One Year

Can you believe that?! It’s been a whole year today since I started my new blogging journey. It’s true, time flies when you are having fun. When I started a year ago I didn’t even knew what kind of content I wanted. All the things I did in the past are not relevant anymore today. Ya, social media has changed the internet a lot. People are not interested in pixel art, sig tags and line art anymore. But despite the lack of content ideas I felt that urge to get a blog and I always follow my belly feeling even when it does not make sense.

Over time I slowly slipped into posting a photo every day. It just felt right. We do walkies every day, regardless of weather and such, we walk and there is always something to see. During the past year I learned so much about the local plants and I’ve learned that it can be fun and rewarding to leave the comfort zone now and then. Well, I’m looking forward to the coming year and I’m curious to where the road will lead.

Chatter · Life

The Lost Translation

I ran kinda ran outta photos, or rather motives worth capturing, for today, so I thought I tell you a story instead. You see, my native language is German. Yes, I had English in school, but I would not call that English in the sense of how native speakers would speak it. It was more like tourist English, like “hello, my name is James, where are the toilets please”. Useful like a hole in the head, right?! I started to learn real English from native speakers at the end of the nineties. Well it started at that time and it was a long fun journey, but ones you obtained that skill you will notice that there is something wrong with the entertainment industry….

Most of the stuff we watch on TV or our streaming services is made in one of the English speaking countries and therefor the original tone is English. The first time I noticed that something was wrong was when I was watching the movie Ice Age first time in it’s original tone AFTER I had watched it in German a few time. Woah! In English it was a whole different movie. Not only did I not have to endure that super annoying voice of Otto Waalkes who did the voice over for one of the heros, no, a lot of the dialogs where different and there where tons of jokes in the movie that I didn’t get with the German version. Someone messed up the translation big time.

From there I started to watch every show and movie I cared about in English whenever I got the chance. Often here in Germany they do not let you have the chance. They force you to watch the crappy German translation. Amazon often gives you a choice and I appreciate that a lot. The German streaming service doesn’t, but a lot of the modern series are translated in a way that you can still hear the original tone and then you get the really crappy German translation, what makes it worth. You hear every wrong translation and every time they just totally change what is said.

But the most hilarious totally wrong translation I ever stumbled over can be found in World of Warcraft, Warlords of Dreanor expansion. My daughter was playing on a German client and my client was English. There was this quest called “For the Bird”. The right translation would have been “Für die Vögel”. Very simple, right? You could think so, I mean even Google can translate that correct. But nope, in the German client it was named “Gut zu Vögeln”. If you translate that literally you would get “Friendly to Birds” buuuut and this this a huge BUT, “gut zu vögeln” is German slang for “good to have sex with”. What where they thinking? I doubt Blizzard ever found out.


Sneaking Out

No photo today! Instead I want to share something with you. For most of you this might be boring as doing taxes, but if there is just one person who takes something away from this, then my mission is accomplished. I would like to share why and how I stopped smoking. The reason what not the obvious suspect, no it was something most people don’t even think about.

Most people stop smoking due to health reasons. I didn’t. I smoked a lot and I enjoyed it. There was something else that made me thinking of quitting. It was the money. The prices for a pack of cigarettes is constantly rising. Every single year they pushed it up. When I was a kid one pack with about 30 cigarettes would cost 2 DM (Germany Mark, before the Euro). As of January this year one pack with 20 cigarettes goes for 7 Euros. Well, rising prices are nothing new and it happens to all things we buy all the time, but do you know that 80 % of those 7 Euros is pure tax money? Yup, all smokers toss an insane amount of money at the tax office every day on a voluntarily basis. I’m not good with math but you can figure, even without calculating, that this is a stupid amount of money.

When there is something I totally hate, then it’s paying more taxes then I actually have to. I mean, who doesn’t?! See, I smoked 2 packs a day, that’s 14 Euros, 80 % are 11.20 Euro taxed, per day. That’s 78 Euros per week, 314 per month and 3762 Euro per year just in taxes. Now tell me, that isn’t a good reason to stop smoking. You would safe a shit ton of taxed just from not doing something anymore. The only problem was how to get from smoking a lot to not smoking at all. I tried the “just stop it” method and failed. That didn’t work for me. But I learned from experience that if a task seems to hard, then do it little steps.

First thing I did was to look for an alternative and it happened that at that time vaping came out. So I switched from smoking to vaping (with nicotine) and that was a lot cheaper already because our government hadn’t spotted that yet as another opportunity to steal more tax money from us. That step brought more benefits than just dodging the tobacco tax. My sense of smell and taste came back, no more stinking ash trays, no tobacco crumbles and ashes all over the place, no more stink in my home and my cloth. That was already a huge wow effect. I didn’t expect that.

After a while I cut out the nicotine and surprise, my body didn’t even notice. I vaped a bit more just for fun till our government started to tax vaping too and that was the point where I stopped it. Was no problem at all. Yes now and then I still think “oh now a cigarette would be so nice” but the thought comes an goes in a second. It’s more like a memory to something I enjoyed in the past but there is no urge to smoke anymore.

