Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TCP#105: Save The Last Dance

It's a miracle that TCP is up today! Lol! I know I have been remiss in posting the last few weeks. I was thinking of "killing" TCP altogether but I guess I just cannot drag myself away from blogging just like that. And so I want to start where I left off with the theme "Groovy Kind of Movie". Who doesn't love a movie that has good music and will want you to shake your booty?

My pick for this week's theme is Save The Last Dance, a 2001 romantic drama dance film featuring Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas. It was interesting to see classical ballet mixed with hip hop moves at the end of the film when Sara had to perform in front of the Juilliard screening committee for her audition. It's an inspiring movie that shows us that our dreams can come true if we work hard for them. With discipline, diligence, good influence from friends and creativity, it is not that hard to achieve our dreams.

And indeed, "The Only Person You Need To Be Is Yourself."

What's your Groovy Kind of Movie? Come and share it with us here on Tuesday Couch Potatoes and enter your TCP link URL in the linky below:

Thank you all for joining Tuesday Couch Potatoes. Next week's theme: Romantic Movies from the 90's. Till next time! Happy TCP everyone!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

German Cars, Who Doesn't Love Them?

Volkswagen. BMW. Porsche. Mercedes Benz. Opel. Audi. These are among the best car brands known the world over. And I know you also want to own one. Even if it is just second hand or a "Gebrauchtwagen" as it is called here.

When we arrived here in Germany, I was so amazed to see these cars running everywhere. Then I realized that it is common for these cars to run here because, well, they are made here! Lol! :D And the car that the company provided for my husband in our first six weeks here was an Audi A4 Quattro. Then my husband found a BMW 3er Touring from a local store at a very good price and very good condition.

Buying a car wasn't that difficult for my husband because there are many dealers available in our area. They also have websites that you can visit online to see the models that they have. Most car dealers offer a test drive of the car that you are interested in so that you will have a feel of how they run. The process of buying our car was relatively easy and quick and we got the car on the same day that he paid for it.  If you are looking for car dealers selling or buying used cars, you only need to look up pkw ankauf. PKW is short for "Personenkraftwagen" or passenger cars or simply cars. If you want to sell your cars, there are many car dealers who will be glad to buy your cars back too. These cars are then reconditioned and sold to other East European or exported to some African countries.

I don't know if we will still be able to sell our car in the future. But it is good to know that we have options should we decide to get a new car.

Horseback Riding

Have you ever gone horseback riding? I have never ever been on one, not even at the carnivals and fairs. But my little girl has. Lucky her! At this age, I don't think I will ever master the courage to get on a horse's back. They say that a horse can smell and sense your fear so that if they know that you feel that way, the more would they not allow you to ride them.

I do love horses. I think they are very magnificent and strong creatures. Did you know it was from their strength that a car's power was measured? Really. You will know that a car is powerful if it has a large horsepower in its engine.

When I was younger, I dreamt about being an equestrian or having my own horse. But I know it was impossible then since we have other more important priorities. I also didn't know that if you ride a horse, it is not that simple. You don't only ride it, you need to have a relationship with it so that you need to learn the basics of horse care, how to groom them, which equipment are used, and the jargon used. I didn't even know what the term english horse tack or simply, "tack" is! Ignorant me!

But for the information of everyone, a tack is a term used to describe any of the various equipment and accessories worn by horses in the course of their use as domesticated animals. They come in different forms, like saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates. If you want to sound like a real horse person, it is good to know that "equipping a horse" is often referred to as "tacking up".

Now I know a little bit more about horses. Does that take me a step closer to achieving my childish dream?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can I Rant?

It has been ages since I last updated this blog... Gawd! If you must know, my time is spent mostly on studying for my final exams, which by the way is taking like forever to be over! I just had another exam this morning and it was by far the worst exam experience that I had. I thought it shouldn't be that difficult knowing that it's an open book exam but boy, was I very wrong! The idea that you have other materials to look at while doing the exam at first glance is comforting but in reality, it isn't much use since you don't have time to use the materials you brought in with you anyway.

And with only sixty minutes to spare? I don't think you would be able to even open your notes and books to find for the correct formula. I say why not make it a closed book exam but provide all the necessary formulas instead? That should save us some time.

I was shaking while I was writing and solving the problems for this particular exam in Mechanical Process Engineering knowing that I only have so little time. But to answer five problems with about 4-5 sub-questions is simply unmanageable for me. I think even the smartest person in our class will not be able to finish all of that in an hour.

The craziness of the educational system here. I guess it's a good training for me but I also have a life to live and a family to take care. Maybe this graduate school thing is not reallly for me after all? I guess I will have to wait and see if I passed the exams or not. Only then will I be able to decide whether I am cut up for this kind of thing.

