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Finally, you can also visit the site of St. John's Basilica, the site where John (of Revelations fame) preached, and

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his remains are buried.

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The baptistry in St. John's Basilica.

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Ephesus at dusk.

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We are nearing the finish line

Never underestimate the time it takes to get anything done…still, we have made major inroads into the expansion of TV viewing options in the Hachie Gal and Budman’s home. As noted in the title, while not all of the glitches have been worked out, we are quickly approaching the finish line where we can actually watch English-Language programming in our apartment.

Successes include:

* The new German flat screen works.

* The Swiss all-region DVD player works with the new German flat screen TV.

* The German flat screen will pick up both a PAL and an NTSC signal (needed for watching TV in the US) so when we return home, we can use the TV there (although a converter box will be required – minor issue).

* The Taiwan flat screen is now in the master bedroom – YES!

* The new satellite dish has been mounted on the tripod stand on the balcony, is fairly obscured from view, and is picking up a signal. The installation process was effortless and mostly painless.

So, what is the hitch? Well, we are only picking up about 20% of the programs we should be getting through satellite. We do see a number of viable US programs and sports that we will have access to, so the drought of TV is almost over….

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A really long run

Paris Marathon Training: Week 5 of 18
Today’s target run: 2 hours, 23 minutes
Today’s completed run: no 2 hours, 23 minutes

Best of intentions, but the long training run just wore me out. More tomorrow.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Number 22

Paris Marathon Training: Week 5 of 18
Today’s target run: 48 minutes
Today’s completed run: no run today; feeling very fatigued

Yes, 22 years ago today the Budman and I were married. Looking back, it is hard to understand where the time has gone, but a great 22 years it has been.


As for celebrations, a new flat screen (German but supposedly can be used in the US…) and satellite dish (to be installed on Monday) are THE gifts this year. And a quiet dinner at our new favourite German restaurant.

The Blue Mosque

Paris Marathon Training: Week 5 of 18
Today’s target run: 48 minutes
Today’s completed run: no run today; feeing very fatigued.

My brief business trip to London kept me from posting a few of the remaining blog posts from Turkey…Humor me for just a few more days.

Besides the lovely Aya Sophya, the other main site in Sultanahmet (Old Istanbul) is the Blue Mosque (known as Sultan Ahmet Cami). Actually, this mosque is really THE mosque in Istanbul. Built in 1609, it gets its name from the thousands of blue tiles lining the walls inside the mosque. The mosque has over 260 stained glass windows and six minarets. We were able to tour the interior just as prayers were ending.

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Holly enroute to the Blue Mosque…yes, the red jacket lives on (smile).

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The main dome of the Blue Mosque.

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Interior of the Blue Mosque.

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The Blue Mosque at night…

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