Tuesday, November 20, 2012


The first time I encountered the word "Meerschweinchen", I know that the English translation would have to do with "pigs". I was right but I was still surprised to find that it means "guinea pig", those cute and fluffy little critters that you would love to just hold them. Guinea pics make good pets because they are actually mellow creatures and are already domesticated. My little girl loves animals and really love to read, er... hear all about them. Maybe she would love a guinea pig gift? I can already imagine her saying, "Ooohhh, wie süß!!" in a sweet and adorable way you can't help but really give it to her.

But anyway, guinea pigs also make good laboratory experiment subjects too because they are easy to care for and maintain. That and because scientists discovered they had biological similarities to humans that would make them useful in many field. Did you know that vitamin C was discovered in 1907 because of guinea pigs? Or that the discovery of the hormone adrenaline was through them? Would you also believe that without guinea pigs, man would not be able to develop the vaccines for diptheria and TB, antibiotics and asthma medicines, nor be able to develop replacement heart valves and blood transfusions?* I guess thanks to guinea pigs and the many studies they were subjected to, humankind was able to prevent many diseases that may have otherwise plagued the world. 

And no, I am not pro animal testing. I am just stating some facts.

* Source: David Adam (2005). "Why use guinea pigs in animal testing?" The Guardian: The science behind the news series. UK

Tinkerbell.... We Just Love Her!

Last Sunday, I decided I needed a little break before going back to writing... After church, we went to the cinema to watch the latest Tinkerbell movie: "Tinkerbell: Geheimnis der Feenflügel". It was the family's first time to watch a full-length movie and armed with popcorn, sodas and chips, we headed off to our seats. I was going to take a family photo as a souvenir of another one of "firsts" but I wasn't able to charge my phone so.... So much for my "preparations". Hehe!

But the movie was really nice. It is all about Tinkerbell discovering that she has a sister who lives in the cold and snowy side of Pixie Hollow. It was a great film that the entire family really enjoyed, especiall my little girl who so loves fairies and all!

And because she is one great Tinkerbell fan, she even sent an entry to a kids art contest that was advertised on Disney Junior.. Here it is and she drew it all by herself... Ain't it nice?

We didn't know who won yet but whether she wins or not, she will always be my great artist. I can see so much potential in her and I know that she will create more finer artworks in the days to come. Yes, I am one proud momma!

So What's On Your Christmas List?

It is almost Christmas... I know because aside from the cold, I can already see photos of Christmas decors and the tree being put up that my friends have uploaded on the social network. I am too busy writing my thesis though so that I haven't even started my list yet. Hopefully, I will be done and over with it before the month ends so I can have time to clear my head and take care of other important stuff.

I have lots of nephews and nieces both on my side and my husband's side of the family and we are thinking of giving something unique to them. As to what that is, I still have no idea! But now that I am thinking about it and since most of them are nephews, maybe we can buy some soccer uniforms for them? Then we can have one team! Hehe... But who will be the coach? I guess if it's going to be a team, we would also need to find a coach and consider buying some coach gifts too... A set of uniforms for a kids' soccer team... That will really be bringing a piece of Germany with us back home! A good idea isn't it? Yes, I am now considering that....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Of Falling Hair and Clogged Drains

It has been months since I last had my hair cut so it has grown quite so long. It's not so bad having long hair, especially now that it is getting cold. The only problem is that, the longer my hair gets, the worse my hairfall problem gets. I have consulted a dermatologist about it, telling them that I have problem hairfall problem. They only told me that about 100 strands of hair falling per day is normal. Hmmm.... I tried counting one day and it's more than a hundred!!! I am also using shampoo that is specially formulated to help prevent hairfall to no avail. :(

Anyway, another problem is our shower drain clogging more frequently now. Because of that, I had to de-clog the drains more often using a drain gel. Although the liquid formula is made for all types of pipes, I still get worried because of the frequency of de-clogging. I just hope I would not need to use plumbing tools since I don't have one or worse hire a professional plumber, which is kind of expensive.

The Cuckoo Clocks of the Black Forest

The Black Forest is one of the most famous forests here in Germany. I first heard about it when I was in Japan while teaching English to Japanese professionals at a conversation school there. One of my clients loved to travel a lot and would like to visit Germany someday and visit the Black Forest. I guess they call it that because of the very thick forest cover (making it very dark) but the Black Forest, I later came to discover, is a jewel with lots of breathtaking views and various activities to offer.

The world's biggest cuckoo clock in a scale of 50:1 in Schonach, Black Forest, Germany
Photo Source: de.Wikipedia
One of the many charms of the Blackforest are the cuckoo clocks. Legend has it that the first cuckoo clocks were made in the Black Forest but who made it was not recorded.. The 320-kilometer long German Uhrenstrasse (Clock Street) was even officially opened in 1992 to the public as a tourist attraction. In this 320-km stretch lies different Black Forest clock factories, workshops and sign painter studios. It also offers beautiful views of the valleys and the various trails and the 30 stations give guests an insight of the meaningful role that the cuckoo clocks brought to the economy and the development of the region.

I would love to visit a cuckoo clock factory one of these days. I can already imagine the many intricate designs of the cuckoo clocks and how precise they should be made. Should a chance come to visit one of the factories, I would like to see how the clockmakers make these fantastic clocks using their various tools: precision vise, lathe machines, graver stones, clockmaker hammers, gages, and a lot of other small tools that clock makers need. 

The next time we visit the Black Forest, I would see to it that we visit the Uhrenstrasse. Just writing this post has made me excited about the idea of being able to watch clockmakers make a cuckoo clock. :)

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