Here's hoping for the best. :D

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Flammende Sterne 2011 in Ostfildern

I have always loved fireworks! The first ever grand fireworks display that I got to witness was in the summer of 2007 in Tokyo, Japan during the Hanabi Festival at Showa Kinen Park. It was a very amazing sight for me, and I watched with awe and wonder as the sky lights up in various shapes and colors. Bless the person who discovered that fireworks can be used in a very creative and wonderful way.

When we got here in Germany, I thought I would be missing the fireworks shows but boy was I mistaken! I learned about the Flammende Sterne back in 2010 when my Japanese classmate from my evening German language lessons told me about it. And it's not just one night of fireworks wonders but three nights in a row!

And so last August 19-21, the 9th Flammende Sterne took place at Scharnhauser Park in Ostfildern. The Flammende Sterne is an annual international fireworks display competition. Three chosen nations would compete each year and since it is a musical fireworks display, it really is a great show. It was our second time to watch the fireworks this year, 2010 was our first time. The participating nations were Greece, China and USA. We were only able to watch the China and USA fireworks show though but it was really a great display.

I thought USA was the first prize but I was surprised when I saw the results:

1. Hefung Fireworks Co. Ltd., China
2. Nanos Fireworks, Griechenland
3. Walt Disney Parks - Brad Cicotti, USA

Of course, I was armed with my camera when we went there. I even took time to study and research about fireworks photography since there was also a photography contest. Unfortunately, my photos were not so good. Perhaps I need to experiment more. Or perhaps I need a new camera that has a built-in setting for fireworks. I wonder if this feature is available in casio cameras digital because if they are, I would definitely save for one!

But anyway, here are some of photos that I consider my "best" shots:

These photos were from the Chinese Musical Fireworks display. Now, you be the judge. What do you think?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Got Flat Warts?

Flat warts are a type of wart that is also commonly known as juvenile warts since they commonly occur in children. Medically, it is called Verruca plana. They are generally harmless but can sometimes be a source of embarassment as it is visible and usually appears on the face, neck, forehead, hands, even the underarms.

And believe it or not, flat warts are caused by a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that comes into contact with broken skin. The virus then enters the skin, grows and multiplies until the wart tissue appears. Treatment can be very easy and there are actually many wart remedies available in the market today. However, when treated improperly, can lead to more serious issues and complications.

Since they are harmless, people can just opt to ignore them and allow the immune system to fight it off. This could take years. For those who find it a source of embarassment, they could seek medical help and are prescribed drugs that would keep the skin saturated. In this way, the skin would eventually become too soft and eventually fall off, the wart with it. If this doesn't work, doctors would prescribe the application of salicylic acid to remove the wart layer by layer until it disappears. If this fails, there are other options such as electrosurgery, cryotherapy, cauteruzation, laser surgery or standard surgical removal.

Since HPV is a very contagious virus, people who have flat warts shouldn't remove it themselves by cutting them away. It will just make things worse as other parts of the skin become exposed to the virus.

And now you know why you shouldn't be sharing towels with other people. They or you could have warts and you don't want to get infected or infect others right?

Pregnant, I Am Not!

But how I wish! We almost thought that we were pregnant when I was having abdomenal pains a few weeks ago and my period was delayed. But I guess all of that was just hormones and very high stress levels... And well, I am just not. Waahhhh! Too bad eh!?

I guess I need to finish graduate school first before we have another baby. I need to lose weight and slim down too since I am already almost as heavy as my husband... Another waahhhh!!! Sometimes, I feel like my knees would just buckle each time I am in a hurry to pick my little girl because they can't hold my weight any longer. I guess that's one of the reasons why my husband bought a threadmill so that we can exercise right here at the comfort of our home. But I was only able to run for like two or three times since we got it. My hands are just too full these days I don't know what to do.

So there, it is out. I am NOT pregnant... :(

Beer and WOW Go Good Together

If you love to play RPG games, then I should not ask whether you know about WOW or World Or Warcraft right? I won't get into details here but did you know that most players are from the Asian Region? And did you also know that 1 out of 5 players is female? Now I am not so sure about the gender statistics since I know of some female players who want to play anonymous, and by that I mean prefering to not disclose or choose male instead when they play instead.

World of Warcraft Visualized
Video Game Design Colleges- World of Warcraft

Above graphic found at Video Game Design Colleges.org

And don't you think a bottle of ice cold beer will go perfect while playing the game? I am no brewer but I do know a thing or two about the brewing process and a little bit about the beer culture here in Germany. If you want to know how to make beer in your own home and in the simplest way, why not follow the following process steps?

The Process of Brewing Beer
Click here for a larger view
 Process of Brewing Beer

Browse this and other resources at www.CaliforniaCulinarySchools.org

Hope that one day, you'll be able to make your first brew... I want to find to find out how your game went after you downed your homemade beer!

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