What I did with all the saved money you ask? Well, I got my dog and I spoil her rotten. And there is more money for nice things like this blog for example. And every morning I wake up and think “hehehe no 14 Euros tax from me today, go and shoot yourself in the foot dear tax office” and that alone makes my day already.

Life · Stop Plastic

Actually Not Hard

No Plastic here!

When you hear somebody say “Hey, lets ban plastic.” you might think yeah good idea but it’s so hard. Right? No! Actually it is not hard at all, we just need to do the first step and adjust our habits. There is a good example that it can be done, not in a week, but we can get there. I think it was last year when our government here in Germany banned plastic straws and plastic bags. Amazing right, a government does something really useful for ones. However, we had nothing else than plastic straws for decades, there was never an alternative for them. By banning them you would think there wouldn’t be any straws anymore, right? Well no, it was a bit like magik, boom suddenly there were straws made from good materials all over the place. Suddenly they offer straws from metal, paper and a special kind of glass and porcelain. Now, everybody knew that these plastic straws are very very harmful in so many way but they kept making them despite the fact that they can be made easily from nature friendly materials until the government stops them by law. WTF!!! I bet on my first coffee in the morning that they could replace all plastic items if they just wanted. The problem is, we keep buying that stuff and our government lets them do it.

No Plastic here!

So, what can we do? At some point I started to replace all plastic items with items made from sustainable, nature friendly/neutral materials. It is a step by step process and at first it might seem very expensive but on the long run it will pay off for the planet and your bank account. The Bento Box made from metal will last much longer than the ones that are made from plastic. I store everything in glass or metal container and I love it because you can actually can get those sterile (try that with a plastic container). I switched my plastic stitch markers for some made from metal. Or you could use different things like bobby pins (metal) or small safety pins (metal too). You can get all kitchen tools made from sustainable materials too. If you are like me and don’t like to eat stuff like ice cream, yoghurt or pudding with a metal tea spoon, there are tea spoons made from porcelain. And the coaster you see there is made from slate.

Made from Corn Starch, not plastic

I’m sure you spotted that small roll of “plastic” bags there on the picture. Doesn’t belong there you say? Well it may look like plastic but it isn’t plastic. These poop bags are made from corn starch. No plastic at all. The entire bag is biodegradable. Why they don’t use that material for other things like garbage bags? I dunno. My wild guess would be maximum profit. =p The thing is, when we stop to buy the plastic garbage, they will stop to produce it. We can not wait till our governments wake up and do the right thing. We have to do the first step, get creative and ban plastic from our homes. The rest will follow.

Life · Stop Plastic

Just Don’t

Plastic madness even in the veggie department.

Today, instead of the usual photo, I need to get something off my chest. Those who come here often that I hate plastic in every form and shape. I avoid it whenever I can. Plastic was invented in 1907 by a guy named Leo Hendrik Baekeland. I’m sure he just wanted to invent something useful and he had no idea that it would come back around and bite us all in our back parts. Plastic is very cheap to make, that is why all the companies use it whenever they can even when it is not needed. Yes, it might be very convenient to put mushrooms in a plastic box and wrap it in even more plastic but it is, pardon my french, fucking nonsense. There is no need for that. Same for the chillies, peppers, salads and all other veggies and fruit. I don’t buy plastic wrapped stuff, instead I go for loose wares or stuff that is stored in paper boxes. Then there are all the drinks that come in plastic bottles. Those are the worst! In the past they all used glass bottles. Yes, they where quite heavy and they where expensive to maintain (for the company) but they didn’t do harm to our planet. The plastic bottles they use nowadays are dirt cheap and they don’t have to deal with the empty bottles anymore, no, those float around in our oceans or form mountains somewhere. All just for maximum profit for Coke & Co.

It’s not only the packaging that causes the problems, no there is much more. Since plastic is so cheap to make they produce everything from plastic. Yes, that plastic lunchbox looks sooo cute and all, but it will not last long and it will damage our environment because it’s not only the one box you just bought, it’s million of those boxes and the all will break after 3 month and they all will land in the garbage. Plastic does not rot, it will not go away. It might get very very tiny over a long time but even then it will not go away. I’m sure you heard of micro plastic by now. Did you know, they found micro plastic in human bloodstreams? Can you imagine what that does to your body? Or to the bodies of your kids and grand kids? To the wild life?

And then there are these smarty pants who say we “recycle” plastic. You can recycle glass and paper, but you can not recycles plastic. Remember those dimwits in Kuwait who announced that they had turned plastic into t-shirts. Ya, nice try, it’s still plastic. You can not change the form and say it’s something different, shit stays shit, regardless in what form or shape, and honestly, would you want to wear plastic?

So what can we do? Well, I try to avoid plastic as much as I can. I do not buy veggies or fruit that is wrapped in plastic. I don’t buy drinks in plastic bottles. For house hold items you can find everything made from natural materials. From stitch markers (I have metal stitch markers), over metal lunch boxes, glass bowls, glass containers, containers made from bamboo. You can replace every plastic item with a much better, non harmful, natural material items. The positive side effect is that those items usually last soooo much longer then the plastic garbage.